That’s the opening to my short story, The Second Shot, part of the anthology BETRAYED, releasing in ebook next week. My heroine, seventeen-year-old Regan Adderly, has just been found guilty of murdering her abusive father. But it’s really the end. Or is it?
From this scene, the story travels backward through four days of the trial, from the perspectives of others who were connected to the crime: the cop who arrested Regan on the night of the murder; Regan’s dependent, drug-addicted mother; her desperate little brother; and her conniving older boyfriend. It ends a year earlier, back in Regan’s perspective, with the actual crime. Along the way, the story weaves through the hours and leading up to the shooting, and asks the question: who fired the shot that killed Maxwell Adderly?
With most mysteries, part of the joy is following alongside the protagonist, trying to figure out who did it, how and why – and then catch them. It was a lot of fun to turn this idea on its head, beginning with the guilty party already caught and tried, and then leading readers on a journey to determine if the verdict was right – and deserved.
Besides the fun (and challenge) of writing this story backward, I’m thrilled that it’s part of a larger anthology focusing on crime survivors. Betrayed contains twenty-one crime thrillers (including a bonus novella from New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan) that ask: What happens when the person you trust the most betrays you? All the proceeds from the anthology will go toward organizations that support survivors of domestic violence.
You can learn more about BETRAYED here.