A mystery surrounds the lush orchards and farmlands of California’s Sacramento River Delta. As Sara Mason returns to her hometown in order to start a new life, she learns that a serial killer is terrorizing its residents... Sara is a woman whose destiny has brought her back home, but her decision may lead her down a path lined with danger and straight into the arms of a madman in this captivating thriller. Winner of the Eric Hoffer Award, 2009 and Indie Excellence Finalist.
"Animal skeletons...human skeletons...fresh dirt, boulders, ghosts?
Deal's River Bones has all that and more. She kept me in suspense from the time Sara moved back home until the last page. My kind of book!"
--Susan Whitfield, Author
"A serial killer is casting a net around and, if Sara Mason, isn't smart enough, the psychopath will dig a grave for her. Deal gives us a glimpse of the history of the California Sacramento River area as she creates an ever-climbing path from house renovations, eccentric Esmerelda's friendship, up to the discovery of bones in river sand. Readers will enjoy a believable tale of old wounds, lasting friendships, and crimes of passion. Sara, once known as white trash, home to revenge old hurts, finds she has become her own person. These characters will remain memorable long after the mystery has been solved, leaving readers with a hope to hear more from this talented author." --
US Review of Books
Read an Excerpt
If not careful, Sara’s imagination could get out of hand. Too many house break-ins in the barrio where she had lived in Puerto Rico for the last three decades left her looking over her shoulder. She needed a place where she felt secure.
Once deciding to return to live in her hometown area, her first major decision was to look for a house along the river, but not confined to Rio Vista in Solano County where she attended high school. Many people moved into the Delta and built multi-million dollar mansions along the river. That was not for her.
She slipped into town before Christmas a few months earlier, and bought an older house, a present to herself. Wanting to own a Victorian mansion was a lifelong dream that never faded. She found one such place, and to the astonishment of the real estate broker, signed the sales agreement immediately and paid cash by way of a wire transfer.
After signing the documents, she overheard the hotshot Sacramento real estate broker boast to someone in another office, “Some wealthy middle-aged blonde woman—a real looker outa’ Puerto Rico—just bought that damnable eyesore down along the river.” Sara wasn’t offended and smiled secretly. She knew exactly how she would refurbish the place.
Next, Sara contacted her alma mater, Rio Vista High School, about class reunions. If anyone remembered her, it was probably as a quiet, backward girl with stringy blond hair. Through high school records was how she located Daphine Whelan, her best friend back then.
“You know what they say about that house,” Daphine had warned over the phone.
“The real estate agent filled me in,” Sara said. “I don’t believe most of it.”
Daphine’s mood was upbeat, knowing her childhood friend was back in town. But her conversations about that house were somber. “Just be careful, okay? That maniac is still on the loose and the previous owner of your house is still missing.”