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The Empty Kayak: A Queen City Crimes Mystery
by Jodé Millman

Published: 2023-05-30T00:0
Paperback : 368 pages
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For Detective Ebony Jones, crime is always personal. But this time, it strikes too close to home.

A pop-up thunderstorm marched its way across the Hudson River, ambushing a young couple's kayaking trip. The woman miraculously made it back to shore, but her fiancé remains missing. ...

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Introduction

For Detective Ebony Jones, crime is always personal. But this time, it strikes too close to home.

A pop-up thunderstorm marched its way across the Hudson River, ambushing a young couple's kayaking trip. The woman miraculously made it back to shore, but her fiancé remains missing. Ebony and her partner are the first responders who rush to the river to assist in rescuing the capsized boater.

The victim's identity shocks Ebony to the core. Kyle Emory, the ex-boyfriend of her estranged best friend, attorney Jessie Martin, is the man who never made it out of the water. The accident ignites a firestorm between the two friends, pitting them against each other in a race to discover whether Kyle survived or whether he met his untimely demise. Under pressure from the chief and the DA, Ebony needs to solve the mystery, while Jessie seeks justice for the sake of the daughter she shares with Kyle.

The investigation leads them through the dark worlds of social media, online sports betting, and extreme sports. Along the way, they uncover lies and betrayals, and gather a list of dangerous suspects who are all linked to the accident survivor, Kyle's mysterious fiancée. Even more, the discovery that Kyle possessed his own life-shattering secrets has trapped Ebony between her career and her lifelong friendship with Jessie. Yet neither Ebony nor Jessie will stop until they discover the truth about the drowning. Even if it destroys their friendship and their lives.

But the evidence is as murky as the secretive Hudson River. Only the river knows whether Kyle's tragic death was an accident, a suicide, or something more sinister.

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Excerpt

Chapter One

Detective Ebony Jones felt as though she was toting around a thousand-pound weight, which grew heavier and more torturous with each step. Her cargo, a petite one-year-old, nestled her dark curly head against Ebony’s shoulder and wriggled on Ebony’s bum left hip, the one with the .38 caliber bullet fragments lodged in it. Even the slightest pressure from the child’s body sent relentless jolts of electricity sizzling down her leg. Between the squirmy kid and the merciless pain, Ebony’s trek up the sidewalk was a living hell. And the situation was about to get worse. Much, much worse. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the author:

1. In THE EMPTY KAYAK, we are introduced to new characters like District Attorney Cindie Tarrico and Carly Jones, the Medical Examiner, who is the younger sister of the protagonist Ebony Jones. Discuss the Sibling Rivalry between the two Jones women, and the new District Attorney.

2. Olivia Vargas is a social media influencer. Discuss Olivia and why you think she is drawn to social media.

3. This is the third installment in The Queen City Crimes series, which is inspired by notorious true crimes occurring the Hudson Valley. Discuss the true crime – The alleged murder of Vincent Viafore by Angelika Graswald and its similarities to THE EMPTY KAYAK.

4. Jessie Martin and her ex, Kyle Emory, have been separated for a while. Why is she so invested in discovering whether his drowning was an accident, suicide or murder?

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