Grave Girl


Grave Girl

by Dan Padavona

GENRE: Mystery/Thriller

Every mind holds a secret. Some are more deadly than others.

Nightshade County Sheriff Thomas Shepherd is a successful model for every law enforcement officer with autism. He leads an idyllic life in his uncle’s old home along Wolf Lake and is planning to marry private investigator Chelsey Byrd.

But when a star athlete’s girlfriend disappears while camping, everyone blames the boyfriend. He’s volatile and dangerous. Did he murder the girl and bury her in the woods?

The sheriff’s gut tells him there’s more to the story than the boyfriend is willing to admit. The more he digs into the case, the more he worries someone is hiding a dark secret.

Is the boy a killer? Or is he the next victim?


He waited until the woman’s Honda Civic rounded the bend and disappeared down the road. Behind a stand of trees, he remained hidden and formless, an invisible predator. 

The day hadn’t gone as planned. McKenzie had torn up his note and slid it into the hallway. He needed that money. Without her username and password, his only choice was to put her up for ransom, and that would increase the risk of getting caught.

A downstairs light shone inside the sheriff’s A-frame, but nobody was home. Nobody except a cat and that damn beast of a dog. More lights illuminated the guest house along the lake. There was movement inside, though the drawn curtains made it difficult to tell who it was. He stepped toward the side window, crouching low so his shadow didn’t pass over the glass and forewarn the tiny house’s occupant. His hand moved to the gun in his pocket.

Without making a sound, he rose and stood beside the window, one eye peering through the opening between the curtain and the sill. Oh, how he hoped it was LeVar Hopkins, now a sheriff’s deputy. A bullet to the head would take LeVar out of this world. 

A chair swung around, and the man edged away from the glass, hoping no one had spotted him. He slid along the wall and looked again through the opening. Right in front of him, a teenage girl with a brunette ponytail filled a glass at the sink. Where was LeVar, and why was this girl inside his house?

About the Author:

Dan Padavona is the author of The Wolf Lake series, The Logan and Scarlett series, Darkwater Cove, The Scarlett Bell thriller series, and The Thomas Shepherd Mysteries. Many of his novels rank in the top-10 in Amazon’s thriller and mystery categories. He is a husband, a parent, and proud member of the International Thriller Writers Organization.

When he’s not writing, Dan enjoys photography, biking, weightlifting, and storm chasing. Dan has videotaped tornadoes from New York to Oklahoma and Texas and was nearly swept up by a strong twister outside Sweetwater, Texas. A self-proclaimed ice cream and gelato lover, Dan admits to spending too much time in the gym, compensating for his questionable nutritional decisions.


Q&A With the Author

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

When I wrote the Wolf Lake series, I most enjoyed creating a rollercoaster ride for my readers. On one hand, the Wolf Lake books were gripping, suspenseful thrillers with killers who raised the hair on the back of your neck. Yet the underlying stories dealt with Sheriff Thomas Shepherd overcoming Asperger’s syndrome, and many subplots focused on the powers of love and redemption.

I brought those elements into Grave Girl, the first book in the new Thomas Shepherd series. Developing deep characters is a joy, and I’m so happy that readers keep returning to my books because they love the characters.

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

I’m currently writing the fifth book in the Logan and Scarlett Serial Killer thriller series and planning the sequel to Grave Girl. I anticipate the Grave Girl sequel will hit Amazon in late-January.

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?

2023 will be a busy year for me, as I will publish a new book every four to five weeks. This requires me to write over two-thousand words per day and always have a manuscript in my editing team’s hands, but it’s worth the effort to keep my readers entertained.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote short stories in high school, but I didn’t become a serious writer until 2014. I’ve been writing for almost 9 years now, a little over a year full-time. 

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

As always, I’m humbled and stunned by the outpouring of support I’ve received from readers. Many love to jokingly prod me to release stories more quickly. Believe me, I’m writing as fast as I can! 

Thank you to everyone for reading my books. You’ve changed my life.



Instagram: @dan_padavona

Twitter: @DanPadavona

Buy Link:


Dan Padavona will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. So glad that this book is on tour sounds so good. peggy clayton


  2. Sounds like a great Mystery/Thriller! I like the cover and excerpt.

  3. Love the premise. I have to say I have never heard of a law enforcement officer with autism. Love this, and am looking forward to reading.

    1. Thank you! I found several examples of police officers (and even detectives) with autism when I was researching Thomas Shepherd's character for the Wolf Lake series. They inspired me.

  4. Great Q&A, I enjoyed the excerpt as well and Grave Girl sounds like thrilling mystery for me to enjoy!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular day!

  5. A law enforcement officer with autism is going to be very interesting to read.

    1. It definitely makes for an intriguing twist. Thank you for the comments!

  6. Thank you for sharing your Q&A, bio and book details, I love the cover and the synopsis and excerpt have intrigued me. Grave Girl sounds like an excellent mystery read and I am looking forward to it

    1. Thanks so much, Bea. I'm thrilled with how the book came out!

  7. Thank you to everyone for reading, and a special shout out to Literary Gold for bringing me aboard! I appreciate the kind words and interest.

  8. Love mysteries! This sounds intriguing! Thank you for sharing!

  9. I love mystery/thrillers and this one sounds intriguing! The fact that the main character is autistic adds another dimension to the plot.

  10. I'm intrigued by the blurb...sounds like a great book

  11. With the advent of wider guidelines to identify autism, which occurs in a wide spectrum of impacts, it is only natural that many in almost any profession can be found to be autistic. Their ability to function varies as much as it does in those without the syndrome.


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