Touched by a killer, she feels the fire of revenge.Twelve years ago, Miranda Moore miraculously survived the torture of a serial killer who was never caught. Since then, Miranda, a former FBI trainee and now a member of a local search-and-rescue squad, has witnessed with horror the recovery of the mutilated bodies of seven young women, all victims of her tormentor, known as The Butcher. When another beautiful Montana college student goes missing, the Feds get involved, and an agent, a man Miranda once trusted with her heart, arrives to take over the investigation-forcing her toward a painful choice.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
January 30, 2006
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Hunt by Allison Brennan
Twelve Years Later
Nick Thomas stared at the outline of the petite body under the blinding yellow tarp. He pinched the bridge of his nose, swallowing anger so bitter he could taste it. The foul stench of death surrounded him and he turned away.
He still pictured the dead, broken body of twenty-year-old Rebecca Douglas as he'd found her only an hour ago.
Nick looked up as Deputy Lance Booker approached. He was clean-cut, a good cop, though a mite wet behind the ears. Much like Nick had been twelve years ago when he'd been called out to his first murder scene. "Deputy."
"Jim said there's a guy claiming to be an FBI agent at the road wanting to be let through. Quincy Peterson."
Quinn. Nick hadn't seen him in years, ten to be exact, but they'd shared an e-mail relationship since he was elected sheriff more than three years ago. After the Croft sisters had been found.
Now there were seven dead girls. Seven that they knew about.
"Let him through."
"Yes, sir." Booker frowned, but relayed the orders through his walkie-talkie. In matters that would as a rule fall under their local jurisdiction, no law officer welcomed outside interference, and usually Nick was no different. He didn't mention that it was his call to Quinn last week that precipitated this visit.
Nick turned and walked away from the deputy, away from the bright tarp, down the path to where Rebecca Douglas's last steps were evident. He squatted next to an unusable footprint, a mess in wet, hardening mud. It might have been Rebecca's last step. Or the killer's. It had rained nearly three inches in the last two days, a deluge that saturated a ground recently recovered from a cold, wet Montana winter. The clouds had broken this morning, the sky such a vivid blue and the air so refreshing that Nick would have enjoyed it if he hadn't been called to a crime scene.
He closed his eyes and breathed the clean, crisp air of his Gallatin Valley. He loved Montana, the vast beauty and sheer majesty of its mountains, its swift rivers, green valleys, big sky. The people were good, too, down-to-earth. They cared about their neighbors, took care of their own. When Rebecca Douglas was declared missing, hundreds of men and women-many from the university where she'd been a student-had scoured the wilderness between Bozeman and Yellowstone looking for her.
Nick's jaw tightened in restrained fury. Good people, but for one. One who had killed Rebecca and at least six other women in the past fifteen years. And other women were still missing. Would they ever find their bodies? Had the harsh Montana weather or four-legged animals obliterated their remains? He'd never forget finding Penny Thompson's remains-nothing but a skull and scattered bones. She was identified through her dental records.
Nick surveyed the area. Tall pines grew primarily downslope; as the mountain rose the trees thinned out. The ancient, heavily overgrown road he'd driven on was unmapped. Possibly an old logging trail, it appeared to end here, in this natural clearing roughly thirty feet square. On the edge of this clearing, Rebecca's body lay.
They'd mark off the area in grids and search for anything that might possibly lead back to the killer. But if it was the same bastard, they'd find nothing. He was so damn perfect in his every crime that even their one surviving witness could tell them little. Defeat weighed heavily in Nick's heart, but he would not give up.