Heather Ryder

The Cyber Trials by Heather Ryder

“Give a man a mask, and he will show you his true self” – Oscar Wilde

It’s been two months since Alicia Farrell’s body was found dumped in the woods and Elaine Thompson isn’t sure the town of Patriot, Indiana will ever recover. Grief has given in to anger as the FBI task force tracking the Midwest Strangler remains empty handed and the case grows cold. Then Elaine gets a call from her best friend’s lawyer. Tristan has just become the primary suspect in the investigation and Elaine is his only alibi.

Except none of that makes sense. Tristan lives in Texas, and he and Elaine have never physically met.

Brought together in their early teens by a love of online video games, Elaine and Tristan have spent the last fifteen years sharing their lives virtually. Now, they have to convince the world of their friendship or Elaine’s testimony won’t hold weight. But as the trial unfolds and the evidence against him starts to stack up, Elaine begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Caught between an overzealous prosecution desperate for a conviction, a town out for blood, and her loyalty to Tristan, Elaine struggles to separate fact from fiction. The State says she was either willingly blind or naïve, but Elaine’s can’t believe the story is that black and white. To reach the truth, she must dig into painful memories she had long since hidden away, but what she finds may shatter their friendship forever.

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