In Deadly Stakes, police academy-trained former reporter Ali Reynolds is contacted to investigate the grisly murder of a gold-digging divorcee on behalf of a woman accused of the crime. Lynn Martinson is dating the dead woman’s ex-husband, and she and her boyfriend Chip Ralston have been charged.
Ali is simultaneously drawn to the case of A.J. Sanders, a frightened teen with secrets of his own. He’s the first to find the body in the Camp Verde desert when he goes to retrieve a mysterious buried box hidden by his absent father—a box that turns out to be filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in poker chips.
When the body of an ex-con is discovered near the first crime scene, Ali struggles to determine if A.J. and Lynn’s cases are related. Though her friends in the police department grow increasingly irritated by her involvement with the cases, Ali must stop a deadly killer from claiming another victim…before she herself is lost in this game of deadly stakes.
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Even for June, it was ungodly hot as Gemma Ralston pulled into a nearly deserted parking lot and slid her Mercedes SLK into a spot just in front of the brick-and-mortar offices of Video-Glam. Despite the name, Video-Glam appeared to be anything but glamorous. The office was located in a mostly dead and partly repurposed strip mall at Indian School and Forty-third Avenue. Video-Glam occupied a single storefront at one end of the complex. At the other end, two units had been combined to serve as a Spanish-language Baptist church. In between were three empty units, their boarded-up windows a colorful catalog of...see more
Several miles across town, Ali Reynolds sighed and looked at her watch. She had known when she had agreed to do the shoot at the Phoenix FOX affiliate that it would be the same day and time that her mother, Edie Larson, would be speaking before a luncheon meeting of local Sedona Rotarians as part of her run for mayor. Edie had done a number of informal coffee-hour appearances, but this would be her first major speaking engagement, one in which she would be going head to head with her thirtysomething opponent. As Edie’s campaign manager, Ali felt she needed to be there to handle the background issues and put out...see more
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Reading Group Guide
When Lynn Martinson and her boyfriend Chip Ralston are arrested for the murders of Chip’s gold-digging ex-wife, Ali Reynolds is contacted to clear two innocent names. As a former reporter with police academy training, Ali is more than equipped to unearth the facts that underpin the increasingly complex case, especially with her connections in and outside of the police force. But danger may be closer than she thinks—and the cost of her involvement with the case could be deadly.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1.In Deadly Stakes, Ali has to trust her gut instincts in order to untangle the tangle of lies that surround Gemma Ralston and James Sanders’s murders. For instance, Ali has met Lynn Martinson only once before, but she feels convinced of her innocence. What were your initial impressions of Lynn Martinson? Molly Handraker? A.J. Sanders? How accurate were your first judgments, and how did they change throughout the book?
2.Why do you think that Ali is so hesitan see more