A day in the life of Detective Nan Vining by Dianne Emley

lying-blindLet me start by saying that I dislike talking about myself. But if I have to describe who I am, I’d say that first I’m a mom to Emily, who’s almost seventeen. Her dad and I divorced when she was a toddler—his choice, not mine. Next, I’d say that I’m the senior investigator in Homicide/Assault at the Pasadena, California Police Department. Then, if I’d had this conversation with you first thing this morning, I’d have said that I’m a devoted life partner and lover to Jim Kissick, who’s a sergeant with the Pasadena PD. Right now, at the end of a long and bewildering day, I’m not at all sure where things stand between Jim and me.

Jim had always been my strong, silent, standup guy. My Gary Cooper (I also love watching classic movies). Jim has guided me through dark times in my life. Terrible times and I have the physical and psychological scars to prove it. Tonight, sitting at my desk in the empty Detectives Section at the PPD, I’m wondering whether I misread those silences of Jim’s. Did I mistake them for solidity and strength when they were in reality concealing secrets? To say that my world has been rocked is an understatement.

The day started normally enough until the middle of the afternoon, when my partner, Alex, and I were called out to the scene of a mysterious death at a huge Pasadena estate. One of the homeowners, Teddy Sexton, had discovered the body of a nude young woman floating in the backyard pool. Jim had been the first officer on-scene. I was happy to see him. I always am because our schedules zig and zag so much it’s hard for us to get together. But he was acting sketchy and evasive from the get go. Things became more odd when I found out, after dragging the information from him, that he’d left the scene of a car accident with injuries to dash over to the Sexton estate because Teddy had texted him. Teddy and his wife, Becca, are old friends, Jim explained. Jim will definitely be reprimanded for abandoning an active incident–possibly even fired—and he risked that to respond to a text?

Things got more disturbing when Becca returned home. You see, the Jane Doe in the pool bears a staggering resemblance to a much younger Becca, but everyone in the Sexton household denied knowing who the victim is. After interviewing Becca, I learned that she and Jim had a close relationship years ago. Very close. Something else that Jim neglected to tell me.

Sitting here at my computer, I’m trying to identify poor Jane Doe, who nobody other than my partner and I seem to care about. I’m also trying to push away an ominous feeling that this case will tear me and Jim apart. He’d be the one I’d turn to in such a situation to talk it through, but I can’t. I’m feeling horribly alone. Em’s spending the night at her girlfriend’s. I might as well keep working because I doubt I’ll get any sleep tonight. I’m not looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings. That’s enough about me. Back to work.


You can read more about Nan in Lying Blind, the sixth book in the “Nan Vining” series.

In a breathtaking infinity pool on a sprawling Pasadena estate, the naked body of a beautiful young woman floats facedown in a drift of rose petals blowing on the breeze. Police sergeant Jim Kissick responds instantly, pulling the dead victim from the water. When his longtime girlfriend, Detective Nan Vining, arrives on-scene, she’s full of questions, and not just about the Jane Doe. Why did the homeowner text Jim instead of calling 911? Jim’s explanation—that he’s simply an old friend of Teddy and Rebecca Sexton’s—doesn’t sit well with Nan. A survivor of a bizarre murder attempt herself, Nan’s instincts for deception are acute. She senses that they’re all hiding something—including Jim, which plunges a wedge deep into their once steadfast relationship.

Then a drought-ravaged lake in a bucolic Central California town reveals a grisly secret. Soon two local detectives arrive in Pasadena to interview Jim and his wealthy friends about a mysterious death from years back, and Nan realizes she has good reasons for her suspicions. Jim’s always been her rock, but suddenly he’s become a stranger. And once Nan identifies her Jane Doe, events careen out of control as darkness from the past threatens to consume the life that Nan has worked so hard to rebuild.

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About the author
Dianne Emley is a Los Angeles Times bestselling author and has received critical acclaim for her Detective Nan Vining thrillers, Iris Thorne mysteries, and The Night Visitor, a standalone paranormal mystery. She’s also published short fiction for anthologies including Literary Pasadena. Her novels have been translated into six languages. A Los Angeles native, she lives in the Central California wine country with her husband, where she’s a pretty good cook and a terrible golfer. About Dianne’s books, Tess Gerritsen says: “Emley masterfully twists, turns, and shocks.”

Connect with Dianne through her website dianneemley.com or visit her on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a Lying Blind e-book (Kindle/Nook open to all) or a signed paperback (US only) of one of the first four books in the Nan Vining series (The First Cut, Cut to the Quick, The Deepest Cut, or Love Kills). The giveaway ends February 27, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Lying Blind will be published as an e-book by Alibi/Random House on February 28, 2017.

27 responses to “A day in the life of Detective Nan Vining by Dianne Emley

  1. Sounds like an interesting series & author. Thanks for the chance to win.

  2. Really interested in reading this book. The teaser was very effective. Thank you for a chance to win this book.

  3. I’m always excited at the prospect of winning a book by an author I’ve not read before.

  4. thanks for the chance.

  5. Sounds like a great series. Thanks for introducing me to to a new author!

  6. Barbara Hackel

    This is a new author and series for me too, Dru Ann. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! It sounds juicy and captivating!
    Thanks Dianne for the opportunity to win one of your books! That would be awesome! ❤ 🙂

  7. Wonderful feature and giveaway. A great author whose novels are enthralling.

  8. Robin L. Coxon

    Thank you for including this on your blog. Again I am finding a new author through your blog.

  9. Oh yes, please. Enter Me in your giveaway. Have added to my TBR list.

  10. elainehroberson

    I don’t have an e-reader, but I would love to win a signed copy of one of your books. Thanks for the chance.

  11. Thanks, Dru Ann, for again hosting me on your terrific blog! And everyone, for your comments. Good luck on winning a book!

  12. MaryAnn Forbes

    My interest in this series is really piqued; Lying Blind sounds great. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  13. Awesome chance to get a copy of this book.

  14. Another new author to me and I would really enjoyed the descriptions of the book. I would like to read. Thanks for the chance.

  15. A new-to-me author! Looking forward to giving this series a try. Thanks for the chance to win one of these books.

  16. I’d say her “rock” has been hit with an earthquake.

  17. Patricia Fester

    Wow .. now this is going to be a great read..Thanks for the opportunity !!

  18. I imagine Nan has a lot of interesting stories to tell related to her time with the Pasadena Police Department.

  19. Wow. What a great book and series. I have added Dianne and her Nan Vining series to my TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of The First Cut.

  20. Regina Davis-Sowers

    What a grabber of an introduction! I am looking for a new series, and Nan Vikings sounds just right! I would love to win a copy of her book.

  21. Can’t wait for this installment in a great series.

  22. I have read all of Nan Vining series and loved them all can’t wait to read the next

  23. This sounds like an exciting series. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Poor Nan. Must be most painful for her. Would very much like to see how it all turns out. Thank you for the intro to a new author and what looks to be an exciting read

  25. This is a really great mystery series….very suspenseful!! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of one of the titles. If I win, I’d love to get a print copy of Love Kills

  26. **** WINNER ****
    of Lying Blind is Kathie
    Congratulations!