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Dark Sky

Cover of Dark Sky

Dark Sky

Deputy U.S. Marshal Juliet Longstreet has made her share of enemies, and now one of them is out of prison and threatening to kill her. Her mission: find him first.

But hot on her suspect's trail is Special Forces officer Ethan Brooker, who has a way of dropping into Juliet's life without warning. Haunted by his wife's death, Ethan is a man Juliet knows she should avoid. And now he's focused on a related mission of his own and can't--or won't--give Juliet any details.

When she finds her doorman dead and her New York apartment ransacked, Juliet tracks down Ethan--this time she wants answers. They agree to team up, and as they fight their growing attraction to each other, their race to stop a ruthless killer takes them north to Juliet's family in Vermont...and into the heart of a dangerous web of lies, greed, deceit--and murder.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Juliet Longstreet has made her share of enemies, and now one of them is out of prison and threatening to kill her. Her mission: find him first.

But hot on her suspect's trail is Special Forces officer Ethan Brooker, who has a way of dropping into Juliet's life without warning. Haunted by his wife's death, Ethan is a man Juliet knows she should avoid. And now he's focused on a related mission of his own and can't--or won't--give Juliet any details.

When she finds her doorman dead and her New York apartment ransacked, Juliet tracks down Ethan--this time she wants answers. They agree to team up, and as they fight their growing attraction to each other, their race to stop a ruthless killer takes them north to Juliet's family in Vermont...and into the heart of a dangerous web of lies, greed, deceit--and murder.

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    The lake still smelled of summer. Juliet Longstreet, her jeans rolled up to midcalf, stood in water up to her ankles. Its warmth surprised her, although it shouldn't have. As kids, she and her brothers had gone swimming in the small lake into October, not that the water was warm then. But in late September, in the early days of autumn, anything was possible.

    She dug her toes into the soft, muddy bottom, looking across the rippling water to the opposite shore, nestled amid the hills of east central Vermont. The leaves were beginning to turn. She could see dots of red, patches of yellow. She breathed in the clean air and suddenly was sorry she had to head back to New York in a few hours. She'd already packed up her tent and rolled up her sleeping bag.

    Her work was in New York, if not her life.

    But she didn't know that her life was here, either.

    She glanced behind her and took in the small clearing where she'd pitched her tent, the cluster of granite boulders amid birch trees, the tall pine trees with their dead underbranches, the huge, ancient sugar maple on the edge of the path to the dirt road that encircled half the lake. She could have stayed with her parents just over the hill, in her old bedroom overlooking the barn, or with any of her brothers who lived in the area, but she liked the quiet and solitude of her five acres on the lake.

    A family from Massachusetts and a couple from New Jersey owned second homes on the lake, nothing fancy, just ordinary country houses. A private, nonprofit nature preserve owned the rest of the land on the lake. The only structure on the preserve's two hundred acres was an early nineteenth-century barn, all that remained of an old farm.

    With the increase in land prices, Juliet could sell her quiet lakefront lot for a sizable profit. But given her itinerant lifestyle as a deputy U.S. marshal, she liked having land of her own, the sense of permanence it gave her. And her roots, at least, were in Vermont.

    Spaceshot, the family black Lab, waddled down the path from the road and joined her at the lake's edge, but didn't get too close to the water. "You could use a swim -- the exercise would do you good," Juliet said to the dog, knowing he wouldn't have worked up the energy to walk down to the lake by himself. "Who came with you?"

    Her niece Wendy followed the dog's route down the path, walking over the matted-down grass where Juliet had pitched her tent. At seventeen, Wendy was the eldest of the Longstreet grandchildren. She was short and slim and had dark hair and dark eyes like her mother, who'd walked out on Juliet's oldest brother fifteen years ago. Susie Longstreet had home-schooled her only child. Wendy graduated a year earlier than her peers but decided not to go straight to college. Then, over the summer, Susie announced she was renting her house and leaving on the first of September to study yoga in Nova Scotia for six months.

    That left Wendy with few options, but she chose to live with her Longstreet grandparents and work at the family landscaping business. She seemed happy with her decision. She was a hard worker, but she was self-conscious, determined to see herself as something of a mutant because she wasn't tall and big-boned -- or fair-haired and blue-eyed -- like her Longstreet grandparents, her father or her four uncles and aunt.

    There were days Juliet would have traded Wendy for her long, fine, straight dark hair. Her own was cut short and filled with cowlicks. She'd never figured out what to do with it.

    "Grandma said to tell you lunch will be on the table in twenty minutes," Wendy said.

    "Thanks. Who'll be there?"

    ...
About the Author-
  • Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels, novellas and short stories. Her work has been translated into 24 languages and sold in more than 30 countries. She is a popular speaker around the country as well as a founding member of the New England Chapter of RWA, past president of Novelists, Inc., and past vice president of International Thriller Writers. She and her husband live in a house on a hilltop not far from picturesque Quechee Gorge.

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