More about Melinda Tyler's "The Purified"

Montana Wylde is about to leave the high-end New York escort business she co-founded with her best friend and business partner, Suzette Peterson. Both intelligent women, they have big plans for the future. Suzette is ready to take her fledgling acting career to the next level, while Montana has just received her Law degree from Columbia University.

But Montana has to put her dream on hold when Suzette fails show up for dinner and drinks. At first, Montana appeals to the NYPD, but soon learns that without evidence of foul play the NYPD will not investigate a missing call girl. They are intent on capturing the “Church Murderer”, a serial killer who has been stalking and killing NY streetwalkers, ultimately leaving their bodies in churches.

Montana turns to former NYPD homicide detective Tom O’Malley for help.  Together, they begin unravelling Suzette’s personal life, learning many secrets that Suzette failed to share. As the duo learns more, they come to suspect some of NY’s highest government officials.

Despite the potential for legal problems, Montana seeks the help of the NYPD. A wary officer explains that without evidence of foul play the NYPD will not investigate a missing call girl. They are intent on capturing a serial killer who has been torturing streetwalkers by carving religious symbols on their bodies, embalming them, and ultimately leaving them in churches. Dubbed ‘The Church Murderer’, his killings form the secondary plotline in my novel.

Frustrated with the NYPD, Montana realizes she needs professional help. She finds O’Malley, a former homicide detective whose life was changed forever by the murder of his wife and daughters. Montana’s distress and intelligence helps convince him to take the case, which is a welcome change from documenting insurance scams and catching cheating husbands.

Teaming up, Montana and O’Malley Montana come across Suzette’s password-protected journal on her computer and a mysterious VVIP client card. O’Malley opens the journal and Montana learns of the many secrets Suzette has been keeping from her. Helped by her legal training, Montana shows a flair for sleuthing as her investigative skills grow. As the duo learns more about Suzette’s life, they come to suspect the city’s highest government officials might be involved in her disappearance.

As they pry into the labyrinth of city government, Montana realizes that she has become a target herself.  Could Suzette’s killer really be the CM, and could he really be operating from under cover of the city government?