The District

By: Carol Ericson


The quicker Special Agent Christina Sandoval brings a serial killer to justice, the sooner she can get back to her daughter. Reason enough for the FBI to send her a partner—who also happens to be her ex-fiancé, Eric Brody.

While Eric’s own kidnapping as a child has left him with a sense of justice that never failed, his relationship with Christina had. Now the deeper they dig into the current case, the more personal things get. Trying to capture an elusive killer who seems to know more about Christina than Brody ever did, they’ll both need to stop holding back. Or fall victim to this private war, waged without boundaries…

Eric still had her by the waist where he’d grabbed her just as the car whooshed past them, spewing exhaust and burning rubber into the air.

Christina had stumbled back against Eric’s chest, and he pulled her tightly against his body. “Are you okay?”

“That was close.” Her voice shook and she cleared her throat. “What’s the matter with that guy? Didn’t he see us?”

“He saw us, Christina.”

Her heart pounded in her chest and her breath came out in short spurts. “That’s crazy. We’re the FBI, for God’s sake.”

He held out his hand. “Do you want me to drive? Your hands are trembling.”

She dropped the keys into his palm without a word. If he wanted to play the big, strong protector, who was she to argue?


Eric Brody—An FBI agent investigating a serial killer, he brings a lot of baggage to his job, including his kidnapping as a child and the suspicions surrounding his father. He may be strong enough to overcome all of that, but is he strong enough to work alongside his ex-fiancée without falling under her spell again?

Christina Sandoval—She’s landed her dream assignment of working with the FBI’s serial killer unit, but the dream may become a nightmare when her current investigation brings her ex-fiancé and the father of her child back into her life…especially since Eric doesn’t know he’s a father.

Kendall Brody—The toddler daughter of Christina and Eric might possess powers stronger than Christina’s own, but Christina has no intention of finding out how much more powerful.

Octavio Sandoval—Christina’s father is a brujo, but are his powers enough to save her, or will they be the instrument of her demise?

Vivi Sandoval—Christina’s half sister is more involved in the witchcraft of their heritage than Christina, and when she goes into hiding from a killer she urges Christina to do the same.

Libby Rivers—The owner of an occult bookshop in the Haight-Ashbury district, she may know more about the killer than she’s willing to share.

Nigel Ashford—An old hippie and denizen of the Haight-Ashbury district, he inhabits the perimeter of the occult world. But will he do anything, including murder, to be a full-fledged member?

Darius Cole—Vivi’s friend is worried about her and is desperately trying to find her, but if Vivi doesn’t trust him, why should Christina?

Liz Fielding—The serial killer’s first victim has a strange connection to Eric Brody’s kidnapping as a child, which makes Eric believe the trauma of his past is connected to his current case.

Marie Giardano—The SFPD records keeper has seen a lot in her thirty-five years with the department and she has her own suspicions about the Brody tragedy, but she’s afraid to share them.

For Deputy Chief Greg Huber,

one of my many go-to guys for research

Chapter One

Nine times out of ten a dead body will win a staring contest.

Christina blinked and looked away from the lifeless eyes of the twentysomething vic, a gruesome slash across her throat, a tarot card shoved between her stiff fingers.

Tarot cards—Christina knew a thing or two about them. She would’ve expected death on his white horse in this case, but the killer had left the maiden and the lion, an indicator of strength.

Her gaze shifted away from the body and skimmed the trees, their leaves rustling with impatience. “Has anyone checked the surrounding area yet?”

Lieutenant Fitch with the San Francisco P.D. waved his pale hand. “You go right ahead, Agent Sandoval.”

She ground her back teeth together, adjusted her shoulder holster and tromped toward the tree line. If not for that tarot card, she wouldn’t even be here.

The dense nature preserve enveloped her in a cool embrace, muting the voices of the crime scene investigators in the trail behind her. The weak San Francisco sun, still shrugging off the fog, penetrated the foliage in wisps and strands, throwing a beam of light here and dappled shadows there.

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