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Alex Bryson is patrolling Rocky Mountain backcountry in his job as a security guard when he discovers a woman with a baby wandering alone in the snow far from the nearest road. He takes them to shelter in a weekender cabin and sees a newscast that suggests the woman, Pia Ulmer, kidnapped the baby from its rightful parents and that it is the sole heir of Peru’s wealthiest and most corrupt family. Pia claims that she is the baby’s mother, and Alex doesn't know what to believe. After turning her in, he continues to struggle with his budding feelings for her and remains unsure of the true story. He becomes more and more involved until finally there is no turning back—lives are on the line. He helps Pia get free from a brutal world that values money over life, and together they devise a plan to reclaim the baby. Just when it looks like they might succeed, they discover an international conspiracy that changes the game entirely.
Exclusive Excerpt #19
“With your kid dead,” Faust told her, “the old man has no further interest in you. Before that trip to the U.S., you and I had a good thing going. You treat me right, maybe we can get it back. You’ll have to convince me, though.”
Pia’s shoulders sagged, her face contorted. She set the water glass aside, wiped her eyes with the back of a hand, and fixed her gaze on the carpet once more, fingers intertwined in her lap. “There is nothing you can do to me that is worse than what you already have,” she said, her voice so soft he had to strain to hear.
Her words shot anger through him so abruptly, so powerfully, that it was almost painful. “I can kill you. No one will care.”
Slowly, as if moving her head caused pain, she looked up at him. “Do it.”
“Your thumb still give you trouble?” A brief search through drawers in his closet unearthed the metal thumb sleeve with its recessed Allen-head screw. Holding it so she could see it, he loomed over her, expecting her to shy away, to pant and tremble the way she had when he’d used it before.
No expression, no sound. She simply extended the misshapen thumb, an invitation to clamp the device on it.
Grasping her hand, he inspected the thumb, manipulated it. “Joint’s fused. Nail’s pretty much shot. And I never even tightened the screw all the way down.”
Lips compressed, she stared impassively, her hand resting in his.
“Maybe we should start fresh, make the other thumb match this one.”
She held up her other hand, fingers loosely fisted, thumb extended.
“You think that’s the worst I can do?” He tossed the thumb sleeve on the dresser. “Unless you convince me you’re worth something, you’ll end up begging me to kill you. But I won’t do it until your brain shuts down, stops registering pain. Then I’ll fly you out over the water and feed you to the sharks.” He checked the clock again. Time to hit the road. “You’ve got a day to think about that. To figure out how to make me want to keep you.”
Meet the Author
Working with traveling carnivals and itinerant farm labor gangs during his teen and early adult years took Gaylon Greer up, down, and across the U.S. and introduced him to a plethora of colorful individuals who serve as models for his fictional characters. After several years as an Air Force officer and then a university professor with a Ph.D. in economics, Greer developed an interest in writing fiction and attended workshops at the University of Iowa, the University of Nebraska, and Bryn-Mawr College. He also studied with the U.C. Davis Extension program and the Algonquian Writers Group. His most recent novel, THE DESCENT FROM TRUTH is available at www.Amazon.com and other e-book retailers. Please visit Greer at www.GaylonGreer.com