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Abduction (Killer Instinct #1.5)

By:Cynthia Eden

Tough Justice: Countdown (Part 1 of 8)

by Carla Cassidy

Episode One

A year after FBI Agent Lara Grant put her past-in the form of a very personal manhunt-behind her, the Crisis Management Unit is called in to take lead on a shocking new assignment. A serial bomber is targeting some of the most powerful people in in the city, threatening to expose their deepest secrets.

And soon Lara will face a deadly foe-with an army of skeletons just waiting to fall out of her own closet …


Dammit, he'd been so careful. And now this.

A trickle of sweat worked down the side of his face and he closed his eyes as fear tightened his lungs and squeezed his throat. He'd been in a simmering panic since he'd received the email.

He opened his eyes and reread the damned thing.

12:01a.m., from yourworstnightmarenowhere:

I know what you did with all that money. I'll keep your secret but it will cost the lives of innocent people. Or confess to the press and nobody gets hurt. The choice is yours. You have until noon tomorrow.

The lives of innocent people? What did that mean? His gut tightened as nausea overcame him.

Things like this weren't supposed to happen to him. He'd done everything right in his life. He'd had high hopes. He had big ambitions. The New York Times was running a cover story on him next week that he hoped would launch him to a new level of success. Everything was in place and now this.

Somebody knew his secret.

He twisted his gold wedding band around and around his finger as he stared at the grandfather clock across the room. He had to make a decision fast. Time was running out.

Coming clean would destroy everything he'd worked for. Hell, it wouldn't only destroy him, it would also destroy his wife.

How much could this anonymous person know? Did the emailer know about all the gifts, the secret hotel visits and the faux business expenses?

Just last weekend they had spent two days together at a luxury hotel upstate, ultimately paid for by taxpayer dollars.

Four minutes … he had four minutes left to make a decision. He should have contacted his brother when he'd received the email. But what could he have done to help? What could anyone do?

Three minutes. A rivulet of sweat rolled down the center of his back while his fingers poised over his computer keyboard. It was too late to call for a press conference. But it wasn't too late for him to type something up on social media … confess to the affair and to the misuse of public funds.

If he didn't do that innocent people would die. Jesus, what kind of a choice was this? What kind of a monster asked someone to make such a decision.

The back of his throat closed up again. He didn't want to be responsible for anyone dying. He blew out several short breaths in an effort to calm himself.

Two minutes to go. Surely it was a hoax. It had to be some sort of an outrageous bluff. How could he take this seriously? More sweat dampened him as the acrid scent of his fear wafted in the air. His fingers trembled with indecision.

One minute...oh, God, what should he do? Was this real? Would something bad really happen?

Thirty seconds. His phone dinged with a text message. Quickly he grabbed it up and stared at the text.


A sharp pain shot through his chest. This couldn't be real. It couldn't be … could it? The grandfather clock ticked off the seconds.


Four. His fingers hovered over his keyboard.


Two. Oh God. He hesitated. It was too late to type something now.


As the clock began to chime, a ding indicated another text message.

With dread he looked at it.


Don't miss a single exciting installment of the new FBI thriller


by New York Times bestselling author Carla Cassidy, Tyler Anne Snell, Emmy Curtis and Janie Crouch.

On sale February 2017 wherever Harlequin ebooks are sold.

© 2017 by Harlequin Books S.A.


: 9781488012679


© 2017 by Cindy Roussos

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