A Zoe Chambers Mystery
by Annette Dashofy
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Pub Date 09 May 2023 | Archive Date 01 Aug 2023
Level Best Books, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
As a massive weather system barrels toward them, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams and his wife, County Coroner Zoe Chambers-Adams, soon learn how unprepared they really are. A 911 call reports a dead young mother, her critically injured husband, and their missing seven-year-old daughter. Pete and Zoe realize that as the storm moved north from Louisiana, a mysterious killer came with it.
The wounded and trapped father is Zoe’s friend and blacksmith, and he asks her to stay with him during the rescue efforts. Pete encourages her to oblige, hoping she can uncover clues that might help the investigation. But as attempts to free the victim fail and his condition worsens, Zoe’s questions reveal he doesn’t know why his family was targeted and child kidnapped. Yet he stays alive, hoping for one last glimpse of his little girl.
Pursuing the murderer and the kidnapped child, Pete and his officers battle downed trees, massive flooding, and a widespread loss of communications. They’re isolated with no backup, while facing rising water and impassable roads. The killer faces the same problems, yet somehow stays one step ahead of law enforcement. But he is becoming desperate, and more people are dying because of it.
As two lives hang in the balance, can Pete win the race against time and weather to stop a savage and cunning predator? And will he and Zoe be able to reunite a family before it’s too late?
A Note From the Publisher
“Every so often I pick up a novel that is so good I cannot put it down. Annette Dashofy’s Helpless is one of those. The latest installment of the Agatha nominated Zoe Chambers mysteries features a murdered mother, a missing child, and a ticking clock. And with multiple lives hanging in the balance, it’s all hands on deck. Cinematic, tense, and unrelenting, Helpless had me hooked from the opening scene. Exceptional!”
— Bruce Robert Coffin, award-winning author of the Detective Byron Mysteries
“In HELPLESS, Annette Dashofy exceeds her already high bar for fast-paced suspense and emotionally rich storytelling. You'll be both breathless and helpless to stop reading this taut tale of deceit and rescue, of desperation and love. Zoe and Pete bring all their investigatory skills to bear as the clock ticks down on an abducted child and her dying father in another must-read page turner from a master”
— Edith Maxwell, Agatha-award winning author of A QUESTIONABLE DEATH AND OTHER QUAKER MIDWIFE MYSTERIES