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The Latest from Catherine Finger

Anchored by Death

Available: June 1, 2017

Series: Jo Oliver Thriller, #3

Page Count: 240

ISBN: 978-1946638113

A Dead Body, A Cryptic Clue—Will Jo Oliver Solve the Riddle in Time?

Police Chief Jo Oliver needed a little time to herself. But when her escape to Wisconsin turns deadly, she teams up with FBI agent Nick Vitarello, hoping to catch the Bow Tie Killer. Their romantic past and complicated present leads them into uncharted territory as they match wits with a psychopath bent on destroying everything they hold dear.

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Anchored by Death Excerpt

Chapter 26

“Okay, Bhatt. We’re lowering the kayak into the water, and I’ll turn it around so you can get in easier as I walk into the river. You’re going to wait until most of it is in the water. I’ll keep her steady and wait for you.”

Bhatt nodded grimly. Quinn was already afloat.

I winked at her, faced the river, and strode quickly into the swirling waters, bracing myself for the frigid reception. It didn’t help. Icy fingers of water tore at my clothing and soaked my bandages. I gasped, letting the shocking waves roll over my legs. Everything was playing out as planned, up until the point where Bhatt was supposed to follow me into the river. I faced her, holding the bucking kayak in place, and beckoned her in.

Her eyes were rimmed with white, and for a moment, I was sure she’d bolt. She swallowed, looking at me like a terrified fawn.

“Move, woman! One foot in front of the other.” I shoved the kayak as close to the bank as I could, edging it onto the sand. “You don’t even have to get in the water. Just get in. I’ll do the heavy lifting from back here. Move to the side of the kayak, put your butt in the seat, and pull your legs in.”

What her wooden movements lacked in grace, they made up for in speed. She was in her seat before I could worry about her. I jumped into mine, glad to get my legs into the relative warmth of the air.

I jabbed my paddle into the river, pulling us around to follow Quinn, who bobbed in the distance. “Just like I told you on land. One smooth stroke down through the water on one side, lift it up, and do the same on the other side. I’ll talk you through it and do all the steering.”

Bhatt’s back was rigid, making her movements in and out of the water stiff and her shallow paddling as much a hindrance as a help. I countered her jerky movements with my own strong, smooth, deep strokes, muscle memory kicking in as my wounds shouted out, alternating on either side of the kayak.

A gray shape jutted out of the water, fifty feet ahead of her. “Bhatt! Paddle left. Left! The other left!”

I stuck my paddle deep into the water on the right side of the boat and kept it there, counting on her frantic paddling to help swing us around. Seconds later, the big river rock sailed past on our right. I exhaled, long and loud, and kept paddling.

“Why did you not tell me about the rocks?” Bhatt’s accent sharpened as she paddled.

“You can go back to alternating sides with the paddle now. And slow your roll. Paddle smooth and steady.” I looked upriver at Quinn, bent over his cell phone, frantically poking at the screen, as I steadied our little craft. What had he learned?

Bhatt would paddle once, maybe twice, then her fear would crawl up her spine, causing her weight to shift and the kayak to move with her. Her panic was endangering us both. I had to talk her off the ledge, or she’d put us both in the water—maybe worse.

“Listen, Bhatt, Lisa, you got this. Just relax, breathe, and slowly paddle on one side of the kayak, and then the other. It’s easy.”

“I do not have this, Chief.” She kept her frantic paddling up.

Another large rock appeared on our right, less than thirty feet ahead. “Bhatt. Relax. Put your paddle on the right side of the kayak, and paddle faster.”

She looked up. And panicked. She jumped out of her seat like a cat, landing too far to the left.

“Bhatt! Stop it! Calm down!” My shouting only panicked her more. Time to try a different approach.

She looked back at me, terrified. “Do you have any more fine advice?”

“Yeah. Not sure how all this works on your side of the ocean and all, but feel free to start praying, fasting, and maybe sacrificing small woodland animals at any time.”

“You are a cretin!”

“Yeah, I get that a lot.”

I opened my mouth to tell her how to steer away from the rocks, when she screamed and leaned her weight too far to the right.

“Relax, Bhatt. We got this.” I spoke in low tones, trying to calm the wild animal that had been unleashed inside her. And then I saw what she saw—five feet of glistening charcoal shale jutted up in front of the kayak, slightly to our right.

“Hard right! Paddle hard right!” I jabbed my paddle into the swirling waters trying to steer us away from the rocks. For a moment, I thought we might sneak past it.

But I couldn’t control Bhatt. She panicked again, overcorrected, lost her balance, flew to the right of the kayak, then leaped back to the left. The kayak bucked and shifted. The rocks moved toward us at the speed of sound, and we crashed right into the hulking mass of rock.

The hull of the kayak moaned and split open. Water rushed in, covering Bhatt’s feet, her legs. I was about to tell her how to lower herself safely into the rapids, when a wall of water slammed into us from the side, pushing us into the middle of a wild caldron of churning waters.

My head snapped to the left and back again, hard. Cracking sounds reverberated up and down my neck. Was it broken? My end of the kayak slammed into another rocky outcropping. Pain shot through my shoulder, and then my head followed the movement, smacking hard against the rocks. An image of Bhatt throwing her paddle into the air and jumping into the foaming waters was the last thing I saw before everything went black.


Praise for Catherine Finger

Reviews are in and people are raving about Jo Oliver!

  • “Catherine Finger has done it again. In this next installment of the Jo Oliver Thriller, Anchored by Death, Ms. Finger paints a picture so vivid, so real, you won’t believe you’re not in the Midwest. The issues Jo Oliver muse face are raw and real, but not too much for a great God to overcome. Hang onto your seat and enjoy the read!”Toni Shilohauthor of Buying Love
  • Author Catherine Finger is at her best in book 3 of the Jo Oliver thriller series. Murder, non-stop action, and a satisfying ending. Anchored by Death has all the twists and turns you’ve come to expect from this superb writer.William NikkelAmazon bestselling author of the Jack Ferrell Adventure series
  • In Catherine Finger's latest installment in the Jo Oliver Thrillers, a string of murders in Wisconsin involving victims from Illinois at first suggests some sort of “redneck rivalry,” but to readers’ delight, ends up being so much more. Faithful, funny, and fearless, Josie tackles the mess that is her personal life with the same no nonsense approach she brings to her work as Police Chief. She bakes a flourless chocolate cake in the morning, hunts a murderer in the afternoon, and mends a broken relationship in the evening, all in a day’s work for Fingers’ straight-shooting heroine.Kelly OliverAward Winning author of The Jessica James Mysteries
  • A great 5-star read. So good, I read it in two sittings.Randy Trampvoracious reader, frequent blogger, avid book reviewer
  • An awesome thriller! Finger kept me guessing 'til the end. Loved the characters--they seemed so real.Wilani Wahibook lover, prolific reviewer
  • A modern day 10 Little Indians by Agatha Christie, Shattered by Death is a rollercoaster of twists and turns that will lead you to a heart-stopping end. Catherine Finger is proving to be an author to note as up and coming.Sandra Brannanauthor of the Liv Bergen Suspense Series
  • Shattered by Death captivated me from page one! Finger weaves together a page turning novel that follows Detective Josie's path on a chilling murder mystery where Josie quickly becomes one of the main suspects that jeopardizes her path to adoptive motherhood. As a forensics expert and crime drama writer, I found Finger's investigative details accurate and entertaining! Elegant, intriguing and suspenseful storytelling. Settle in with cup of coffee and enjoy this ride!Jennifer Dornbushscreenwriter, speaker, forensics maven, and author: Forensic Speak: How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas
  • In Shattered by Death, Catherine Finger takes us on a page-turning tale that keeps us riveted from beginning to end. With a crisp, clean writing style, Finger has crafted characters that stay with us long after we’ve finished the book. I can’t wait for another release from this stellar author, who has just joined my favorite writers’ list.Kathi Maciasauthor of more than fifty books, including Golden Scrolls 2011 Novel of the Year, Red Ink.
  • Coming from a law enforcement family, I especially enjoyed Shattered By Death. But anyone and everyone would love this intense, suspenseful novel that pulls you in from the very beginning and keeps you enthralled until the last word. I’m so glad this is part of a series. I’m hooked!”Kathy Collard Millerspeaker and author of many books including Never Ever Be the Same
  • This skillfully crafted suspense story of a police chief tracking a serial killer will have you on the edge of your seat. Readers will root for Josie as she struggles to do the right thing, not only in her relationships, but as she searches for answers about God. Catherine Finger has crafted a feisty heroine in Chief Josie Oliver as well as a cast of fascinating support characters. Looking forward to Catherine's next book in the series.Patricia Bradleyaward winning author of Shadows of the Past
  • Move over Kinsey Malone, Josie is in the house! This police chief is not only a local leader, but respected throughout her community of coworkers, friends and good neighbors. She manages to overcome personal challenges while still putting the bad guy behind bars and reconciling her relationship with 'the magnificent being.' Elizabeth Martin StearnsWaukegan Public Library
  • As a pastor, I rarely see characters in books or on screen who wrestle with God in a way that feels like what I see every day. Cleansed by Death is the rare exception, a world where spirituality is real but not easy, where the tragedies and triumphs of life work together to form a cohesive whole. I recommend it to anyone who has wrestled with God... and loves a good mystery!Gary RicciPastor of New Hope Christian Community Church in Round Lake Heights, IL
  • This Glock-toting, heel-wearing, justice-driven heroine in Cleansed by Death had me from the start. Unrelenting action and witty dialogue kept me loving this ride-along, until the very last page. A must-read.Joseph SugarmanChairman of Blublocker Sunglass Corporation --Early Reviewers