From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes a novel of sexy romantic suspense for fans of Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, and Karen Robards.
In her thrill-packed trilogy Cold Truth, Hard Truth, and Dark Truth, Mariah Stewart proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can brilliantly and suspensefully handle the truth. Can you? Then prepare yourself for the shocking, eye-opening Final Truth, in which a woman who specializes in exposing lies finds herself trapped in a real-life nightmare.
All that stands between Lester Ray Barnes and the state of Florida’s death chamber is a judge’s signature. He is sentenced to die for the rape and murder of a young woman, his conviction hinging on two pieces of evidence: DNA testing and an eyewitness who placed him at the scene. But when the story breaks that the DNA testimony at trial had been fabricated and that the eyewitness was coerced by a cop, all hell breaks loose. In the absence of credible evidence to sustain the conviction, the court is forced to set Lester Ray free. It’s the sort of circus the media adore–until it turns into the kind of Grimm’s fairy tale the media love even more.
Intrigued by the story of a young man railroaded by justice, true-crime writer Regan Landry is drawn into Lester Ray’s camp like a moth to a flame. For Regan, writing is a way to stay connected to her late literary-legend father, and her knack for detective work makes her a natural when it comes to uncovering new leads in even the murkiest mysteries.
Eager for the spotlight, Lester Ray willingly agrees to work with Regan on a tell-all about his experience as an innocent man on death row. But less than a week after leaving prison, he vanishes from the Sunshine State. Soon after, darkness descends on the outer banks of North Carolina as a string of women are raped and murdered in a frenzied spree. Fearing the worst, Regan, along with Special Agent Mitch Peyton and the FBI, sweeps in to confront the unspeakable: the horrifying possibility that they have helped to free a cunning monster with an insatiable appetite for death–and a ruthless determination never to be caged again.
At the start of the fourth novel of romantic suspense in Stewart's Truth series (after 2005's Dark Truth), Regan Landry-the daughter of a deceased true crime writer who's followed in his footsteps to great acclaim-is floundering around for a new book idea. When fraud at a DNA lab is uncovered and several rape and murder convictions are overturned, Regan thinks she's found her story. She'll write about Lester Ray Barnes, wrongly convicted of murder, now set free. But shortly after Barnes is released from prison, several dead bodies turn up-women whose lips have been smeared with blood and who hold a clump of flowers in their lifeless hands, just like Barnes's purported first victim. Is Barnes, in fact, a ruthless killer, or is someone trying to set him up? Regan, working with her delicious beau, FBI agent Mitch Peyton, is determined to find out. While a revelation about Regan's family comes out of left field and the culminating scene in which the real killer is unmasked isn't exactly surprising, Regan's charm and the novel's fast pace will keep readers turning the pages.