Valkyrie Smith should be dead. None of the killer’s other victims have survived. Yet somehow, after spending two long nights trapped at the bottom of a dry well with a broken back, Valkyrie miraculously came through. She lost everything that night: her husband, her son, her dreams. Lying at the bottom of that well, staring up at a tiny circle of sky and waiting for the killer to find her and finish the job at any moment, Val lost one more thing: She lost her fear.
The doctors told her she might never walk again, but Val refused to give up. After years of rehabilitation and relentless determination, Valkyrie regained her mobility. She didn't stop there. Valkyrie went on to take training in self defense and firearms, and developed a strategy to track down the killer. She dedicated her life to bringing him to justice. She walked away from her past forever, and began moving from to town to town in search of the man who had slaughtered her family.
Now, after a series of missed opportunities, Valkyrie finally has her chance. An anonymous phone call informs her that the man she has been hunting has surfaced again in Sequoia County, a rural California landscape of redwood forests, vineyards, and isolated coastlines. Valkyrie knows it could be a trap. She doesn’t care. Armed with her skills, her intellect, and her determination, Valkyrie heads straight into the heart of danger. She thinks she’s prepared for anything. She’s wrong.
Should Be Dead is one of those fun stories that straddles the line between mystery and thriller. Like most of my novels, it's fast-paced with a few twists and turns. The characters are realistic and yes, there are serial killers and grown-up subject matter involved, but I think nothing overly disturbing. If you've ever watched Castle or CSI you should be fine with this.
I have to admit, I'm curious to see how mystery fans react to this character. I'm not sure how she stacks up against other popular fictional investigators because, to be honest, I haven't been reading a lot of mystery in the last few years. In fact, I've found myself reading a lot less fiction overall as I get deeper and deeper into my own writing. When I find time to read, I usually ended up reading nonfiction or going with the classics. Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Edgar Rice Burroughs and so on.
For some reason, Valkyrie is a special character to me. The inspiration for her just struck me out of nowhere, and the instant I saw her in my mind, I felt that she was something special. In fact, I was almost reluctant to publish this book because I wanted to be sure that it lived up to Valkyrie's potential. I'm very hopeful. I think Valkyrie has many adventures ahead of her.