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Beneath Blackwater River

A totally gripping, addictive and heart-pounding crime thriller

Leslie Wolfe

Books by Leslie Wolfe

Detective kay sharp series

1. The Girl From Silent Lake

2. Beneath Blackwater River

Tess winnett series

Dawn Girl

The Watson Girl

Glimpse of Death

Taker of Lives

Not Really Dead

Girl With A Rose

Mile High Death

Baxter & holt series

Las Vegas Girl

Casino Girl

Las Vegas Crime

Standalone titles

Stories Untold

Love, Lies and Murder

Alex hoffmann series


Devil’s Move

The Backup Asset

The Ghost Pattern

Operation Sunset



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Hear more about the Detective Kay Sharp series

Books by Leslie Wolfe

The Girl from Silent Lake

A Letter from Leslie


A special thank you to my New York City legal eagle and friend, Mark Freyberg, who expertly guided this author through the intricacies of the judicial system.


Malia wore a flower in her hair.

Not just any kind of flower; she’d gone through online shopping hell to get the plumeria blossom delivered to the hotel that morning, just in time for her planned trip to Blackwater River Falls. She’d paid a fortune for it, worth every cent.

She wore the scented bloom over her left ear, a Hawaiian custom that told the entire world her heart was taken. By a twenty-seven-year-old, good-looking, and slightly awkward computer nerd from San Francisco named Tobias Grabowsky, who’d probably miss the symbolic meaning of the plumeria, and that was if he even noticed it in the first place.

She didn’t care. She still wanted the flower to be just right, her hair perfectly shiny, the scent of the petals surrounding her like a mist from heaven, bringer of love and good fortune. But she wished she could’ve worn something else for that special occasion. She cringed at the thought of being proposed to in cream-colored stretch shorts and a red tank top instead of a breezy, white, ruffled gown that bared her shoulders. But if Toby wanted to take her to Blackwater River Falls that morning, she had to pretend she didn’t know why and wear the appropriate attire for hiking.

But she knew, and the excitement had overwhelmed her since she’d first found the diamond ring in his jacket pocket.

She’d been worried about his strange behavior the night they’d arrived in Mount Chester. Soon after dinner, expertly served by a blond with cleavage so deep it should’ve been restricted to adult audiences only, she’d noticed that Toby kept touching his right pocket as if to make sure something precious was still in there, tucked safely. That pocket was where he’d shoved the change and check from dinner, and Malia feared that Miss Cleavage might’ve sneaked in her phone number. Anxious for the rest of the evening, Malia could barely wait to get back to their hotel room. There, she lingered with the patience of a hungry spider for Toby to get into the shower, then plunged her hand into the pocket and found it.

That 1-carat beauty was definitely not for Miss Boobs.

Before Toby had come out of the shower, she had her plan in place. She’d make sure it was one to remember, and even if she had to wear shorts, at least everything else would be perfect.

Blackwater River Falls was a one-hour hike from their hotel, climbing at a gentle rate on the western versant of Mount Chester through a stunningly beautiful, fall-tinged forest. As they gained elevation, oaks and maples gave way to a variety of pines and firs, their cones littering the paths. They held hands and hiked with enthusiasm, her impatience causing Toby to ask, “Why the rush?” a couple of times. She’d just smiled in response and slowed down a little, even stopped to press her lips against his for a quick moment, before rushing uphill again.

They were a good ten minutes away when the whooshing sound of the falls started to be heard, faint and distant, yet precise, melodious, echoing against the rocky slopes of the mountain.

“I can see it,” Malia announced cheerfully, letting go of Toby’s hand and sprinting ahead. “We’re there.”

“All right,” Toby replied, panting heavily. “It will still be there in a few minutes, you know,” he quipped, stopping for a moment and looking around.

She rushed back to him and grabbed his hand, then pulled him ahead on the trail.

“Come on, you’ll rest when we get there,” she said, and he followed her with a resigned sigh. “You need to work out more,” she added. She was barely out of breath, the fresh air filling her lungs with pure energy. “All day long you sit in front of a screen,” she started, then bit her lip. Maybe she should wait until after the wedding to start criticizing him. She burst into laughter instead, imagining herself as a nagging wife, hands propped on her hips, tapping the tip of her slipper against the gleaming hardwood floors in their future home.

“What?” he asked.

“Ah, nothing, I’m just happy,” she replied, lifting her arms in the air and turning in place like a dervish. “Whoo-hoo,” she cried, and the mountain promptly echoed back. “Did you hear it?”

“Yeah, and so did half the state of California.”

A punch to his side was quick to follow, and she burst into crystalline laughter as he feigned injury and collapsed to the ground, holding his side and groaning as if he were about to die a wretched death. Now he would have dirt and pine needles on the white T-shirt he was going to propose in, but she didn’t care as much as she thought she would. She just loved hearing him laugh.

When he stood, he touched his pocket briefly, and then brushed some dirt off his shoulders. She ran her hands over his back, wiping away whatever stuck to the cotton fabric,

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