South of Justice
“South of Justice is a multi-layered, intricate, and suspenseful page-turner you’ll want to read in one sitting.” —Diane Capri, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Hunt for Jack Reacher Thrillers
“Past secrets test the bonds of family loyalty and a fledgling love affair. The unwavering strength of the protagonists, their commitment to the truth and to each other will have you cheering for South of Justice.” —Melissa Hladik Meyer, Author of Good Company
“Bottom line is: South of Justice is a multilayered romantic book that will grasp your attention and lure you to read it in one sitting.” —SeriousReading.com
“A fabulous start to an intense series with a large cast of characters I couldn’t help but love and cheer for. Fisher is a master weaver of intrigue and strong characters willing to go the distance to get things done while keeping their love strong.” –K.D. Fleming, author and Golden Heart Winner
“Tightly written, complex characters, intriguing plot—all the ingredients for a great read! This debut book is a winner, and I am looking forward to more books in the future.” –Diane Burke, award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense
“South of Justice has an intricate plot with several twists and turns. Long-held secrets keep the reader turning pages all the way to the end. I really enjoyed reading South of Justice and recommend it for anyone who enjoys crime stories with a touch of romance.” –Luv2read
“I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and the twists and turns had me turning pages deep into the night.” –Vicki W Tharp, Author of Don’t Look Back
“Joni M. Fisher weaves a tale of passionate love, undying loyalty and enduring friendship between strong characters bound together and tested by deep-rooted principles. Curl up in your favorite chair with a tasty snack and a refreshing beverage—you won’t want to move until you’ve turned the last page of South of Justice.” –Donna Kelly, Author of Brass Chains
At thirty-five, veterinarian Terri Pinehurst has achieved the financial, social, and personal goals in her life, except for one. She wants a lifetime kind of love, but like all her goals, this one, too, has high standards. When she meets FBI Agent Blake Clayton, he exceeds her hopes and wakes up dormant passions in her. The day they marry at Blake’s family’s ranch in North Carolina, fishermen find bones in the nearby river that lead to an investigation into the death of a missing neighbor. Terri launches her own search for the truth and an elusive witness, but should she believe the mounting evidence against her husband or her heart?
South of Justice is the first book in the Compass Crimes Series.
North of the Killing Hand
“A gifted story-teller, Joni Fisher writes with energy and passion that comes to life in her characters. North of the Killing Hand is an intricate and suspenseful read that grips the reader from start to finish.” –John Foxjohn, International, USA Today, and New York Times bestselling author
“North of the Killing Hand is another brilliant entry in the Compass Crimes Series by Joni M Fisher, a compelling and intricately woven story for fans of crime fiction. The plot centers on Nefi Jenkins, whose experience of murder will shape her future in unimaginable ways. She is just fourteen when she witnesses the murder of her parents. Rescued from Brazil and brought to the US, she learns a new way of life, and connects deeply with those who have stood by her. As she grows up, the desire to join the law enforcement service becomes an obsession for her. But is it for the sheer desire to serve her new country or the thirst for revenge? The answer will surprise readers and it’s worth finding out. Joni M Fisher’s work reminded me powerfully of the movie Colombiana, but there is nothing that makes the 2011 film close to this well-imagined and masterfully executed story. Witnessing one’s parents being murdered is a powerful premise for a psychologically absorbing story and the author has used this premise as a springboard to create a character that is rock-solid and with great psychological depth. The international setting is equally fascinating and readers will enjoy the way the author establishes the contrast between two worlds, building a powerful conflict around it as the protagonist adjusts and evolves. The themes are well explored, including crime, love and devotion, the sense of justice and revenge. North of the Killing Hand is a beautifully paced, absorbing story that keeps readers’ eyes on its pages.” –Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite 5-stars
North of the Killing Hand was released in October, 2016.
Years after witnessing the murder of her parents, Nefi Jenkins pursues a career in law enforcement, but later must choose between the rule of law and the temptation of revenge.
Enjoy the preview:
August 3, 2002
Fourteen-year-old Nefi Jenkins settled into her perch thirty-four feet up a strangler fig tree, shaded by the canopy of the top branches. From her favorite place, she enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the Amazon from the Jurua River that wrapped the west and northern boundaries of the tribe’s territory, to the denser jungle to the east, and the swamp to the south. Her parents didn’t know of this place because they had not asked. Experience had shown her that forgiveness was easier to gain than permission. She did not want to be lectured about every injury and fatality from falls suffered in human history.
On a clear day, she could locate other tribes by smoke columns where women cooked at the center of other settlements. At the center of her village, surrounded by a dozen wooden huts with palm frond rooftops, Mali cooked for Nefi’s family and her own.
Nefi longed to travel, even just to visit other tribes, but in August, the river ran low. Father said he refused to go out in August because the boat was too heavy to tow, but Nefi believed the real reason was his fear of anaconda that draped themselves on branches over the river like braided hemp ropes thrown from a ship. Father said anaconda did not live back in the states. He promised to take her there, but every year changed to ‘next’ year.
Nefi sighed. Each year grew longer, and this was the longest month of the year.
Birds scattered from trees along the riverbank west of the village. Nefi dug her father’s binoculars from her satchel to investigate the disturbance. A human-made bird call sounded. A warning. Moments later the seven other children of the village dashed to their hiding places.
Had the Matis crossed the river to hunt?
She leaned forward to see around leaves into the center of the village where three men with rifles faced Mali. The small elderly woman turned toward Mama and Papa, who walked toward the strangers. The shortest man pointed to Papa. Nefi focused the binocular lenses on the stranger’s face. The Pirarucu Man.
What kind of fool comes to trade this time of year? He probably got his boat stuck in the shallow river. City dweller.
The Pirarucu Man pointed to the ground. Mama and Papa knelt. A chill ran up Nefi’s spine. He did not seem like a man who would ever ask for prayer. Nefi widened her view to see Mali step toward Mama and Papa. The Pirarucu Man raised his rifle and shot twice.
Nefi sucked in a deep breath. Mama and Papa slumped over. A tiny cloud of smoke rose from the rifle. A howl roared out of Nefi as if by sound alone she could scare off the Pirarucu Man.
She lost her balance and fell four feet onto a wide branch below, striking it hard enough to cut off her scream. Clinging to the branch, she watched Papa’s binoculars fall thirty feet before the rare and unmistakable sound of breaking glass marked its impact.
She shimmied to the tree trunk, hugged it and slid to the next lower branch. The tree blurred, forcing her to blink repeatedly. Her mind spun. Her feet and arms worked on sense memory as her body scrambled down the familiar smooth-skinned fig tree into the cavernous wall-like folds in the trunk. Gasping and wobbly among tree roots that arched waist-high around her, she rubbed her eyes to clear away the nightmare images flashing in her mind.
Stepping over the shattered binoculars, she ran. Crashing through knee-high ferns and tree roots, she tore a fresh path back to the village. Her bare feet slapped the hard-packed mud. She trampled ferns and flowers, sending small creatures scuttling out of her way. She panted. Her heartbeat drummed in her ears. Small branches scratched her arms and her face. Stumbling over roots and vines, she groped her way upright and charged on. She raced to her village, to home, to Mama, to Papa, praying the binoculars lied.