For several months, Detective Greg Williams and his partner have been trying to catch the Black Fin gang. Their latest intelligence is good, so they go on their most risky raid yet. But things go horribly wrong. While recuperating from the wounds he received during the botched raid, Detective Williams and his captain realize there might be a leak in the Portland police department. When they begin digging, things get worse for Williams.
At the urging of his captain, Detective Williams heads into the mountains, hoping a little distance from the department will give the Black Fins and their police informants the opportunity to slip up. His working vacation soon takes turns he could never have imagined when he meets the reclusive writer, Ken Draig, next door, who turns out to be more than Greg ever imagined. But the Black Fins aren’t about to let Detective Williams rest, they soon track him down, but with Ken’s help, Greg manages to stay alive and fight back as forces he never knew existed reveal themselves to be working against him. Will Greg survive the Black Fins’ ultimate plot?
The shrill beeping of the smoke alarm and Casey’s barking roused Greg from a deep sleep. It had felt so good to fall asleep in his own bed, it took a minute to realize something was happening.
He sat up and slung his legs over the side of the bed. “Casey, what’s wrong with you? It’s the middle of the night. Do you have to go out?” He patted the bed and Casey came trotting over to him, then turned and growled at the closed bedroom door.
Then he smelled it. Smoke.
His stomach clenched as he registered the “beep, beep, beep” of the smoke alarm. Flipping the bedside light on, he scrambled for his jeans.
Black tendrils seeped under the bedroom door.
Sirens wailed in the distance.
He jerked his jeans on, fumbling slightly with the stiffness of his leg. Then Greg slipped his feet halfway into his tennis shoes, grabbed his gun and wallet from the stand, pulled his grandmother’s quilt off the bed, and flung it over his shoulder. He wanted to save the quilt, it was the last thing he had of his grandmother. He wasn’t about to leave it to a fire if he could help it.
He opened the window, picked up a chair, and smashed through the screen.
The sirens screamed louder as firetrucks turned the corner.
“Come here, Casey.” He scooped the dog up in his arms and lifted him through the window. In his hurry, he was glad Casey didn’t struggle against being picked up like he did sometimes. “It’s a good thing we’re on the ground floor.”
A shot rang out as he dropped the dog onto the yard.
The night in the alley came rushing back. He couldn’t stand the thought of losing Casey the way he’d lost Jackson. “Casey!” Greg pulled his gun from his waistband. “You son-of-a-bitch! You shot my dog!”
He emptied his clip in the direction of the shot, and then crawled out the window and dove toward the ground leaving his shoes behind.
Greg screamed as his knees buckled under him, and sharp pain erupted in his leg. He lay there on the ground, trying to get the strength to crawl over to Casey as the emergency lights cast their kaleidoscope of colors around the yard, making it hard to see.
A man ran toward him and he raised his empty gun.
The man stopped and held up his hands in the universal sign of surrender. “Don’t shoot! I’m a fireman.”
Casey’s whines carried through the pain as Greg tried to get up. “Someone shot my dog. Take care of him first.”
“Just lie still.” The fireman put a hand on his shoulder, trying to hold him still. “We got to him first. A paramedic is already checking him over.”
Greg dropped his gun as the adrenaline faded and the pain in his knee dropped him into darkness.