The Devil’s Trilogy

The Devil Inside Me–Book One

A purported descendant of H.H. Holmes resurrects his legacy. The murderer has no desire to hide the macabre deeds like his (or her?) serial-killing ancestor and is more concerned about bringing the fame and glory of Holmes back to the Windy City. With little evidence to go on, Detective Delaney Dunleavy must rely on her intuition to solve the crime–until she realizes she has become part of the killer’s plan.

Excerpt from The Devil Inside Me:

He was a tall man who looked even taller, cloaked as he was in a long, black duster. He dug in his heels as he took the last two steps to the top of the hill. It was a relaxing view, overlooking the long-abandoned Jirst saw mill, headstones dotting the land. His eyes honed directly onto one nearby. Taking a few strides, he stopped. He stood in the cold, the mist seemingly suspended mid-air, staring at the centuries-old carved headstone. He gazed longingly at the grave, cementing, in his own dark mind, his own dark lineage.

This was it. His life. His liberation. His legacy.

From his stance on the hill, Ephraim Trueworthy Hawthorne surveyed his surroundings. The Gilmanton cemetery was a repository for generations of Hawthornes, some of whom likely died at the hands of a blood relative. He could feel that blood running through his veins. He could feel his blood running through his veins. His legacy. And he was going to recreate that legacy.

The Devil Before Me–Book Two

As a research psychologist delves into family traumas and their effect on the brain, she finds more than what she had prepared herself for. Her infamous family history drives her to discover a reason behind the murderous members of H.H. Holmes’ family tree.

Excerpt from The Devil Before Me:

Sarah Simpson and Penelope Kenny’s executions were scheduled for December 27, 1739, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; that is, until a moment of weakness overcame the jailer, and Penelope quietly disclosed that she was with child. Given the circumstances, there was no way Judge Nicholas Clark would pardon her to raise her child–the thought was laughable–but he certainly couldn’t condemn an unborn child to the same fate of its mother. So, on Christmas Day of 1739, Judge Clark gave Penelope Kenny a stay of execution, enacted only to last through the date of the child’s birth.

Just before midnight on May 16, 1740, a tiny, mewling baby girl was born. Four hours later, her mother was executed.

The Devil Beside Me–Book Three

On the surface, the childhood of H.W. Mudgett was an idyllic one. His family, related directly to the original settlers of Gilmanton, New Hampshire, maintained the power and status their ancestors had passed down to them in the sleepy milltown, even through 1861, when H.W. was born. However, something must have happened to little H.W. to turn him from a potentially indomitable community member into the exacting serial killer, H.H. Holmes.

Excerpt from The Devil Beside Me:

The overwhelming smell of the stockyards wafted through the upstairs room of the squalid tenement house. It was particularly pungent that July afternoon, thanks to the extreme heat wave Chicago had been sweltering through for over a week. H.W. Mudgett sat in a caned chair, facing the open window and smiling while the curtains blew in the heady, humid breeze. He enjoyed–no, he craved–the smell. Many evenings he walked through the neighborhood, soaking in the scent of death. It reminded him of pleasant moments from his childhood.