Scared to Death

Detective Kay Hunter book 1

"If you want to see your daughter alive again, listen carefully"

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun...

Scared to Death is a gripping fast paced crime thriller from author Rachel Amphlett in a new series introducing Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…

Also available in an eBook box set containing books 1-3 in the Detective Kay Hunter series here

"Moves along at a breakneck speed with twists and turns"

Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone series

"Thrilling start to a new series. Scared to Death is a stylish, smart and gripping crime thriller."

Robert Bryndza, bestselling author of The Girl In The Ice

"Amphlett has written an intriguing plot-driven police procedural, with Hunter a complicated heroine." 

The West Australian

More about my Scared to Death book

The idea for Scared to Death arose from a random thought about our fears and phobias and quickly turned into a fast-paced murder mystery. After all, we often use the phrase “scared to death”, but what if a serial killer used that knowledge to end a victim’s life? Is it possible?

You bet it is. It comes down to our evolutional programming – that “fight or flight” mechanism that protects all species and is our body’s physical response to being scared.

When faced with a life-threatening situation, our heart rate increases, sending blood to our muscles so that we’re ready to run away. The nervous system then signals to our body that it needs to enter the flight or fight phase.

Of course, your body returns to normal once the danger has passed – but what if that danger didn’t pass? What would happen to you then?

Next, I needed a detective to pit their wits against a twisted killer like the one in Scared to Death, and this is where Kay Hunter makes her first appearance.

Modern detectives rarely work alone, and I wanted to reflect the fact that a major investigation such as this would need a tight team of individuals to solve the murders. I also didn’t want to write about a detective who had so many issues at home that she couldn’t do her job properly.

Kay Hunter has quickly become a reader favourite – she is fair, determined, and will do anything it takes to bring a killer to justice. In Scared to Death, you’ll meet a colourful mixture of characters encompassing what a real-life murder investigation team looks like, and I had a lot of fun writing about these dynamics.

The Kay Hunter series is based in Maidstone, Kent where I lived for three years before moving to Australia. It’s a town full of history, surrounded by countryside filled with hops and fruit trees and, oh yes, ideal places to hide a body or two…

Scared to Death is a dark, twisted, page-turning murder mystery that begins the Detective Kay Hunter series, and one that I hope you’ll enjoy reading.