Detective Madison Knight Series
by Carolyn Arnold GENRE: Police Procedural/ mystery/suspense
Ties That Bind
When an isolated incident turns into a hunt for a serial killer, Detective Madison Knight is not going to back down—even if it pits her against her superiors
Book 1 in the series. The hunt for a serial killer begins…
Detective Madison Knight concluded the case of a strangled woman an isolated incident. But when another woman’s body is found in a park killed with the same brand of neckties, she realizes they’re dealing with something more serious.
Despite mounting pressure from the sergeant and the chief to close the case even if it means putting an innocent man behind bars, and a partner who is more interested in saving his marriage than stopping a potential serial killer, Madison may have to go it alone if the murderer is going to be stopped.
Ties that Bind, the first book in the series is FREE
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SOMEONE DIED EVERY DAY. Detective Madison Knight was left to make sense of it.
She ducked under the yellow tape and surveyed the scene. The white, two-story house would be deemed average any other day, but today the dead body inside made it a place of interest to the Stiles PD and the curious onlookers who gathered in small clusters on the sidewalk.
She’d never before seen the officer who was securing the perimeter, but she knew his type. The way he stood there—his back straight, one hand resting on his holster, the other gripping a clipboard—he was an eager recruit.
He held up a hand as she approached. “This is a closed crime scene.”
She unclipped her badge from the waist of her pants and held it up in front of him. He studied it as if it were counterfeit. She usually respected those who took their jobs seriously but not when she was functioning on little sleep and the humidity level topped ninety-five percent at ten thirty in the morning.
Her name died on her lips as Sergeant Winston stepped out of the house. She would have groaned audibly if he weren’t closing the distance between them so quickly. She preferred her boss behind his desk.
Winston gestured toward the young officer to let him know she was permitted to be on the scene. The officer glared at her before leaving his post. She envied the fact that he could walk away while she was left to speak with the sarge.
“It’s about time you got here.” Winston fished a handkerchief out of a pocket and wiped at his receding hairline. The extra few inches of exposed forehead could have served as a solar panel. “I was just about to assign the lead to Grant.”
Terry Grant was her on-the-job partner of five years and three years younger than her thirty-four. She’d be damned if Terry was put in charge of this case.
“Where have you been?” Winston asked.
She jacked a thumb in the rookie’s direction. “Who’s the new guy?”
“Don’t change the subject, Knight.”
She needed to offer some sort of explanation for being late. “Well, boss, you know me. Up all night slinging back shooters.”
“Don’t get smart with me.”
She flashed him a cocky smile and pulled out a Hershey’s bar from one of her front pants pocket. The chocolate had already softened from the heat. Not that it mattered. She took a bite.
“What are you doing here, anyway?” she asked with her mouth partially full.
“The call came in, I was nearby, and thought someone should respond.” His leg caught the tape as he tried to step over it to the sidewalk and he hopped on the other leg to adjust his balance. He continued speaking as if he hadn’t noticed. “The body’s upstairs, main bedroom. She was strangled.” He pointed the tip of a key toward her. “Keep me updated.” He pressed a button on his key fob and the department-issued SUV’s lights flashed. “I’ll be waiting for your call.”
As if he needed to say that. Sometimes she wondered if he valued talking more than taking action.
She took a deep breath. She could feel the young officer watching her, and she flicked a glance at him, now that the sergeant was gone. What was his problem? She took another bite of her candy bar.
“Too bad you showed. I think I was about to get the lead.”
Madison turned toward her partner’s voice. Terry was padding across the lawn toward her.
“I’d have to be the one dead for that to happen.” She smiled as she brushed past him.
“You look like crap.”
Her smile faded. She stopped walking and turned around. Every one of his blond hairs were in place, making her self-conscious of her short, wake-up-and-wear-it cut. His cheeks held a healthy glow, too, no doubt from his two-mile morning run. She hated people who could do mornings.
“What did you get? Two hours of sleep?” Terry asked.
“Three, but who’s counting?” She took another large bite of the chocolate. It was almost a slurp with how fast the bar was melting.
“You were up reviewing evidence from the last case again, weren’t you?”
She wasn’t inclined to answer.
“You can’t change the past.”
She wasn’t hungry anymore and wrapped up what was left of the chocolate. “Let’s focus on this case.”
“Fine, if that’s how it’s going be. Victim’s name is Laura Saunders. She’s thirty-two. Single. Officer Higgins was the first on scene.”
Higgins? She hadn’t seen him since she arrived, but had been her training officer. He still worked in that capacity for new recruits. Advancing in the ranks wasn’t important to him. He was happy making a difference where he was stationed.
Terry continued. “Call came in from the vic’s employer, Southwest Welding Products, where she worked as the receptionist.”
“What would make the employer call?”
“She didn’t show for her shift at eight. They tried reaching her first, but when they didn’t get an answer, they sent a security officer over to her house. He found the door ajar and called downtown. Higgins was here by eight forty-five.”
“The security officer?”
“Yeah.” Apparently they finished each other’s sentences now.
“Terrence Owens. And don’t worry. We took a formal statement and let him go. Background showed nothing, not even a speeding ticket. We can function when you’re not here.”
She cocked her head to the side.
“He also testifies to the fact that he never stepped one foot in the place.” Terry laughed. “He said he’s watched enough cop dramas to know that it would contaminate the crime scene. You get all these people watching those stupid TV shows, and they think they can solve a murder.”
“So is Owens the one who made the formal call downtown, then?” Madison asked.
“Actually, procedure for them is to route everything through the company administration. A Sandra Butler made the call. She’s the office manager.”
“So an employee is even half an hour late for work and they send someone to your house?”
“She said it’s part of their safety policy.”
“At least they’re a group of people inclined to think positively.” She rolled her eyes. Sweat droplets ran down her back. Gross. She moved toward the house.
The young officer scurried over. He shoved his clipboard under his arm and tucked his pen behind his ear. He pointed toward the chocolate bar still in her hand. “You can’t take that in there.”
She glanced down. Chocolate oozed from a corner of the wrapper. He was right. She handed the package to him, and he took it with two pinched fingers.
She patted his shoulder. “Good job.”
He walked away with the bar dangling from his hand, mumbling something indiscernible. “You can be so wicked sometimes,” Terry said.
“Why, thank you.” She was tempted to take a mini bow but resisted the urge.
“It wasn’t a compliment. And since when do you eat chocolate for breakfast?”
“Oh shut up.” She punched him in the shoulder. He smirked and rubbed his arm. Same old sideshow. She headed into the house with him on her heels.
“The stairs are to the right,” Terry said.
“Holy crap, it’s freezing in here.” The sweat on her skin chilled her. It was a refreshing welcome.
“Yep, a hundred and one outside, sixty inside.”
When she was two steps from the top of the staircase, Terry said, “And just a heads-up—this is not your typical strangulation.”
“Come on, Terry. You’ve seen one, you’ve—” She stopped abruptly when she reached the bedroom doorway. Terry was right.
It’s Christmastime, and this year murder doesn’t take a holiday. The killing of a woman leads detective Madison Knight in many directions to find a killer. Book 2 in the series. Madison Knight should have ignored the call. Now she is spending Christmas Eve dealing with her least favorite thing…blood and lots of it. When a female victim is found in her home, it has Madison and her partner tapping into the vic's personal life. With a rash of former business partners and lovers, all of whom wanted her dead, there are not enough hours to question them all.
But trying to find the person who had the most motive isn't all that's on Madison's mind. As she struggles to establish balance in her own life, she knows she has to get her focus back. Justice requires it.
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Detective Madison Knight will need to call upon her tenacity when the murder victim is the son of a local businessman who is “in bed” with the police chief.
Book 3 in the series. Finding justice comes at a high price…
When the son of business tycoon Marcus Randall, washes up on the shore of the Bradshaw River, Detective Madison Knight must sacrifice everything including her career to find justice for the "perfect murder."
With Marcus Randall already on the radar of the Secret Service for fraud and counterfeiting, the investigation sheds new light and they require the full co-operation of the Stiles PD. But with power and money to back him, Marcus has a reach that extends right inside the police department.
If Madison's going to find out the truth, she'll have to sort through the lies and balance diplomacy with politics.
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In trying to solve a new murder, Detective Madison Knight may have to dishonor the blue wall of silence when findings in a past case are called into question.
Book 4 in the series Sometimes the pursuit of justice becomes personal…
There's one code when it comes to the wall of blue…and Madison Knight may have to cross it.
Any good cop knows you never report a brother for mishandling a case or accuse him of misconduct, but in order to find justice, Madison may not have a choice.
Lacy Rose had one goal for her twentieth birthday--to be found innocent of past sins--but her life is cut short.
When Lacy's remains are found in a garden and the investigation becomes connected to a closed case, Madison must face her past. The lead detective on that case was Madison's ex-fiancé. At the risk of jeopardizing departmental relationships, and churning up the attention of an old flame at the same time, Madison must push hard before the guilty are found innocent.
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Detective Madison Knight’s obsession with a cold case comes to a deadly conclusion. With a rising body count, Madison finds out her own life is at risk.
Book 5 in the series. Sometimes cold cases are deadly…
The past threatens the future and puts Detective Madison Knight's life in danger.
A cold case pits Madison against the Russian Mafia, but things take a swift turn when the unthinkable happens—a new threat arises and has Madison hunting down an unknown killer.
While trying to make sense of the clues, bodies are piling up, and the brass is hungry for explanations. In addition, Madison must balance all of this while nursing an injury, talking out her emotions with a therapist—a bureaucratic necessity—answering to an eager journalist, and facing an internal affairs investigation.
As the answers come together, Madison narrows in on a possible link between the Russian Mafia and someone within the Stiles PD.
Will she have the courage to confront the person she believes is playing both sides, even though they hold a position of great power?
Things are about to be shaken up, and, for Madison, that means she just might have to let go of the past to embrace her future.
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Three murders occur within the span of twenty-four hours, but Detective Madison Knight is adamant they’re not looking for a serial killer. But can she prove it?
Book 6 in the series. Looks aren’t the only things that can be deceiving…
When a sixty-eight-year-old woman is found dead outside the hospital in a wheelchair with an anti-abortion sign strapped to its back, Detective Madison Knight expects it to be an open-and-shut case. On the surface, there are no signs of foul play, but the deeper she digs, the more convoluted the homicide becomes. And when two more bodies appear, including those of a girl just barely old enough to drink and a homeless man, the direct links between the three murders are anything but simple.
Without a consistent MO, Madison doesn’t buy that a serial killer is on the loose, despite the conviction with which her ex-fiancé and fellow detective try to convince their superior. But Madison already has enough to juggle without having to defend her reputation. Debilitating flashbacks of being held hostage by the Russian Mafia mere months before haunt her on an almost daily basis, and the promises she made to herself while in captivity are becoming more and more difficult to keep. Learning to trust is hard enough without constant reminders of what destruction—fatal or otherwise—trusting the wrong person can cause.
Now, as both personal and professional friction within the department mounts, she and her partner, Terry, must figure out what motivation could span generations to cause someone to murder these people. But catching this killer is like grasping at straws, and grabbing the wrong one could mean losing not only her pride but also her boyfriend, her credibility, and her faith in humanity…
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In the Line of Duty
Slated for release September 29 2016.
Book 7 in the series.
He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?
It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
When news of Weir’s murder reaches the department, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most.
With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.
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CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O. Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).
You can also visit the author’s McKinley Mysteries Series page: http://carolynarnold.net/detective-madison-knight-series/
What inspired you to write this book?
My love for law enforcement served as my inspiration for writing In the Line of Duty. I wanted to show the human side of policing, let readers go inside the police force and really see what it is like for them when they lose a fellow officer. I wanted to show the world that police are people, too. That they have dreams and hopes and they experience emotion just like the rest of us.
Detective Madison Knight and her colleagues face the loss of a brother when one of their own is gunned down in the line of duty. They must deal with their grief while working to find the killer, and this heartbreak tears some relationships apart while it strengthens others. Just as is the case in real life, the loss of someone we care about has far-reaching effects and elicits different reactions. In the Line of Duty shows this spectrum of human emotion.
And in light of what’s happening on the world stage, the topic of violence against police is especially pertinent right now. We have people targeting police and killing them. Some feel that the police take liberties or have made the wrong decisions—and sure there are some bad cops—but most are on the streets because they have a love for people and a desire to make a positive difference in this world. It’s out of a deep-seated love and respect for these law enforcement officers that compelled me to not only write In the Line of Duty but to dedicate this book to all who serve, have served, and in memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.