Kerry Peresta is the author of the Olivia Callahan Suspense series. Book One, THE DEADENING, released in 2021 and Book Two, THE RISING, released in 2022, and Book Three, THE TORCHING, all by Level Best Books. She is currently working on the next books in the series, and BACK BEFORE DAWN, standalone suspense., released in 2023.
Kerry spent thirty years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, copywriter, and editor. She began writing full-time in 2009 as a humor columnist for a daily newspaper, and in 2012, she moved to the Baltimore area and became chapter president of the Maryland Writer’s Association. After moving to Hilton Head Island, SC in 2015, Kerry joined the Island Writers Network, the Sisters in Crime organization, South Carolina Writers Association, International Thrillers Association, and became a presenter for the Pat Conroy Literary Center. Kerry and her husband enjoy kayaking, road trips, their grandkids, their three cats, and the scenic marshes of the Lowcountry. Find out more about Kerry at kerryperesta.com
Back Cover Copy
Book One, The Deadening
Olivia Callahan’s quiet, orderly life is shattered when she regains consciousness in a hospital and discovers she is paralyzed and cannot remember a thing. The fragmented voices she hears around her help her piece together that an apparent assault landed her in the hospital, but nobody knows who attacked her, or why. After a chilling struggle to survive, she awakens from a coma unable to remember what happened to her or anything at all, except she has been told she is an entirely different person. Or is she? Now, in spite of a brain injury that has rewired her personality and stolen her memory, Olivia is on a mission to reclaim her life. As clarity surfaces and she starts to understand who she was, she is shocked. Had she really been that person? Does she want that life back?
Book Two, The Rising
After an assault that landed her in the hospital as a Jane Doe two years earlier, Olivia Callahan has regained her speech, movement, and much of the memory she lost due to a traumatic brain injury. The media hype about the incident has faded away, and Olivia is ready to rebuild her life, but her therapist insists she must continue to look back in order to move forward. The only person that can help her recall specifics is her abusive ex-husband, Monty, who is in prison for murder. The thought of talking to Monty makes her skin crawl, but for her daughters’ sake and her own sanity, she must learn more about who she was before the attack.
Just as the pieces of her life start falling into place, she stumbles across the still-warm body of an old friend who has been gruesomely murdered. Her dream of pursuing a peaceful existence is shattered when she learns the killer left evidence behind to implicate her in the murder. The only person that would want to sabotage her is Monty—but he’s in prison. Something sinister is going on, and Olivia is desperate to figure it out. Do all her friends have targets on their backs because she made the tragic decision to marry a psychopath?
Book Three, The Torching
Mysterious fires. A haunting past. A secret file.
Three years ago, Olivia Callahan endured an assault that resulted in a devastating brain injury. She survived, but she couldn’t remember anything about her life or who she was. Now, she’s determined to build a bridge between the past she lost and the life she must reclaim.
When Olivia crosses paths with Private Investigator Tom Stark, she is drawn to the investigative field, and becomes his intern. She finds a heavily redacted, forty-five-year-old file locked in his desk drawer that mentions her mother as a young woman. Why had her mentor hidden the file from her, and why had he never mentioned a case involving her mother?
As Olivia moves forward with her fledgling career, a string of mysterious fires moves through the community, puzzling the Baltimore Arson Investigative Unit. One of the fires strikes Olivia’s beloved farmhouse in rural Maryland. Now, in addition to uncovering the secrets bound within the redacted file, she becomes convinced that the fires happening around the area are disturbing calling cards…and they’re meant for her.
BACK BEFORE DAWN
After two difficult divorces, hardworking single mom Isabelle Lewis admits that ‘the perfect marriage’ might be a fairy tale. However, she refuses to give up hope. Online dating has become an escape from her hectic life, and after her kids are asleep, she logs onto her three favorite dating apps. Every night, for a few hours, the weight of the world lifts. She feels wanted. Valued. More often than not, she clicks with one of the matches and dashes out into the night to meet him. She reassures herself it’s only a few hours and her teenage kids won't even realize she’s gone…but they do. Her creepy boss drags her into his office to confront her about the rumors of her serial online habit and tells her the chronic exhaustion is affecting her work. She needs to change, or else. But she can’t. It’s become an obsession. When one of her online matches begins to trespass on her property and riddle her with threats, she is forced to get a protective order. Complications stack up. Her ex threatens another custody battle. She could lose her kids and her job. Her friends beg her to stop running out at night, but it makes her crazy to think she has to give up the one thing that makes her feel valued. The final blow is a phone call that lands her in an interrogation room at police headquarters. Now, she's looking at a prison sentence. How could she have imagined that her simple desire to find a soulmate would result in murder?