Meet Barbara Parker

Books and Books. August 8th, 2008. 8:00 p.m.Books and Books Coral Gables. Miami ArtNew York Times bestselling author Barbara Parker introduces one of the most unforgettable female characters in suspense fiction: high-profile Miami defense attorney C.J. Dunn. C.J. is an expert at spinning her clients' image in the media – the perfect lawyer to deflect suspicion from Rick Slater, head of security for an influential U.S. congressman. A beautiful model has vanished from a party on Miami Beach, and Slater was the last person seen with her. C.J. has reasons to dislike the congressman, but if she takes this case he can arrange a host position for her on a major news outlet. For a woman who grew up dirt-poor, with a past she would rather forget, the celebrity life has its appeal.

The story of Alana Martin's disappearance soon sets off a media frenzy. Reporters and paparazzi hound everyone connected to the case, and C.J. must work fast before they uncover her own secrets, too.

When Rick Slater tells her that a friend of Alana's could be his alibi witness, C.J. realizes the girl is someone she knows: Kylie Willis, a seventeen-year-old runaway from the same north Florida town where C.J. was born. The problem is, Kylie won't talk. As C.J. digs into the case, she finds connections between Alana and a group of investors in a project on environmentally sensitive land. One of them is the elusive architect Milo Cahill, one of C.J.'s own VIP clients, who may be bribing the congressman. Another is C.J.'s lover, Miami Beach socialite Billy Medina. But when C.J. asks Billy for information, he brushes her off. She wonders if she's been foolish about Billy. Or is the problem just her growing attraction to her client Rick?

Then Alana Martin is found – dead. Her body washes up on a beach late one night, and the coroner says it was murder. The police have evidence against Slater. C.J. is slammed between the media and the need to defend a client she doesn't trust. She must find Kylie Willis. The girl could save Rick Slater – but she might also reveal a devastating secret, one that could destroy C.J.'s career, and even, her life.

Barbara Parker is a former prosecutor with the state attorney's office in Miami-Dade County. She is the author of eleven mysteries, including Suspicion of Malice, which was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American author. She lives in South Florida, where she enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her pug, Max.

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