Sunday, 22 April 2018

Durable Goods by Patricia Hale

Title: Durable Goods
Series: Book #2 of the Cole and Callahan Thriller Series
Author: Patricia Hale
Genre: Thriller
Date Published: April 15, 2018
Publisher: Intrigue Publishing

Detective John Stark approaches the PI team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan with a postcard he’s sure is from his estranged daughter, Kira. She’s been listed as a runaway for three years by Portland, Maine police, but John isn’t convinced that her continued absence is by choice. As Stark’s long-time friends, Cole and Callahan agree to look into the postcard marked only with the letters O.K.

The postmark leads them to Oracles of the Kingdom, a farm where women sell fresh produce in return for a fresh start with God. But nothing seems right about the town or the farm and Britt goes undercover to look for Kira. Once inside, she realizes Oracles of the Kingdom is not the refuge it appears. And when she's trafficked over the Canadian border she’s on her own, over her head and losing clarity between hero and victim.


         My heart went into overtime making it difficult to hear the rest of the house over the rush in my ears. But it had to be now. There was nothing I needed to take from this place. The picture of Kira was back in the closet upstairs, but I didn’t need it anymore. My phone was somewhere within the skeleton of the house, no chance of recovering that and the watch from Griff was in my shoe. I was good to go.
         I opened the backdoor and slipped outside onto the porch, down the steps and across the side yard. The only light was on the front of the house illuminating the driveway. At the barn, I stopped and leaned against the outside of the far wall, listening. Nothing. I was shaking either from fear or the frigid air. Either way I had to keep moving. I slipped the watch out of my shoe and onto my wrist then headed for the trees. Two feet from the pines the backdoor slammed. I dove into the shadows tearing the skin on my forearms, brushing heavy pine boughs out of my way. I could still make out the back door. Isaac was coming down the steps. He wasn’t moving fast. He seemed to be looking for something on the ground. He stooped, picked up a bucket and went back inside.
         I held onto the tree beside me until my breathing returned to normal and my heart slowed, but I couldn’t stall for long. Sooner or later Rose would be back in the kitchen asking where I was. I took off running deeper into the woods. The full moon was both a blessing and a curse. The driveway was to my right and if I stayed in a straight line, parallel to it, I’d eventually reach the road. But ducking branches and avoiding fallen trees had me unsure if I’d veered off course. I stopped again to listen. It was dead still around me and with a mix of crusty snow and brittle leaves underfoot there’d be no way anyone could sneak up. I took off again but didn’t get more than ten feet when I tripped over an exposed root and went down hard. A sharp pain shot through my forearm and I couldn’t move my wrist. Struggling to my knees, I wrapped my right hand around my left wrist holding it tight against my chest. The watch from Griff was gone. It had slipped from my shoe into the snow-covered leaves. There was no time to search for it. Back on my feet I was running again. I’d completely lost my bearings and didn’t know if I was still moving in the direction of the road or back toward the house. It was slower going having to hold my arm and the jolt of each step increased the pain.
         Ahead of me, through the trees there was a light. I stopped and watched. If it moved, it meant I’d reached the road. If not, I was back at the house. It moved toward me and became two. Headlights. A car was coming. I felt delirious and forgetting the pain in my arm, ran headlong toward the road. Breaking through the trees, I stepped out and waved my good arm moving as far toward the center of the hot top as I dared. The car came to a stop in front of me and I bent forward at the waist ready to collapse. Tears of relief poured down my cheeks, the asphalt blurred as blue lights swirled around me reflecting off the wet pavement and bouncing tree to tree. The driver’s door opened and a man stepped out. As he came toward me I recognized Sheriff Stebbins.
         “Well, well, well, don’t you look all banged up. Come outta them trees, huh? What’re ya runnin’ from? A bear?” He started laughing and looked me up and down. “I know where you belong and lucky for you I’m headin’ your way. Bet Isaac will be damn pleased to see who I’m bringin’ home. Don’t you think?”
         He grabbed my arm and pulled me to the cruiser, opened the back door and threw me in. Once in the driver’s seat, Stebbins hit a button and all four locks clicked into place.

Author Information:

Patricia Hale received her MFA degree from Goddard College. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines and the anthology, My Heart’s First Steps. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Revenge, was published in 2013. The Church of the Holy Child (9/17) is the first book in her PI series featuring the team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan. The second book, Durable Goods, will be released April 15, 2018. Patricia is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, NH Writers Project and Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs.

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