"I am surrounded by beautiful things… but I am not one of them."

Agent Alyssa Rawkesby never thought she'd relate so strongly to a serial killer's letter. But the moment she reads it, she knows there is no going back - she must find the notorious Belladonna Killer, even if it breaks the mental stability she spent seven years repairing. Women in Ottawa, Ontario are being poisoned to death and left posed with a bizarre signature. The grief and fear is filtering through the entertainment industry over a shadow slipping death into drinks.

As an expert in female serial killers, and a veteran criminal psychologist, Alyssa never before encountered a case like this. Is Belladonna a sadistic monster, or a victim of something sinister Alyssa is too familiar with? She fears looking Belladonna in the eye will be like looking at her own reflection - or that of someone she cut from her life a long time ago. But time is running out to save other women. She gets assigned a new, rookie partner, and she tries not to unravel as lines blur between what the killer truly is and the pieces of her own past.

"I know how it feels to live with crippling insecurity behind a mask of false ego and confidence. I only want to connect to a world I feel so detached from. To connect with something, anything to feel normal." - Alyssa

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Table of Contents

The Last Hope

May 20, 2016  Friday  Ottawa, Ontario  Sometimes the dead couldn’t get any peace. Across the street, yellow ... Read Chapter

Then There's This Kid

Pink and yellow tulips lined the front of an immaculate lawn, adding color the white house with black trim. A short white fence divided... Read Chapter

Brought to Light

“You don’t get out much, do you?” Alyssa said, raising an eyebrow. She watched Thayer gaze at the restored, bright-red spiral s... Read Chapter

Masks and White Dresses

Why re-dress the victims? The new detail confounded Alyssa as she and Thayer emerged from the stairwell onto the third floor of the ICB... Read Chapter

But She's Gone

A pair of big amber eyes gaped at Thayer as the door closed behind Alyssa and him. He resisted the urge to roll his eyes when Natalie... Read Chapter

Unfixable Roots

With a coffee mug in each hand, Thayer walked to the conference room, pausing at the doorway. He tilted his head. Golden rays of the au... Read Chapter

The Profile

May 21, 2016  Saturday A hollow ache in her chest weighed her down when she awoke before her alarm, with Jack on the other s... Read Chapter

A Heavy Echo

Perhaps the Belladonna killer couldn't stand to keep her inner world to herself anymore, Alyssa mused. There was something the unsub co... Read Chapter

Brazen

Infinity Cabs was tucked away in an industrial area of the city with a fenced gravel lot out back. A small bell rang as Alyssa and Thay... Read Chapter

Center Stage

Stainless steel tables and bland white walls felt as sterile as the scent of bleach surrounding Alyssa and Thayer. Across the room, a w... Read Chapter

Broken Secrets

"I know I suggested she might be a suspect, but are we really about to accuse a victim's best friend of murder?" Thayer said as they sl... Read Chapter

Dehumanized

May 24, 2016 Tuesday Alyssa hated press conferences. She was grateful Sam scheduled it for first thing in the morning so they cou... Read Chapter

Carmen

June 2, 2016 Thursday String lights glittered against bottles on the wall and glasses on tables. Quiet music played overhead when... Read Chapter

Lost Petals

June 3, 2016 Friday "Alannah Winter is indeed a small-town girl from Coaldale, Alberta. She's 25-years old. Fits our victimology ... Read Chapter

The Ultimate Cage

June 4, 2016 Saturday At 12:30 a.m., the pub where Jackie met Grace was almost empty. Two tables were occupied and no one sat at ... Read Chapter

By the Time You Get This

June 6, 2016 Monday   She'll be dead by the time you get this. The world is obsessed with fame. We're dying for a new sc... Read Chapter

Alannah

"We just got these back from Forensics. The handwriting doesn't match Charlotte, Natalie or Lisa," Alyssa said with a frustrated sigh. ... Read Chapter

Dying for a New Scene

"Maybe I'm being paranoid. But since Julia's death, I've noticed the same person in different places I go to. My favourite coffee shop,... Read Chapter

Cracked Perfection

June 7, 2016 Tuesday Alyssa and Thayer entered the Forensic Pathology Unit at 9 a.m., greeted by Dr. Murie in a white lab coat as... Read Chapter

Unmasked

Alyssa sighed as she hung up her phone, picking up a red marker to cross Charlotte Manes off the list of suspects. Her editor confirmed... Read Chapter

Poison a Friend

She dusted upon her eyes hues of gold and pink, running her hands through the wig's golden locks falling over her shoulders. The teal s... Read Chapter

Soon

Alyssa paused upon getting out of the car. Yellow tape cordoned off the same alley where Alannah's body was left, surrounded by pesky r... Read Chapter

Jackie

The cotton skirt of Yolie's white maxi dress spilled over her crossed legs as she sat at an outdoor table. Blond waves of her wig fell ... Read Chapter

Ghosts of Mothers Past

An eerie quietness descended over the house when Alyssa and Thayer arrived. Right behind them was the S.W.A.T. team. Yolie's car was in... Read Chapter

Glass Houses and Vices

With another case closed, Alyssa boxed up the last bags of evidence in the conference room, keeping it organized by case number. She pa... Read Chapter

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Cover

Beyond Dark 1: Belladonna

"I am surrounded by beautiful things… but I am not one of them." Agent Alyssa Rawkesby never thought she'd relate so strongly to a serial killer's letter. But the moment she reads it, she knows there is no going back - she must find the notorious Bell

Recent Comments

Robert Helliger

A well written crime mystery book, with engaging characters, and story line too.

Thu, January 2nd, 2020 4:53am

Ad Adi

Not bad,not bad at all....

Thu, January 30th, 2020 7:37am

Author
Reply

Thank you!

Fri, January 31st, 2020 3:59pm

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