Smoke curls from what’s left of the beautiful family home on the edge of the woods. The heat is unbearable as she descends the stairs to the basement, past a set of bicycles––two big, one small. That’s when she sees three little white bones in the cracked earth at her feet, turning her blood to ice…
When firefighters tackling a blazing house in a quiet suburb of Pine Valley, California discover human remains, Detective Katie Scott races to 717 Maple Street. She calls a halt to the excavations the moment she sees the full number and size of the bones; someone has buried a whole family down here.
Working night and day, it’s up to Katie to prove her theory that the fire was no accident, that someone wanted to expose the secret in the basement. Tiny traces of explosives residue found at the scene is all the proof she needs. But the Cross family have been missing for months––leaving friends and loved ones in agonizing pain––what twisted soul would do this now? And why?
The case takes another heart-shattering turn when Katie’s suspicions over recent renovation work on the house leads to the discovery of more bodies in the back yard: two little girls, buried years apart. What other devastating secrets are hidden in this perfect family home?
It’s a dead end at every turn as Katie tracks down anyone who knew the family. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, reports of the Cross’s landlord harassing the family before they went missing gives Katie a crucial lead. With a menacing grey sedan following her every move, how many more innocent lives will be lost before Katie can dig up the truth?
Read on for an interview with Jennifer Chase, author of Three Small Bones.
S.R.: Three Small Bones is book 8 in your Detective Katie Scott series. What inspired you to write this series?
J.C.: My interest in criminology and cold cases has really inspired me to write a series with a cold case detective. Profiling crime scenes and assessing behavioral evidence is fascinating. And with my love of the military K9s, I decided to make Detective Katie Scott a veteran that was part of a military working dog team. It inspires me to be able to incorporate all of these things in the series.
S.R.: You’re a consulting criminologist. How does that influence your writing?
J.C.: With my studies and working knowledge, criminology absolutely influences my writing. Everything that I have learned along with actual cases makes me want to make fictional cases in my series more interesting and having a ring of truth to them. I want readers to get a sense of what working cold cases would be like and to try and guess the killer.
S.R.: What’s your process for writing a series? Any tips you want to share?
J.C.: It can be challenging writing a series. You must be constantly aware of bringing new things about the main characters to life and not making any single book seem like a formula. I outline my stories and look ahead to make sure that I’m driving the stories forward with different cases and personal stories. I’m a firm believer of outlining—not an extensive one—but rather, have a roadmap of your series as well as individual books. It will save you time and frustration.
S.R.: What do you hope readers take away from Three Small Bones?
J.C.: It’s always my hope that readers are taken on an adventure to be taken out of the stresses of the day to enjoy a crime thriller. Three Small Bones takes the reader inside a cold case of new bodies and a twenty year old one—as the killer begins to stalk anyone related to the investigation.
S.R.: What are you working on next?
J.C.: I’m hard at work on the next Detective Katie Scott Series. Writing new adventures and creating new crime scenes for a cold case detective to solve. There will be some exciting stories ahead.
Thank you for having me!
Purchase your copy of Three Small Bones here.
Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today Best Selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.
Her latest book is the crime thriller, Three Small Bones.You can visit her website at authorjenniferchase.com or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.