Word Count: 77,000
Two years after their 15-year-old daughter Eliza is killed in a hit-and-run accident on Thanksgiving night, Martin and Abby Anderson are still struggling to move on. Martin, a successful hospital marketing executive, lies awake most nights and Abby, a first grade teacher, takes a “pill bottle full of happiness” each day, just to keep her cool.
One fall afternoon, Martin finds a broken necklace lodged beneath the passenger seat of his car. It’s the cheap but well-loved, glittery teal necklace that Eliza rarely took off—the same one she was seen wearing that fateful night that she slathered on mascara in the dark, pulled on her lowest cut tank top and snuck out of her parents’ suburban Chicago home. The necklace was never recovered from the accident scene. So how exactly did it end up in Martin’s car?
The car never left his driveway that night—right?
All of Martin’s houseguests were asleep in their beds at the time of the accident—right?
Every single one of them was completely shocked to learn that Eliza had quietly snuck out of the house and been killed on the way home.
TEAL is a suspense novel about a small clue that changes everything, a man’s increasingly obsessive search for the truth surrounding his daughter’s death, the cop that is watching his every move and the unexpected price of buried family secrets.
Besides writing mystery novels, I am a professional writer who has been published in a variety of news outlets, including Newsweek, WGNTV.com and Business 2.0. I hold a B.S. in journalism and an M.A. in communications. I spend my days as a marketing writer for a nonprofit community-based hospital, and my evenings either writing fiction or watching old mysteries on Netflix.
The thing about Eliza Anderson was that she wasn’t the type of girl anyone would expect to sneak out of her house in the middle of the night.
That was because she simply wasn’t “that” kind of girl, many would later argue. Eliza was more books and brains than boys and booze.
So the night that she finally chose to sneak out—clad in a short black miniskirt she’d borrowed from her best friend Sarah and a face full of makeup that did very little to hide the fact that she was still only 15-years-old—was a rare, solitary night of peer pressure-fueled teenage rebellion which nobody could have expected.
Which seemed to make her death all the more tragic.
Martin Anderson woke up to the sound of his doorbell ringing at exactly 3:01 that morning, and like any father, he knew immediately that something was wrong.
He struggled to gain his bearings as he reached toward the nightstand in the dark room, untangling himself from the onslaught of his wife’s arms and legs.
He flicked on the lamp and paused, his body partially lifted from the bed as he listened out for the bell again. Maybe he’d just dreamt it.
But his wife, Abby, had also woken up. “What was that?” she asked.
“I don’t know.”
Martin looked down at his wife. Her brown hair tumbled messily around her face, and her tired expression reminded him of when they were younger—back when they used to fall asleep at 3 in the morning…