detective, Rory Naysmith, thought he’d seen it all, but a young woman’s brutal
murder is especially hard to stomach. Doubly so, when he recognizes the
murder’s MO is identical to that of Tobias Snearl—the killer he put behind bars
a decade before. His frustration grows after a series of senseless accidents
plague those dearest to him, and a second woman dies—this one too close to
home. Searching for answers, Rory races against time, plunging deep into the
murder investigations, drawing ever closer to becoming a casualty of the dark,
angry deeds himself, until he finds no one is who they pretend to be—and none are
beyond evil’s reach.
In the distance, the railroad bridge stretched from Nebraska over the Missouri River and touched the Iowa shore. Someone had mounded boulders farther down. Perhaps they’d been removed from the grounds and left there for a retaining wall. More likely, they were hidden from view, too heavy to move elsewhere. They were an eyesore, starting at the tree line, topping three feet, and spreading down to the water’s edge. Rory scrambled up the stack, intent on gaining the elevated advantage, the moss-covered boulders felt slippery under the smooth leather soles of his shoes.
When he reached the top, he caught a whiff of cigarette smoke—or was it marijuana?
He pivoted quickly and lost purchase. To break the fall, he instinctively put out his hands, and his foot slid into a crevice between two large stones. His forearms smashed against the hard surface. The force of his body slam moved the boulders which then interlocked around his foot.
From behind, he heard someone run off through the trees. He cursed, pushed up, ignored the complaints from his knees, and hand-walked his upper body back to his feet. With one foot captive, and kneeling over the other, he awkwardly righted himself. Then gave a tug. The vise-grip held tight. His palms felt razor-scraped. He reached for the phone, but it wasn’t there.
It took a moment to spot his lifeline, five feet away and out of reach.