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Blood on the Tracks (Sydney Rose Parnell Series Book 1) by [Nickless, Barbara]
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Blood on the Tracks (Sydney Rose Parnell Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 6,372 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in Sydney Rose Parnell (3 Book Series)

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From the Editor

There’s not much that beats the thrill of discovering a great new writer, character, or story. Reading Blood on the Tracks was one of those lightning bolt experiences that made me want to share this book with everyone I know. From the electrifying first pages, I was completely enthralled by Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell, her investigation into the disturbing murder of a young woman, and the gritty yet close-knit community created by Barbara Nickless in this astounding debut.

An orphan and former Marine turned railroad cop who is still coming to terms with her time at war, Sydney is complicated, rough around the edges, and singly dedicated to giving a voice to the voiceless, from the dead soldiers she tended in Iraq to the homeless rail riders whose Denver camps she now patrols. Sydney’s extraordinary history and her relationships, particularly with her K9 partner, Clyde, also an Iraq War veteran, give this mystery a rare emotional depth and kept me riveted as her murder investigation veers into dangerous and very personal territory.

Blood on the Tracks is so well written, so engrossing, and so startling that it’s very difficult to believe it’s Barbara Nickless’s first novel. Luckily for us, it won’t be the last we see of Sydney and Clyde. I absolutely can’t wait for their next case.

- Gracie Doyle, Editor

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Editorial Reviews


A Suspense Magazine Best of 2016 Books Selection: Debut

“A stunner of a thriller. From the first page to the last, Blood on the Tracks weaves a spell that only a natural storyteller can master. And a guarantee: you'll fall in love with one of the best characters to come along in modern thriller fiction, Sydney Rose Parnell.” —Jeffery Deaver, internationally bestselling author

“Beautifully written and heartbreakingly intense, this terrific and original debut is unforgettable. Please do not miss Blood on the Tracks. It fearlessly explores our darkest and most vulnerable places—and is devastatingly good. Barbara Nickless is a star.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha, and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author of Say No More

“Both evocative and self-assured, Barbara Nickless’s debut novel is an outstanding, hard-hitting story so gritty and real you feel it in your teeth. Do yourself a favor and give this bright talent a read.” —John Hart, multiple Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of Redemption Road

“Fast-paced and intense, Blood on the Tracks is an absorbing thriller that is both beautifully written and absolutely unique in character and setting. Barbara Nickless has written a twisting, tortured novel that speaks with brutal honesty of the lingering traumas of war, including and especially those wounds we cannot see. I fell hard for Parnell and her four-legged partner and can't wait to read more.” —Vicki Pettersson, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Swerve

“The aptly titled Blood on the Tracks offers a fresh and starkly original take on the mystery genre. Barbara Nickless has fashioned a beautifully drawn hero in take-charge, take-no-prisoners Sydney Parnell, former Marine and now a railway cop battling a deadly gang as she investigates their purported connection to a recent murder. Nickless proves a master of both form and function in establishing herself every bit the equal of Nevada Barr and Linda Fairstein. A major debut that is not to be missed.” —Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author

Blood on the Tracks is a bullet train of action. It’s one part mystery and two parts thriller with a compelling protagonist leading the charge toward a knock-out finish. The internal demons of one Sidney Rose Parnell are as gripping as the external monster she’s chasing around Colorado. You will long remember this spectacular debut novel.” —Mark Stevens, author of the award-winning Allison Coil Mystery Series

“Nickless captures you from the first sentence. Her series features Sydney Rose Parnell, a young woman haunted by the ghosts of her past. In Blood on the Tracks, she doggedly pursues a killer, seeking truth even in the face of her own destruction. The true mark of a heroine. Skilled in evoking emotion from the reader, Nickless is a master of the craft, a writer to keep your eyes on.” —Chris Goff, author of Dark Waters

“Barbara Nickless’s Blood on the Tracks is raw and authentic, plunging readers into the fascinating world of tough railroad cop Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell and her Malinois sidekick, Clyde. Haunted by her military service in Iraq, Sydney Rose is brought in by the Denver Major Crimes unit to help solve a particularly brutal murder, leading her into a snake pit of hate and betrayal. Meticulously plotted and intelligently written, Blood on the Tracks is a superb debut novel.” —M.L. Rowland, author of the Search and Rescue mystery novels

Blood on the Tracks is a must-read debut. A suspenseful crime thriller with propulsive action, masterful writing, and a tough-as-nails cop, Sydney Rose Parnell. Readers will want more.” —Robert K. Tanenbaum, New York Times bestselling author of the Butch Karp/Marlene Ciampi legal thrillers

“Nickless’s writing admirably captures the fallout from a war where even survivors are trapped, forever reliving their trauma.” Kirkus Reviews

“Part mystery, part antiwar story, Nickless’s engrossing first novel, a series launch, introduces Sydney Rose Parnell...Nickless skillfully explores the dehumanizing effects resulting from the unspeakable cruelties of wartime as well as the part played by the loyalty soldiers owe to family and each other under stressful circumstances.” Publishers Weekly

“An interesting tale...The fast pace will leave you finished in no time. Nickless seamlessly ties everything together with a shocking ending.” RT Book Reviews

“If you enjoy suspense and thrillers then you will [want] Blood on the Tracks for your library. Full of the suspense that holds you on the edge of your seat, it’s also replete with acts of bravery, moments of hope, and a host of feelings that keep the story’s intensity level high. This would be a great work for a book club or reading group with a great deal of information that would create robust dialogue and debate.” Blog Critics

“In Blood on the Tracks, Barbara Nickless delivers a thriller with the force of a speeding locomotive and the subtlety of a surgeon’s knife. Sidney and Clyde are both great characters with flaws and virtues to see them through a plot thick with menace. One for contemporary thriller lovers everywhere.” —Authorlink

Blood on the Tracks is a superb story that rises above the genre of mystery…It is a first-class read.” The Denver Post

About the Author

Barbara Nickless lives in Colorado, where she loves to snowshoe, hike, and drink Scotch whisky—usually not at the same time. Her first novel, Blood on the Tracks, won the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence and the Colorado Book Award, and was a Suspense Magazine Best of 2016 selection. Barbara is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Criminal Element, and other publications. Connect with her at

Product details

  • File Size: 2891 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (October 1, 2016)
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01B1OGQH4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,313 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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