No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, when a serial killer dubbed the Queen’s Gambit Killer strikes again—this time in her hometown. Pearl Springs is just supposed to be a temporary stop along the way to Alex’s real dream: becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer’s calling card—a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it—cannot be ignored.
Pearl Springs chief of police Nathan Landry can’t believe that his high school sweetheart Alexis (he refuses to call her Alex) is back in town, and he can’t help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving. But as the danger mounts and the killer closes in, can Nathan come through on the promises he makes to himself to bring a killer to justice before it’s too late.
“What a great read! I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced romantic suspense from Patricia Bradley. Infused with tension that comes with the search for a killer, this book will have readers flipping the pages late into the night to find out what happens.” – Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Danger Never Sleeps series
“If you like your romantic suspense to include a twisted villain, a deadly plot, and a second chance at love, look no further than Counter Attack. This first novel in the new Pearl River series from Patricia Bradley ticked all the right boxes for me. I couldn’t put it down!” – Lynn H. Blackburn, bestselling author of the Defend and Protect series
“Checkmate! Patricia Bradley hits the mark again in this fast-paced, high-stakes suspense you won’t be able to put down!” – Natalie Walters, award-winning author of Lights Out and Harbored Secrets
“Counter Attack grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go until the end. The story plays out like a fast-paced chess game, with plenty of action and red herrings to ratchet up the suspense. The sweet reunion romance between the hero and heroine has you rooting for them as the mystery deepens. You won’t want to miss this explosive beginning to a new series by Patricia Bradley.” – Sarah Hamaker, award-winning author of the Cold War Legacy series
“Memorable characters and a very unique plot guarantee that readers won’t be able to put down Patricia Bradley’s Counter Attack until the satisfying conclusion.” – Susan Sleeman, bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five faith-filled romantic suspense novels
Patricia Bradley recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, COUNTER ATTACK.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I was playing chess and it occurred to me that chess moves could be used by a killer to taunt police. I’m not that great a player, but I knew someone who was. He gave me the moves that fit each murder. And since the heroine knew nothing about chess and the hero did, it threw them together.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
Before I wrote the first word, I had a scene in my head. The heroine was undercover, dressed in attire that was not to her liking, but doing what it took to catch a killer. With that scene, I knew I wanted to spend time with her.
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
In 2020, there were sixty female sheriffs in the country. Alexis Stone never aspired to be one of them. What she wants is to become the first Chief of Police in Chattanooga, but when the grandfather who raised her has a heart attack, she can’t say no to his request for help. From there it’s a short step to becoming the sixty-first U.S. sheriff.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
I’m working on the second book in the series. K-9 officer Mark Lassiter is in the first book. While he doesn’t break rules, he’s not above bending them. When he’s assigned to protect a by-the-rule victim, there are plenty of opportunities for conflict.
Patricia Bradley is the author of Standoff, Obsession, Crosshairs, and Deception, as well as the Memphis Cold Case novels and Logan Point series. Bradley is the winner of an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, a Selah Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award; she was a Carol Award finalist; and three of her books were included in anthologies that debuted on the USA Today bestseller list. Cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., Bradley is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. She makes her home in Mississippi.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.