Cold Dawn (A Black Falls Novel)
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The small town of Black Falls, Vermont, finally feels safe again—until search-and-rescue expert Rose Cameron discovers a body, burnt almost beyond recognition. Almost. Rose is certain that she knows the victim's identity…and that his death was no accident.
Nick Martini also suspects an arsonist's deliberate hand. Another fire killed an arson investigator in California months ago. Now the rugged smoke jumper is determined to follow the killer's trail…even if it leads straight to Rose. Nick and Rose haven't seen each other since they shared a single night of blind passion, but they can't let memories and unhealed wounds get in the way of their common goal—stopping a merciless killer from taking aim straight at the heart of Black Falls.
facing the woods above the river. Her normally playful, inquisitive golden barked fiercely, stopping at the solid wood door to the ell. Rose saw that it was ajar, its padlock broken in half. The scent of smoke was sharp, nauseating. She got Ranger back to her left side and signaled for him to stay. He sat on the path, panting but quiet, and she tapped the door, opening it farther. If any part of the shed had burned in January, she’d have heard about it. She peered inside. The sun didn’t reach
Rose. “I promised Beth I’d fill in for her tonight at the café. It’s cleaning night.” He grinned. “Feel free to take my place.” Rose knew his good humor was as close as she’d get to an apology from him for his earlier surliness. “I’ve done cleaning night with you, Zack. Mostly you just eat leftover brownies.” “Dom’s brownies are the best,” he said. “See you all later.” He took the path around to the front of the shed. Rose sighed at his retreating figure. “Zack hasn’t changed since fifth
grunted. “This all bothers me.” He was silent a moment before finally turning to Rose. “I’ll be outside.” Myrtle waited for him to cross the hardwood floor and go out the main door before she spoke. “He’s stir-crazy. I get that. Think he’ll stay here through your winter fest? Get him to demonstrate swinging an ax.” “Ha, right,” Rose said, although she could picture it. “He is a bit of a rogue, isn’t he? I imagine he can be ruthless, too. Is he reckless?” “Sean wouldn’t continue to fight
might have said something to me.” “Coconspirators,” she muttered. She opened the front door for her brother and his fiancée. Elijah struck Nick as being more like Rose than either A.J. or Sean, but the Camerons were all down-to-earth hard-asses who loved the mountains and their small hometown. Jo looked every inch the Secret Service agent she was. She and Elijah were grim and circumspect. “We thought we’d stay here tonight,” Jo said to Rose. “It still smells like smoke down at the lake.”
her?” “Nothing.” “Nah, come on, Trent,” Grit said. “There’s more.” He squirmed in his seat. “I told her I’d heard Nick was on his way East. Other smoke jumpers mentioned it.” Trent’s color quickly returned and he shrugged, proud. In the know. “Everyone here’s tuned in to what went on in Vermont with the bombs and fires and stuff.” He glanced up at Sean. “They know what you did.” Sean had lost any patience with Trent Stevens. Grit said, “This guy probably killed Portia that night. You’re lucky