book cover of The Drum Within
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The Drum Within

(The first book in the Denise Aragon series)
A novel by

"The Drum Within is a superb novel, and this is a hearty welcome to an insanely talented newcomer, Jim Scarantino." - Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author

Santa Fe Detective Denise Aragon and her partner are called to investigate a murder on U.S. Forest Service land only to be pulled away to investigate the murder of Linda Fager, wife of ruthless criminal-defense attorney Walter Fager. When Aragon presses a key fob found at the murder scene, artist Cody Geronimo flees the area as his vehicle's alarm blares nearby.

Marcy Thornton, Fager's twisted protege, will do anything to defend Geronimo, including trading sexual favors with a judge. To counter Thornton's underhanded tactics, Aragon enlists the help of the FBI special agent investigating the Forest Service murder. But the situation escalates when Aragon misjudges Fager's ruthlessness, and she's forced into a vicious, high-stakes game with opponents who have no moral limits.


"This debut mystery introduces tough savvy Santa Fe Det. Denise super lady who takes no flack or sass." - Library Journal

"First of a welcome series." - Kirkus Reviews

"The Drum Within is a gritty police procedural that will make you rethink everything you know about justice. A tour de force of good guys and bad guys. A masterpiece. I loved it." - Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon and New York Timesbestselling author of My Sister's Grave

"The Drum Within keeps many ducks in a row through a maze of gritty encounters, bitter confrontations, and some very clever red herrings." - Santa Fe New Mexican

"A thrilling police story." - Suspense Magazine

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"A masterpiece. I loved it." - Robert Dugoni

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