Be sure to see the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and sign up to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
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. When I asked 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, deliberate ones), ferret out clues, and provide an accounting analysis that can be 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.
A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.
As kids, 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 recourse.
Drew 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.
A 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?
AVAILABLE NOW ON
Slinging the 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.
“Working kinda late, arncha, Mr. Sinclair?”
Startled, Jack looked over his shoulder.
The janitor 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.
Hazel, Max’s 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 what 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?”
Jack forced 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.”
“’Night, then. 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, but it would be a wonder he didn’t trip on the curbs.
The flashlight on his cell phone. Duh. He should’ve thought of that. Jack clicked it on, but it only shone a foot or so in front of him.
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.
Weary beyond 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. The implications--
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 hulking shape.
“We need to talk.”
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
Connect with Diane Burton online
Goodreads: Diane Burton Author
Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf