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Into the Dark
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Tags: Las Vegas, suspense, thriller, mystery, bank robbery, murder mystery, romantic suspense, romantic thriller, romance, police, crime, SWAT, tunnels, psychological thriller, kidnapping, stalking, secrets, lies, secret passages, obsession
Editor: Kim Cresswell
Line Editor: Les Tucker
Cover Designer: Marion Sipe
A two-hundred-mile labyrinth of dark storm drains serves as refuge for the delusional stalker who will go to any lengths to possess fragile, emotionally isolated Emilie Davis. To survive, Emilie will have to confront the secrets of her past she has kept locked away from everyone, including herself.
Emilie is a master escape artist—she’s fled a manipulative mother and a controlling ex-husband. But it’s impossible to evade a stalker who uses a bank robbery as a ruse to kidnap her. He’s still out there, hiding in the Las Vegas tunnels and dodging police. Emilie’s life careens out of control as her assailant continues his pursuit. She has nowhere to turn but to Nathan Madigan, the hostage negotiator who worked the robbery.
Nathan is haunted by his failure to protect a loved one fourteen years ago and has dedicated his life to saving others. Determined to catch the lunatic hunting Emilie, he finds himself losing his professional detachment. He fears history is about to repeat itself if he cannot protect Emilie from the Taker’s obsession.
The police close in on the Taker’s identity as Nathan and Emilie grow closer to each other and to resolving the misery of their own pasts. At the height of The Taker’s madness, his attempt to replace someone he’s lost will either kill them all or set them free.
Nathan peered through the chain link fence. “Is that it?”
“I didn’t even know this culvert was here.” Chris started to climb. “I drive over it every day, too.”
“That’s why they call them box culverts,” Johnson said from the other side of the fence. “You don’t see them unless you’re walking inside.”
Several blocks north of the raucous Fremont Street Experience was an entrance to the storm drain system.
“Why couldn’t we just cut this thing down?” Nathan huffed as he made the short trip up and over the wobbly chain link barrier.
“Because no one in Metro wants to deal with the city officials over it,” Johnson said.
“Talk about spook central.” Nathan shined his light toward the culvert. Bathed in shadows, it stood silent and empty. A chill of foreboding washed over him.
“Watch yourselves.” Johnson led the way as the three men entered the culvert, weapons ready. “Anything could be lurking.”
Standing water covered the toes of Nathan’s boots. The air was thick with mildew. “Drain’s over there.” He shined his tactical light on the flood map. “To the right.”
The temperature dropped as they entered the large drain. Darkness engulfed them.
Chris’s whistle cut through the eerie stillness. “Wow. It’s a hell of a lot cooler in here. Place smells like feet, but I’ll take what I can get.”
Nathan shined his light on the walls. Colorful graffiti decorated the concrete. “Someone’s a talented artist.”
The darkness thickened with each step. The odor grew increasingly foul.
“Jesus, I can taste the stench in my mouth.” Chris gagged and spit into the dirty water.
Nathan didn’t respond. He was too busy trying to keep the contents of his stomach down and wondering how the people who lived in the tunnels stood the smell and the constant dangers. The drains provided relief from the sweltering desert heat, and free housing, but they were death traps. Large portions ran directly underneath the city streets and inhabitants risked carbon monoxide poisoning and the frequent threat of flooding. Growing up poor in North Las Vegas gave him a better perspective than many, but he couldn’t imagine having no other alternative than to live minute-by-minute.
“We shouldn’t run into any camps,” Johnson said. “They’re deeper in. One of the biggest is right under the Strip.”
“You know we aren’t going to find shit,” Chris choked out. “It’s too dark. Guy planned this for months. He knows his way around. We need to get out of here and check on Adam.”
“Medic called me when they got him to the hospital,” Johnson said. “He’s going into surgery. All we’d be doing right now is sitting around waiting. Still have to do our jobs, Holt.”
“He’s just a rookie. I should have been in front of him.”
“Stop,” Nathan said. “You followed protocol. That was a lucky shot.”
“Doesn’t make it right.”
Silence fell over the men as they moved farther into the stinking drain. Something hard crunched underneath Nathan’s boots. He nervously shined his light into the black water. Crawfish swam around his feet, probably on their way to the Las Vegas Wash. A mushy white glob looking suspiciously like used toilet paper floated by, and he focused his light away from the stream. Better not to know what he was stepping on.
A loud splash ahead brought all three to a halt.
“You hear that?” Johnson asked.
“Sounds big.” Chris stepped in front of Johnson and raised his Glock.
“Las Vegas SWAT,” Johnson shouted. “Identify yourself.”
“Maybe it was an animal,” Nathan said.
“That’s even worse than a junkie,” Chris said. “With my luck, Cujo’s
man-eating cousin will show up and give me rabies.”
“They have shots for that now.”
“No shit, Sherlock.”
A second loud splash was followed by the distinct sound of footsteps plodding through the water.
“That’s no dog.” Chris sprinted after the runner with Nathan and Johnson closely following. The beams of their lights flashed haphazardly against the walls making the tunnel even more ominous.
A strange brightness glowed several yards ahead of them. Their quarry came into view. He was too short and stocky to be their man, but he could have information.
About the Author:
Stacy Green majored in journalism and mass communications at Drake University, writing several articles for Drake Magazine and acting as Assistant Editor for the first edition of 515 Magazine. Stacy left the pen behind for a successful advertising career. In 2005, she became a proud stay-at-home mom.
In between naps and play-time, Stacy began writing stories again. Her love of suspense has always led her to the darker side, and the discovery of the dark, stinking Las Vegas Tunnels gave her the inspiration for her debut novel. INTO THE DARK is a suspense thriller set in Las Vegas and features the dark underworld of the infamous Las Vegas storm drains.
A lifelong writer and dreamer, Stacy lives in Marion, Iowa, with her daughter, husband, and their three dogs.
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Customer Reviews:EParzefall (Saturday, 20 October 2012)
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