I wrote the first Aislinn Cain novel in 1997. I was 17 years old and pursuing my passion for writing, like most 17 year olds with a goal. The book was fine, except I never could figure out how to end it. So, I set it aside and worked on some others. I wrote 5 complete novels and 1 without an ending. While I consider Tortured Dreams to be a bit of a disaster, it’s better than those missing novels. The characters were much different than they are now. The serial killers were less dynamic.
However, I do remember the main plots to them. Book 1 was based on a real life experience I had. As a child, the child of a family friend was kidnapped from her home. She was found a few days later, nude, hanging from a tree, with barbed wire. She’d been 7 years old. In the first book, Aislinn Cain & the US Marshals track down a serial killer doing the same thing. It should be noted that Aislinn became a marshal by studying criminology in the first books. Alejandro Gui was not the asshole that he later became. Malachi Blake was a serial killer (and FBI agent). The Butcher was Mr. Callow, whom she didn’t kill, but did escape from. Lucas wasn’t gay, he was married with a kid. Xavier was gay. Michael worked from an office all the time, but was killed in this book. And Gabriel wasn’t introduced yet.
Book 2 they were chasing a serial killer that liked to dismember his victims. Gabriel was introduced in book 2. He instantly fell in love with Nyleena. Alejandro developed a crush on Aislinn. The first clues that Malachi might be a serial killer were introduced. They caught the serial killer when he mixed up a roll of film that he was having developed (digital cameras weren’t mainstream yet) and the roll had several pictures of him having sex with the body parts.
Book 3 the killer was a woman who was poisoning people because she had Munchausen’s. Christian Hunter was introduced. Hunter & Cain develop an interesting relationship that is pseudo-sexual. Aislinn sees no reason to actually become involved in a sexual relationship with Hunter, but she does have an affinity for him. They catch the killer, but only after she manages to poison everyone in her family (this plot line would later be used for Fiona’s back story). Hunter moves in with Aislinn at the end of the book, which is a problem for both Malachi and Alejandro.
Book 4 they were chasing the Butcher after Alejandro gets attacked by him. Alejandro is disabled and leaves the SCTU. Gabriel takes charge of the crew. Malachi joins the investigation. He figures out it is Callow before the SCTU and murders him. There’s no proof, but Aislinn & Malachi’s relationship becomes strained as she begins to suspect him of being a serial killer.
Book 5 a man is creating works of art using victims’ blood and their death poses. This happens in New York, not Vegas, but the similarities are there. He eventually commits suicide, creating the first real unresolved case for the SCTU. This is a test for Aislinn and one that she doesn’t do well with. Gabriel is offered to head up a second SCTU team and Aislinn is put in charge of Lucas, Xavier, and Christian Hunter. Malachi moves from being an FBI agent to a US Marshal working with Gabriel. Aislinn, searching for meaning behind the killings and the reason for the serial killer’s suicide, falls into a dark place. I always intended book 6 to start with her stabbing Malachi to relieve some of the pressures brought on by the failings in Book 5. Malachi would survive, but he’d eventually exact a indirect form of revenge.
Other differences: Nyleena was originally a librarian, not Aislinn’s mother. Aislinn’s mother had gotten away with murdering her father…she had good reason for it however as the father was abusive. There were no siblings, Aislinn was an only child. Aislinn’s mother was destitute and living off charity from Malachi and Nyleena, too hard to find a job when you’ve been labelled as a black widow. Aislinn was a little colder. Christian Hunter wanted a sexual relationship with Aislinn, but was unsure how to pursue it. Alejandro would eventually kill Hunter. Aislinn would kill Alejandro.
Obviously, a lot changed.