Rick Mofina The Dying Hour

ISBN 13: 9780786016976

The Dying Hour

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9780786016976: The Dying Hour
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When a stranger stops to help her while she is stranded on the road during a bad storm, Karen Harding enters a realm of terror and hopelessness when her so-called "savior" takes her hostage, keeping her captive in the darkness as he prepares to kill her. Original.

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About the Author:

PENTHOUSE magazine has hailed Rick Mofina, a former newspaper crime reporter, as "one of the leading thriller writers of the day." His books have drawn praise from New York Times Bestselling authors, James Patterson, Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz and Sandra Brown. His series featuring San Francisco reporter Tom Reed and SFPD Homicide Inspector Walt Sydowski, feature the titles, If Angels Fall, Cold Fear, No Way Back, Be Mine, and Blood of Others, which won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

THE DYING HOUR Chapter One

Karen Harding had to get away. She was alone, driving from Seattle north on Interstate 5, wipers slapping at the rain as she tried to understand why her fiancé was suddenly forcing her to make a life-changing decision. Karen brushed her tears away. Why was he doing this? Luke’s change of heart had staggered her. She needed to leave for a few days. To think. After they spoke she threw some things into a bag, tossed it into her Toyota and set off to see her big sister Marlene who lived in Vancouver. Karen didn’t bother calling ahead. This was an emergency. Besides, Marlene would be home. She and her husband rarely left town because of their two kids and their jobs. The air horn of a Freightliner yanked Karen’s attention back to the highway. Her windshield was a watery curtain. Lights from oncoming traffic stabbed at her from the darkness. Big rigs trailed blinding spray as they passed, their wakes nearly swamping her. Time for a break. She exited at a truck stop outside of Bellingham. A massive map of Washington and British Columbia covered the lobby wall. Below it, a corkboard papered with ads for trucks, bonding agents and driving jobs. Faces of missing children, women and fugitive men stared at her from posters. Video games beeped and ponged next to the soda and snack machines. She was hungry. In the restaurant, country music mingled with the aroma of deep-fried food, coffee and the clink of cutlery. Amid the murmur of weary men in ballcaps, plaid shirts and jeans, Karen searched for a seat. She walked by a woman and a young girl laughing over ice-cream, a white-haired couple sharing soft conversation over soup, then a bearded man who wore dark glasses and the white collar of a reverend. He was sitting alone reading a book and sipping coffee. She found a booth by the window and ordered a chicken sandwich. Wind-driven rain bled against the glass. As Karen resumed wrestling with her problem, the truck stop’s electrical power surged. The lights flickered. Karen glanced around the diner. The reverend was watching her. He offered a warm smile. Karen tried smiling but looked away. She ached to talk to her sister, to someone who might offer guidance when she was struck by an idea. Maybe the fact a reverend was nearby was a sign. Perhaps she could talk to him. Could she confide her dilemma to a stranger? She looked to his booth but he was gone. Karen noticed the tip left by his coffee cup as the truckers’ conversations grew louder. Those who were talking on cell phones began alerting the others to trouble arising from the storm, a wreck at the border crossing near Blaine. "A reefer and a loaded tanker," one of them said. "Going to push your wait time way, way back. A couple of hours." Not good. Karen needed to reach her sister tonight. She looked at her folded map for an alternative entry into Canada. She’d always crossed at Blaine. She examined the web of roads in Washington’s northwest corner. Lynden looked easy enough. Exit northbound on Route 539 at the north end of Bellingham, straight shot to the border. If Lynden was choked, she’d try Sumas.

The storm was unrelenting.

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