Down To The Needle by Mary Deal.
A Psychological Thriller.
From the day her five-year-old was abducted, Abigail Fisher vowed never to stop looking until her daughter was safely back home.
But despite multiple searches, twenty-three years have passed without a trace of Becky Ann. When Abigail learns that death row inmate Megan Winnaker is the same age as her daughter, she begins to wonder if the kidnapper had Becky Ann’s face surgically altered to prevent identification.
Megan Winnaker maintains her innocence, but faces capital punishment if she loses her final appeal. As Abigail launches her own investigation to find out if Megan is truly her daughter, someone wants to stop her in her tracks.
Even when facing mortal danger, Abigail refuses to give up her investigation. But can Megan Winnaker really be her long-lost daughter?
★★★★★ “A standout mystery thriller from a solid literary talent.”
★★★★★ “The characterization is great, the plot is intricate, and the action is fast-paced… A superb thriller.”
★★★★★ “A page turner that will have you riveted right to the end.”
★★★★★ “Suspenseful mystery full of twists and emotions.”
★★★★★ “The story is riveting and tense. The author did a great job keeping me sitting on the edge of my seat through the entire story. I can’t wait to read more from this author.”
5 Star Review by Amazon Customer on Amazon UK: Exquisite, heart pumping, extraordinary torture brilliant! Where do I start? I loved this book, and yet it caused me so much heartache and worry. I am a slow reader, but I take all of it in. I live it. I felt the pain and suffering of a mother who endured the anguish of losing her daughter aged 5; abducted by her estranged husband, never to be found. Was she still alive? And then, a death row woman, the same age as her daughter, displays characteristics that suggest she could be the long lost daughter. What follows is a roller coaster ride of emotions that involve proving if the woman is her daughter, and then to prove her innocent of the crime. A switchback of narrative twists, hope, despair, misery… so well written. It has taken me some time to recover – I was exhausted after this read. I will say no more for fear of spoilers – but – read this book – you will not regret it. I have already bought another of Deal’s books.
5 Star Review by Elizabeth Sullivan, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Somerset, California: I read Down to the Needle for a second time I was pulled into its magnetic spell. This afternoon I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat for a long while as the suspense grew to a crescendo. Mary you out did yourself in this powerful work. Your changes tricked me into fearing the ending would be different. I clung to my shreds of tissue as I hoped for a happy ending. Every step of the way you delivered, and delivered, and delivered. Brilliant!
5 Star Review by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite: Mary Deal’s writing is unique and highly compelling, with a narrative voice that is hypnotic. Down to the Needle has a labyrinthine plot, a conflict that is monumental, and characters that readers will relate to easily. The emotion comes out strongly and readers can’t help but sympathize with her characters. A woman who has lost a daughter for two decades will certainly attract the attention of any reader, but when it is possible that a person abducted two decades ago is alive and could be facing death for a crime they never committed, it becomes more than an interesting plot element — it becomes an irresistible hook. It’s a very suspenseful read, to say the least. The ending will surprise readers.
5 Star Review by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite: Down to the Needle is a story that has huge potential to blow the reader’s mind. Cleverly plotted and masterfully accomplished, Down to the Needle by Mary Deal is a great entry in the genres of suspense, mystery, and thriller, a story that follows one woman’s gritty investigation to solve an abduction that happened twenty-three years ago. It takes a lot of cleverness and skill to weave a yarn that combines strong elements from different genres into a satisfying read, and Deal has that skill…. This is the book for you if you love well-imagined and rock-solid characters, stories that are character-driven with sophisticated plot lines. I enjoyed the gritty investigation and the complexities in the plot. The reader is immediately excited to find out what could happen next, thanks to the well-crafted hook, the enticing prose, and the lively dialogues.
5 Star Review by Darryl Greer for Readers’ Favorite: Down To The Needle is a page turner that will have you riveted right to the end. Down To The Needle is a great concept: a desperate mother searching for her daughter, then after more than two decades, finding she might be on Death Row awaiting execution for a crime she says she didn’t commit. And the date for her death by lethal injection is imminent. There’s nothing like a ticking clock to get the adrenaline flowing. There is also a sense of mystery throughout as Mary Deal never allows her reader to know whether or not Megan really is Abi’s daughter. No matter what tidbit of information is revealed, there’s always an element of doubt. And, speaking of the end, the author’s vivid description of life on Death Row reveals either extraordinary insight or painstaking research.
5 Star Review by Ankita Shukla for Readers’ Favorite: This is not a one-dimensional story…. Although there are many things for which I would sing the praises of the author, I am extremely fascinated by Mary Deal’s knowledge in many aspects of lethal injection, art, and law. She has done her research in this book. The story develops splendidly and keeps the reader filled with several emotions. The author has included many elements and they all work together to keep the plot intriguing. Mary Deal has paid attention to even the smallest details and written the characters’ behavior and actions according to the requirement of the plot. This keen observational skill helped me connect with all the characters. I could understand their fears and strengths among other things. There are many characters and each one of them has a significant role in the plot.
5 Star Review by Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite: Down to the Needle is more than just another engaging mystery: it’s an exploration of what makes people tick, and how our life experiences can, and do, alter any original plans we might have had. As one reads, courtesy of Mary Deal’s character revealing skills, one is caught up as much in this mother’s heartache and longing for her long-lost child as in the mystery gradually evolving and involving another young woman. Several mysteries intersect in Down to the Needle, each of them intriguing. The twists and turns are plentiful and there is no way this reviewer will spoil your enjoyment of trying to put all the pieces together. But as you do, if you’re at all romantic and care about people as Mary Deal obviously does, you’ll be as interested in not just what happens with Abi, Joe, Margaret, Megan, and Becky but why. The why is the propelling force behind the plot for, after all, it’s people who determine what happens next since one can ever really know what makes people do what they do….
5 Star Review by Renee Washburn, Apex Reviews: Taut, riveting, and action-packed, Down To The Needle is a nail-biting page turner. Splendidly crafted by author Mary Deal, this engaging suspense thriller takes the reader on a fast-paced thrill ride through one determined woman’s unyielding crusade for ultimate justice. As Abigail fights fervently to honor her parental obligations to her daughter, readers are sure to connect both spiritually and emotionally with her heartrending sojourn for vindication. With driving action and intense plot lines, Down To The Needle is a standout mystery thriller from a solid literary talent.
★★★★★ by Bonnie Schenck, Kapaa, Hawaii: What a twisted story! The psychology of it left me breathless.
★★★★★ by Brian L Porter, Award-winning Author: A heart-wrenching mystery that leads you down a very crooked road. Mary Deal captures the emotions of her characters so that we know them well, yet, can never anticipate their next moves.
★★★★★ by Leanna Kay Noble, Encino, California: The characters in Down to the Needle were interesting and engaging. I never knew what was going to happen next… which is the mark of a good mystery. The author, Mary Deal, gets you in her grasp and doesn’t let go until the very last page.
From The Author: While researching on the Internet one day, I came across articles about Sister Prejean and her counseling work with prisoners facing the death penalty. Sister Prejean offered solace to the inmates, particularly just before they were executed. The entire scenario triggered something in my mind. What happens to the families of the innocent who are put to death?
No sooner had I had that thought when a plot formulated in my mind. Almost the entire story tumbled out. I had a new book to develop. My story would be about a person who was only a few months away from lethal injection for a crime she didn’t commit. I complicated my plot with the fact that the inmate may well have been lost to her family, not knowing someone searched for her for decades.
Print Length: 670 Pages
Publisher: Creativia; 3rd Edition (November 8, 2017)
Women’s (Psychological Thriller Fiction)
About Mary Deal: Mary Deal, a native of Walnut Grove in California’s Sacramento River Delta, now resides in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was Founder and past President of Kauai Writer’s Round table. She is also an artist, photographer and former editor of a print magazine and newspaper columnist.
She is the author of six suspense novels: “The Tropics,” an adventure/suspense trilogy, “The Ka,” a paranormal Egyptian suspense, “River Bones,” a thriller that takes place in her childhood hometown area, “Down to the Needle,” a thriller, taking place along the West coast, “Legacy of the Tropics,” a re-write and expansion of The Tropics, and “The Howling Cliffs, a Sara Mason Mystery” and 1st sequel to the award winning River Bones. She has also published “Off Center in the Attic,” a collection of over-the-top short stories and flash fiction pieces. The eBooks, “Write it Right – Tips for Authors, Vol. I and Vol. II are nonfiction references for writers. Write It Right – Tips for Authors – The Big Book (a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards) brings both of the Write It Write eBooks together in paperback.
“River Bones” was a winner in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards competition and a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Books Awards. Her short story, “The Last This I Do” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Awards and Special Recognition:
- Author, Painter, Photographer
- Amazon Best-Selling Author
- Pushcart Prize Nominee
- 2021 Global eBook Awards – Winner/Gold
- 2021 International Book Awards – Finalist
- 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards – Finalist
- 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards – Winner
- 2019 National Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist
- 2017 Global eBook Awards Bronze
- 2016 International Book Awards Finalist
- 2016 Global eBook Awards Silver
- 2016 National Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist
- 2015 Global eBook Awards Bronze
- 2014 National India Excellence Book Awards Finalist
- 2011 National Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist
- 2009 Eric Hoffer Book Award Winner
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