Finally locating the switch, I flooded the area
The letters 'NARC' had been spray painted in red across
the entire back wall. Looking down I realized that the
thing I'd tripped over was the arm of a body lying
prostrate on the floor.
I recognized those clothes. It was Kris! Bending down I
watched carefully and saw her chest rise and fall. Good!
She was alive but unconscious. I needed to get to a
"What's this?" Turning I saw an ashen Mr. Eckhart
running down the stairs.
"Quick, call 911."
I didn't have to ask twice before he grabbed his cell
phone out of his belt and made the call. Sitting down on
the bottom step, he put his head in his hands.
"Not again," he muttered.
Shaken I continued doing first aid, laying my sweater
over Kris to keep her warm and counting the seconds
until the medics arrived. I was afraid to move her even
an inch in case her spine or neck was broken.
Not again is right! And the words narc meant that
someone had blown her cover. Hearing sirens and
realizing that Mr. Eckhart was not in good shape to
help, I raced up the stairs to direct everyone.
Al rushed in the door, followed by John. Briefly
explaining things, Al held me back to make room for the
paramedics who also arrived.
"Don't anyone touch anything." He glared at me. "This
is a crime scene."
can be deadly. Sometimes survival depends on the ability to see beyond
appearances to reality.
Suzanne Hurley explores this idea in her new romantic
mystery, DELUSIONS (Wings e-Press, October, 2008).
DELUSIONS is a bittersweet tale of teen angst and
tragedy, of a murder-minded drug dealer roaming the
halls of a small rural high school, and of benign faces hiding their true
natures behind masks.
It's another adventure for Samantha Barclay, counselor
at Milton High School in West Virginia, whose perceptions of life around her are
about to be
DELUSIONS begins with a dance to celebrate Milton's
victory at the State Basket Ball Game. This should be a happy occasion for all,
but as so often happens in real life, the festive atmosphere dissolves and
quickly turns tragic. Sam responds to basketball star Mark Myton's
frantic plea for help and finds cheerleader Cindy Lowe in a state of collapse in
the girls' restroom. She has gone into cardiac arrest.
The situation rapidly worsens. Cindy soon succumbs to irreparable damage
done by ingesting the drug ecstasy. She leaves behind a boyfriend to take the
blame, grieving parents, stunned friends, and a tormented counselor. How, Sam
asks herself, could she have failed to see Cindy's
emotional turmoil during their many sessions? Can Sam ever have confidence in
her ability to counsel young people again? Who is doing a brisk business in drug
traffic at Milton High School? And will there be another victim? Or more?
An added problem for Sam is her deteriorating relationship with her boyfriend,
patrolman Al Michaels. Why is her romance going backward instead of forward? Was
Al's interest in her just another delusion? And what
can she do when her beloved father becomes too interested in a woman who's
all wrong for
Sam's determination to track down the drug dealer
leads her into grave danger. She realizes that she
be able to distinguish between illusion and reality, although at times this
seems like an impossible task. Black and white give way to shades of gray, and
Death wears a clever disguise.
Along with familiar faces from CHANGEABLE FACADES,
offers an array of new characters: Anguished parents who have to reconcile their
differences and rebuild their lives, a tormented young Goth, a handsome,
charming new cop, a pretty narc who seems to have captured Al's
romantic interest, a mysterious janitor, a pair of suspicious dropouts, Cindy's
all-American boyfriend . . . One or more of these people may be the enemy.
Samantha Barclay is a courageous, perceptive heroine who is determined to
restore order to her own little corner of the world where one teen-aged death is
one too many. In spite of the serious subject and the many problems that beset
Sam, DELUSIONS sparkles with humor and offers and twists guaranteed to take the
reader by surprise.
Once you meet Sam and her friends, you'll be eager to
know what lies ahead for her. Good news! There's a
third book in the works.
Dorothy Bodoin -author
Samantha Barclay, high school counselor, isn't one to shy away
from trouble. A characteristic that puts her in danger more than
once as she tries to discover who is dealing drugs at Milton
High School. One young girl's life is already forfeit to a fatal
drug reaction, which threatens Samantha's self-esteem as a
counselor. Sam had been counseling Cindy Lowe and thought she
knew her, but as the investigation into Cindy's death
progresses, Sam realizes there was a lot she didn't know about
the student. As the story cleverly unfolds, we discover quite a
few people are hiding behind masks.
Because she cares about her students, Sam can't help
being involved in the police investigation into the source of
the drug that killed Cindy. Because she feels she failed the
young girl, Sam ignores the warnings of Officer Al Michaels, a
"very" good friend, to leave the investigation to the police.
The students she's come into contact with have learned
to trust Sam and she's able to use this to help uncover the
source of the drugs. Just as others trust Sam, she tends to
trust the wrong people, which provides several surprises along
DELUSIONS is a fast moving, tense mystery.
Just as the reader thinks all has been revealed, the author
springs yet another surprise.
enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.
Norma Seely - author
Smiling faces tell lies…
and sell drugs at Milton
School counselor Samantha Barclay never thought drugs, sex and
secret lives would lurk behind closed doors in her small
mountain town of Paxton, West Virginia, but when a popular,
straight ‘A’ student dies from an overdose, Sam is riddled with
guilt for not knowing the girl was in trouble. Despite the
grieving parents’ accusations toward their daughter’s boyfriend,
Sam isn't convinced and, with the help of the girl’s cryptically
coded diary, begins her own investigation, uncovering shocking
secrets lurking among Milton High’s student body.
Delusions, the sequel to Changeable Facades, Suzanne M. Hurley’s
debut romantic suspense novel, is a story filled with numerous
twists and unexpected turns. I thought I had my finger on
the culprit, but Ms Hurley’s genuine talent for deception kept
me guessing the plot’s ultimate outcome. A great ‘who-dunnit’
Ms. Hurley can be proud of.
The death of a student at Milton High rocks
counselor Samantha Barclay. She knew—or thought she knew—the
student well. As she vows to get to the bottom of what happened,
she discovers the magnitude of the drug problem in this small
West Virginia school is greater than she could have imagined.
Her attempts at investigation are hampered by the tension that
hangs between her and Al Michaels, a deputy with the local
Sheriff’s department. What once seemed a budding romance turned
suddenly cold, leaving Sam hurt and confused.
Suzanne Hurley keeps the reader in suspense, right up to the very end,
with both the identity of the person behind the drug problem and
with the outcome of Sam’s romantic life.
Linda Rettstatt -
Samantha Barclay goes into sleuth-mode
to detect how one of her students has gotten herself dead, she
finds herself in places where she’s obviously not wanted.
Threatened, even. She learns there is more going on at Paxton’s,
Milton High School than any of her students have mentioned. Her
best people are doing drugs!
Meanwhile, her heart is divided between Officer Al Michaels and
the new guy in town, Deputy John Islington, while her new puppy
sleeps through it all. Her dad is dancing up a storm with the
widow lady next door. He worries that someday Sam’s drive to get
to the truth will get her killed. But in spite of all the
threats, Sam is determined to find out who is behind Cindy
Lowe’s secret life, and just who is supplying her kids with
In Delusions, Suzanne M. Hurley creates another
suspenseful Samantha Barclay Mystery, as the High School
counselor once again gets into trouble when she gives in to her
own natural curiosity to ferret out the truth. Why are her best
people getting into drugs? Suzanne Hurley creates another
suspenseful, page turning mystery where absolutely everyone
appears to be the culprit.
Joan Powell - author
A Samantha Barclay Novel proves to be a very fast-paced and enjoyable
mystery. Samantha Barclay, a guidance counselor of a small town high school in
Paxton West Virginia is horrified to learn of the unexpected death of a student,
Cindy Lowe, whom she’s spent months counseling. As events unfold, it suddenly
becomes clear to Samantha that she doesn’t know Cindy at all.
Samantha does some sleuthing into the investigation of Cindy’s death despite the
disapproval of local homicide detective, Al. Sparks fly between Samantha and Al
as they are repeatedly thrown together while trying to solve the murder and
growing drug problem in the small high school of Paxton, West Virginia.
Samantha Barclay is a likeable, clever, delightful and
believable character. Delusions is an interesting, well written and well thought
out read. Ms. Hurley has definitely done her homework in this story of murder
and drugs. It held my interest and curiosity to the very end. I absolutely look
forward to reading another “Samantha Barclay Novel” in the near future.
A must read!!
Review By: Tammy Riviere,
Author of “Figure 8”