The Preach Everson Novels

For fans of traditional noir mysteries and police procedurals. Join soul-searching detective Joe “Preach” Everson and bibliophile attorney Ariana Hale as they investigate murders in a southern town “dripping with atmosphere.”

5/5 … This smart mystery by Layton Green [is] a real page turner.
San Francisco Book Review
Dostoevsky and Poe would be proud.
Knoxville News Sentinel
Written with profound elegance.
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, starred review
A page-turner.
Publishers Weekly
Smart, tense, and mystifying … one of the best new mysteries I’ve read this year.
—Critical Mass Blogspot

Written in Blood

Book One

Detective Joe “Preach” Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children.

No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina–a bohemian community near Chapel Hill–than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer’s community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed–and that one or both of them may be his next target.

A Shattered Lens

Book Two

A detective investigates the murder of a teenage golden boy that has rocked a small town—and the chief suspect is the victim’s mother.

Annalise Stephens Blue has plans to become a world-famous filmmaker. As she begins filming an exposé of her small town called Night Lives, she uncovers more than she bargained for: on the very first night of filming, she stumbles upon a murder in the woods, and flees the scene steps ahead of the killer.

Detective Joe “Preach” Everson is called to investigate. The victim, David Stratton, is the town’s golden boy and high school quarterback. A modern version of what Preach used to be. Not only that, the boy’s mother is Claire Lourdis, a beautiful divorcée who Preach fell for in high school—as well as the main suspect in her son’s murder.

As Preach delves into the secrets lurking beneath the surface of the town and searches for the missing girl who may have witnessed the crime, he must put his own feelings aside and pursue the answer to a terrible question: is a mother capable of murdering her own child?

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