The Salt Maiden 


December 2007

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Deep beneath the desert lies a woman’s body, mummified by salt, abandoned by those who ought to seek her. With her rests a secret that someone will kill to keep buried.

Devil’s Claw

It’s a barren wasteland, the dead center of nowhere, and the last place Dana Vanover wants to be. But it’s also the last known address of her missing sister. Determined to locate Angie, Dana won’t be deterred by suspicious rednecks, snakebite, or even the grim prognosis of Sheriff Jay Eversole: no woman could survive more than a week alone in the burning heat of Rimrock County . But the endless sands aren’t the only thing hotter than the chili served up in the Broken Spur café. Despite small-town dirty politics, a deadly car chase and a dangerous paternity search, Dana and Jay can’t keep their hands off each other. In the least populated area of the country they’ve managed to find love. Now all they have to do is stay alive long enough to uncover…

The Salt Maiden

  • Romantic Times Top Pick
  • Reviewers Choice nominee for 2007 Best Romantic Suspense

Read an Excerpt

Rave Reviews

“Poetic use of language, intricate plotting and a wealth of fascinating details make Thompson’s latest novel a masterful work of suspense.  Readers will come for the action and stay for the three-dimensional characters and well-crafted narrative. This is a fabulous read!” – Romantic Times BOOKreviews Top Pick

“An excellent thriller with a touch of romance. I could not bring myself to set the book down. I simply HAD to know what would happen next.  From the beginning it is non-stop action, drama, and mystery. Fans of Tess Gerritsen, Tami Hoag, and Sandra Brown will adore this tale. Phenomenal! *****” – Detra Fitch, Huntress Book Reviews

” The mystery was solid and I was surprisingly wrong on who the suspect was! After reading so many mysteries, I tend to guess the outcome before the book was over, but I was wrong and that’s a good thing.  …I would definitely recommend it to readers who enjoy suspense.” – Rachael, Night Owl Reviews

“THE SALT MAIDEN is a great book filled with action of all kinds – from steamy love scenes to terror ridden suspense.   Just when you think you have it all figured out – wham, something unexpected happens. The plot of the story is interesting and the characters in the book are very lifelike.  The book touches on the complexities of mother-daughter and sibling relationships.  If you want to spend some wonderful time being entertained, you need to invest the time and money in reading this book.” – Dana Henderson, Romance Junkies

“Wait until you read the ending of this marvelous suspense thriller. You’ll never guess and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.  I have never missed a Colleen Thompson thriller and never will. THE SALT MAIDEN is yet another treasure you cannot miss. It’s wrought with intensity, mystery, intrigue, passion and a roller coaster ride until the last page is turned. Take the ride; you’ll be glad you did.” – Suzanne Tucker, Fresh Fiction

“The key to this romantic suspense thriller is the depth of the cast including the references to the modern mummified title character. Dana is obstinate as she refuses to walk way without the truth while Jay is dedicated and caring in a town without pity. Readers will appreciate Colleen Thompson’s tense tale as the strong characterizations and their interplay make the tension that much more vigorous and potent.” – Harriet Klausner, Genre-Go-Round

“Colleen Thompson is an author waiting to “happen”. Oh, she has been out there, is well respected as a growing talent. She has a solid backlist of amazing tales; only, she just has that presence of an author ready to have that break out novel. The Salt Maiden is that book. Her skill and flow of the prose marks her as a master wordsmith. She weaves an intricate plot into this eerie, sinister tale that kept me spellbound. This simply is Colleen Thompson at her very best. ” – Deborah MacGillivray, The Best Reviews

“Fast paced, exciting and filled with dark secrets and hidden truths, Colleen Thompson’s THE SALT MAIDEN is a mystery readers will simply not be able to put down.” – Tammy, Loves Romance and More

“This is a book full of mystery and twists and turns that every time you think you have it figured out, it tosses you head over heels so you never know which way is up.’s always Ms. Thompson’s characters that give her stories that extra something to make them extraordinary.” – Sandy, The Good, the Bad, and the Unread

“Small town dirty politics, a real estate scam that left many local residents penniless and the discovery of a salt-mummified body combined to make this book a “couldn’t put down until I knew whodunit” read even though my eyes were gritty from the endless blowing dust, sand and salt….” – Jan, Beyond the Book Blog, Publisher’s Weekley

“A romantic suspense that is sure to please fans of authors such as Heather Graham and Iris Johansen.” – Becky Lejeune,

“This story has so many twists and turns that you will be shocked to hear what the SALT MAIDEN has to say in the end.” – The Romance Readers Connection

“THE SALT MAIDEN is a gripping read…The mystery of Angie’s disappearance and how the people  of Devil’s Claw react is deftly wrapped into a tense mystery involving con artists, an Indian legend, an insane hunter and a dying child.” – Robin Lee, Romance Reviews Today

“THE SALT MAIDEN is a dark, fascinating mystery  featuring a cast of dubious characters.    Colleen Thompson’s narrative is brilliant.   She has captured the desolation of the West  Texas landscape (I’m still trying to get all the sand out of my eyes and sinus), and exposes the corruption of buried secrets.      Ms.  Thompson just gets better and better and continues to delight her fans, and new readers alike, with another first class thriller filled  with surprises galore.” – Betty Cox, Reader to Reader Reviews

“With its steady-handed delivery and adept suspense, THE SALT MAIDEN is a romance that is dark, gritty, and shrewdly insightful about internal demons and external threats (some of which may be more obvious than others).  Colleen Thompson is right at home in the romantic suspense subgenre, and this reviewer is curious enough about the author’s backlist to make a special trip to the bookstore.” – Cheryl Jeffries, Heartstrings Reviews

“Fast-moving, page-turning romantic suspense story … ” – Crime Spree Magazine

“Combining mystery and thoughtful romance between two wounded souls, “The Salt Maiden” will appeal to both romance and mystery genre fans.” – Amy’s Book Nook, Parkersburg News and Graffiti Magazine

“THE SALT MAIDEN by Colleen Thompson is riveting suspense with an emotionally satisfying romance. The finely detailed characterization combines with an eerie exquisitely written landscape to make this novel a reading and re-reading pleasure… Colleen Thompson creates a romance that is reflective in tone through her portrait of the wasteland, adding a fresh intriguing vision to the genre.” – Merrimon Book Reviews

“Colleen Thompson’s THE SALT MAIDEN is an edgy, suspense-filled book…The mystery builds quickly, and as the questions grow, so does my need for answers. This fast-paced story drew me in and allowed my own curiosity to hold me captive until the very end.” – Anita Hartsell, Romance Reader at Heart

Get the Book That Started It All!

Get the Book That Started It All!

In 2004, FATAL ERROR launched my career in romantic suspense! Get it today at an amazing price!

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The Best Victim

Originally published as a Montlake serial, this fast-paced romantic suspense is now available in novel form!

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