Diane combines her love of
mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction.
Besides the science fiction romance
Switched and Outer Rim series,
she is the author of One Red Shoe, a
romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a
contributor to two anthologies: Portals,
Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband.
Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five
When I started working as an office temp, I had great Word
skills—thanks to being a writer for many years. Excel, not so much. But I
wasn’t afraid to ask for help. A co-worker said, “Ask Dan in Accounting.” Best
advice I ever got. When I called him, he came down and showed me how to do
whatever it was I needed. Writers are told show don’t tell. It’s how I learn
best, too, so I especially appreciated Dan’s “show not tell” assistance. After
that, whenever I couldn’t figure out what to do in Excel, I called Dan.
Most people where I worked knew I was a writer. One time,
Dan asked about my current project. I said it was about an accountant. He was
thrilled until I said I killed him off in the first chapter. Then I hastened to
assure him that the accountant influenced the whole story. Figuring out the who
and why of his death is the main character’s goal.
Why feature an accountant? Although they play a necessary
role in any business, let’s face it, working with numbers all day isn’t that
exciting. Being a forensic accountant is. They are investigators. Their job is
to search for inaccuracies (especially, those done deliberately), ferret out clues,
and provide an accounting analysis used in a court proceeding. Some examples
would be a marital dispute (divorce), employee theft, securities fraud, insurance
fraud, money laundering, and other criminal investigations.
Jack Sinclair, in Numbers Never Lie
, is an accountant.
Unbeknownst to his sister or Ben, his business partner, Jack’s been working on
his Master’s degree in Forensic Accounting. When Ben is sidelined by a
motorcycle accident, Jack adds Ben’s duties to his own. As he performs an
annual audit of Ben’s client, Jack’s natural curiosity is piqued. To paraphrase
Shakespeare, “Something’s rotten in west Michigan.”
According to his best friend, Drew Campbell, Jack’s a
terrier. Once he latches onto something, he doesn’t let go. His best qualities
are his inquisitiveness and persistence. He’s so detail oriented, he wrote a
book on operational information for the sound system he gave his sister Maggie.
His best, though sometimes irritating, characteristics make Jack a perfect
candidate for a forensic accountant.
Those characteristics could also get him killed. Or maybe
his car going over a guardrail was really an accident, just like the police said.
shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.
they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack's an accountant; Drew, a
lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Upon returning from a weekend
camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her
brother Jack’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t
investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only
Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to
attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in
touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that--an
accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if
he thinks she’s wrong.
break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is
searched. What did Jack do that puts Maggie in danger??
laptop case/briefcase over his shoulder, Jack checked the room assigned to him
for the audit to make sure he hadn’t left anything out. He shut off the lights
and locked the door behind him. He still had much to do. Sure, Ben said he
would finish the audit. That wasn’t the way Jack worked. When he started
something, he always finished.
late, arncha, Mr. Sinclair?”
looked over his shoulder.
leaned on his mop. “It’s after midnight.”
“No rest for
the weary, Max.” Jack pocketed his keys.
“You be careful
going home, Mr. Sinclair. Fog was rollin’ in off the lake when me and the
missus drove in to work.”
“Thanks for the
heads-up.” Jack saluted the affable worker and headed down the hall. The doors
to the other offices were closed. Only the cleaning crew remained.
wife, stopped dusting the receptionist’s desk. “’Night, Mr. Sinclair. You best
be careful. Noticed you parked all the way down at the end of the parking lot.
The light there is out. Saw that when we came in. The company that takes care
of our lights won’t come out ‘til Monday. You want Max to get a flashlight and
walk out with you so’s you can find your car? What with the fog and all?”
himself to smile. In the five days he’d been auditing the books at the manufacturing
plant near Muskegon, he often worked so late that he ran into the older couple.
“I’ll be fine.”
You be careful, now. Ya hear?”
Even before he
pushed open the heavy glass door, he saw that Max and Hazel were right. The
solitary light at this end of the parking lot barely penetrated the fog. Maybe
he should have taken Hazel up on the offer of a flashlight. He wasn’t worried
about finding the Blazer in this pea soup. It would be a wonder he didn’t trip
on the curbs.
on his cell phone. Duh.
thought of that. Jack clicked it on, but it only shone a foot or so in front of
He heard a soft
skitter near the dumpster. Rats? He shuddered and clicked his remote. From
fifteen feet away, his head- and taillights barely penetrated the mist.
It would be a
slow drive back to Grand Rapids. He should get a motel room for the night.
Finding a vacancy anywhere along the Lake Michigan shoreline would be next to
impossible in the summer and even more so late on a Friday night.
belief, he dragged himself to his car. He needed to return tomorrow—make that
later today. He had to do more digging in the company’s files. He couldn’t
believe what he’d discovered so far. This went way beyond anything he imagined.
Startled by the
familiar voice, he dropped the keys. His phone slipped out of his fingers and
skidded away. The fog gobbled up the light, and he lost sight of it. He peered
in the direction of the sound. The figure stepped away from the dumpster’s
Numbers Never Lie
is available for pre-order at Amazon
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