When Gwynn Reznick’s best friend is brutally murdered, she joins forces with an investigation team to hunt down the assassin As the team digs deeper, they discover a trail of suspicious deaths and begin to unravel a sinister plot that threatens a catastrophic oil and gas disaster. Will they solve the crime before it is too late?
At sleepy Fort Leavenworth, Kansas the commanding general’s wife Bunny Harris is decapitated with the Arabic word for “dust” scrawled in her blood over the bed.
JACK GARRETT (40s), a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer and former special ops soldiers reports for reserve duty at the fort and finds his orders are changed and he is working for CAMERON WELLS (40s), an ambitious attorney who began her career in military intelligence.
Two days later military judge FRANK O’CONNOR (50’s) is charged with the rape and murder of Bunny. He requests that Garrett defend him, and Garrett is placed on active duty.
Wells is put on O’Connor’s trial to spy on Garrett. O’Connor admits to an affair with Bunny and that she enjoyed rough, painful sex including whipping and strangulation.
The CIA brings in PHILLIP RUBIE (50s) and his daughter SIMONE (20s). The pair kidnap Garrett’s son then release him with a message to back off the case. Garrett and Wells are drawn closer over this incident and start to have a romantic relationship.
Evidence points to the general’s involvement in war crimes by killing Iraqi POWs with a nerve agent called “dust.” A reporter tells Garrett that he believes Bunny was killed with this nerve agent. Bunny’s body is exhumed and she melts out of her casket.
The trial begins and the prosecutor receives a CD with Bunny and O’Connor at an S&M club where O’Connor pretends to cut off her head with a machete. O’Connor is offered a deal and refuses.
Simone tells Wells she has evidence of O’Connor’s innocence. Rubie attempts to kill Garrett and Wells at the meeting, but Wells fights and subdues Rubie. Garrett tortures Rubie and he says that Wells knows who the real killer is.
Rubie is left to die but Simone finds him when he activates a GPS chip. His dying request is to kill them all. Simone decapitates the general and leaves a message written in Arabic: “Dust to Dust.” O’Connor is released from jail, since it appears Bunny’s killer is still at large. At a press conference with O’Connor, Wells and Garrett, Simone, disguised as a reporter, attempts to shoot Garrett and Wells. Simone is killed and authorities claim she is Bunny’s killer.
Wells and Garrett return to California and start a new life. Garrett’s son finds a sword in Wells’ footlocker with blood and hair on it. The sword belonged to Wells’ father and was given to him by Bunny. Wells confesses to the killing because the general discovered Bunny was having an affair with her father, and general sent him on a secret mission where her father was killed. Wells tells Garret to forget about what was found and go on, but Garrett can’t
Garrett turns his back and walks out of the house.
When Homicide Detective Mark Stevens receives a phone call to report to a bloody crime scene, he has no idea how his life is about to change. He faces the normal challenges of solving a murder. He also faces the challenge of confronting his past. Mark’s past has closed his heart. He chooses to be alone. When his heart is opened, by an unlikely visitor, he finds himself having feelings for the murder victim’s sister. However, he’s determined to remain professional. Now that he’s found his heart; can love be far behind?
The new, ambitious prosecuting attorney John Martin can’t wait to sink his teeth into his first murder trial. Seemingly lucky for him, a murder victim’s body is found his first day on the job. Not so luckily for him, there’s a tough judge and feisty defense attorney in his future.
Targeted Age Group:: 17+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve always had an interest in true crime and trial watching. When I decided to write a book, I knew it would be a murder mystery.
In KEEP NO SECRETS, the controversial follow-up to Compton’s debut legal thriller TELL NO LIES, a district attorney struggles to redeem himself after a one-night stand damaged his marriage and professional reputation.
After surviving the private and public fallout from a one-night stand four years before, St. Louis DA Jack Hilliard wants nothing more than to be trusted again by his wife, Claire, and to earn back the respect of the community he serves. Since the day Claire accepted him back into the family, he’s vowed to be true to these goals, and so far he’s succeeded.
But all of Jack’s efforts begin to crumble when the woman involved in his earlier downfall, Jenny Dodson, returns to town claiming threats on her life and asking for his help, and resurrecting for Jack long-buried emotions and questions of her guilt for the murder of a client. Just when he thinks the pressure can’t get any worse, his son’s girlfriend, Celeste, accuses him of sexual assault, and he suddenly finds himself on the wrong end of a criminal case, battling for his freedom.
Can Jack trust his freedom to the legal system on which he built his career? Or will the ghost of his one-night stand four years before come back to haunt him, causing him to be convicted on the mistakes of his past?
Targeted Age Group:
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
My novels are very character-driven. I like to combine the suspense of thrillers with the drama of human relationships.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Be persistent and practice your craft. You can’t expect to win the US Open the first time you step onto a tennis court, so don’t think just because you’ve written “The End” on your first novel means you’re ready for publication.
Julie Compton is the author of Tell No Lies, a legal thriller set in her original hometown of St. Louis; Rescuing Olivia, a romantic, contemporary thriller set in Florida; and Keep No Secrets, the sequel to Tell No Lies. Her novels combine the suspense of thrillers with the drama of human relationships. An attorney by profession, she now writes full-time from her home near Orlando, Florida.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Keep No Secrets is a sequel to my debut, Tell No Lies (although it’s written to stand-alone for readers who haven’t read the first one). Tell No Lies featured a DA – a basically good, principled man – who damaged his marriage and ruined his reputation in the community after he succumbs to his obsession with a female colleague. His wrongdoing is discovered after the colleague is charged with murder and Jack is her alibi. I never intended to write a sequel, but the requests from my readers were so overwhelming, so I left the door open to the possibility while I went on to write my second (unrelated) novel.
A few years later, at a Christmas Eve family gathering, my sisters-in-law began to discuss “who drives the babysitter home” after a night out with their husbands. All of them had this fear – a fear I’d never had when my children were younger – that if their husbands did the driving, they exposed themselves to a situation in which the wrong babysitter might make unfounded accusations against them. One of my brothers-in-law is a children’s musician, and we began to talk about how devastating such an allegation would be to someone whose livelihood revolved around kids. It was then that the idea sparked in my head: what if Jack was wrongly accused of a crime just as he’d begun to regain the trust of his family and community?