Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the tour for the latest book by Jeffery Deaver, which is also the second Colter Shaw novel. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to squeeze this book in to what has turned out to be a very busy May for book reviews, but I do have an extract for you, and it’s all action! Many thanks to Random Things Tours for having me on the tour.
Blurb: In pursuit of two young men accused of terrible hate crimes, Colter Shaw stumbles upon a clue to another mystery. In an effort to save the life of a young woman—and possibly others—he travels to the wilderness of Washington State to investigate a mysterious organization. Is it a community that consoles the bereaved? Or a dangerous cult under the sway of a captivating leader?
As he peels back the layers of truth, Shaw finds that some people will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden. All the while, Shaw must unravel an equally deadly enigma: locating and deciphering a message hidden by his father years ago, just before his death—a message that will have life-and-death consequences.
June 11, 2 p.m.
Seconds to decide.
A steep drop into brush? Or a narrow shoulder that ends in a cliff wall?
Colter Shaw spun the wheel of the rental Kia sedan hard, braking intermittently—he couldn’t afford a skid. The vehicle, which had been doing forty along this stretch in high mountains, plunged into foliage, narrowly missing a collision with the boulder that had tumbled down a steep hillside and rolled into the middle of the road before him. Shaw thought the sound of a two-hundred- pound piece of rock rolling through brush and over gravel would be more dramatic; the transit was virtually silent.
Left was the correct choice.
Had he gone right, the car would have slammed into a granite outcropping hidden by tall, beige grass.
Shaw, who spent much time assessing the percentage likelihood of harm when making professional decisions, nonetheless knew that sometimes you simply had to roll the dice, and see what happened.
No air bags, no injury. He was, however, trapped inside the Kia.
To his left was a sea of mahonia, otherwise known as Oregon grape, benign names both, belying the plant’s needle-sharp spikes that can penetrate cloth on their effortless way into skin. Not an option for an exit. The passenger side was better, blocked only by insubstantial cinquefoil, in cheerful June bloom, yellow, and a tangle of forsythia.
Shaw shoved the right- side door open again and again, pushing back the viney plants. As he did this, he noted that the attacker’s timing had been good. Had the weapon fallen sooner, Shaw could easily have braked. Any later, he’d have been past it and still on his way.
And a weapon it must have been.
Washington State certainly was home to earthquakes and seismic activity of all sorts but there’d been no recent shivering in the vicinity. And rocks that are this big usually stay put unless they’re leveraged off intentionally—in front of, or onto, cars driven by men in pursuit of an armed fleeing felon.
After doffing his brown plaid sport coat, Shaw began to leverage himself through the gap between door and frame. He was in trim fit, as one who climbs mountainsides for recreation will be. Still, the opening was only fourteen or so inches, and he was caught. He would shove the door open, retreat, then shove once more. The gap slowly grew wider.
He heard a rustling in the brush across the road. The man who’d tipped the rock into Shaw’s path was now scrabbling down the hillside and pressing through the dense growth toward Shaw, who struggled further to free himself. He saw a glint in the man’s hand. A pistol.
The son of a survivalist and in a manner of speaking a survivalist himself, Shaw knew myriad ways of cheating death. On the other hand, he was a rock climber, a dirt bike fanatic, a man with a profession that set him against killers and escaped prisoners who’d stop at nothing to stay free. The smoke of death wafted everywhere around him, constantly. But it wasn’t that
finality that troubled him. In death, you had no reckoning. Far worse would be a catastrophic injury to the spine, to the eyes, the ears. Crippling his body, darkening the world or muting it forever.
In his youth, Shaw was called “the restless one” among his siblings. Now, having grown into a self-professed Restless Man, he knew that such incapacity would be pure hell.
He continued to squeeze.
Come on, come on . . .
Just as he was about to break free, his wallet, in the left rear pocket of his black jeans, caught. The attacker stopped, leaning through the brush, and lifted the pistol. Shaw heard it cock. A revolver.
And a big one. When it fired, the muzzle blast blew green leaves from branches.
The bullet went wide, kicking up dust near Shaw.
The man fired again.
This bullet hit its mark
About the author:
Jeffery Deaver is the No.1 international bestselling author of more than thirty novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction law book. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He’s received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world. A former journalist, folksinger, and attorney, he was born outside of Chicago and has a
bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University. You can visit his website at http://www.JefferyDeaver.com