Crimson Deep by Anthony M. Strong

Crimson Deep

Crimson Deep by Anthony M. Strong (John Decker Series Book 3)
English | 2020 | Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 2.9 MB

Something ancient has found new prey… Us.
Deep in the Florida woodlands, a pair of recreational divers are attacked and killed. Miles away, a research team captures an impossible sight on their remote-operated submersible. Meanwhile, a team of bank robbers speed toward their Florida hideout.
As deaths mount, ex-sheriff John Decker is called from a much-needed vacation by a longtime friend, to help a baffled police department track an impossible enemy. Thrust into one of the most dangerous situations of his life, Decker must combat not only a ruthless killer but a cadre of criminals with nothing to lose.
And the stakes could not be higher, because if Decker fails, it could lead not only to his own death but the demise of the woman he loves.

A pair of headlights snapped on across the parking lot, and Laura realized that an SUV was there, sitting in the darkness. Waiting.

The SUV moved now, driving toward her. After it stopped, a slender Asian man with graying hair got out. He stood and waited while she gathered the courage to move.

“You’re late,” he said as she exited her vehicle.

“It was a long drive.” Laura realized she was shaking. She willed herself to calm down. “This place is really out in the boondocks.”

“We value privacy.” The man stepped closer. He glanced toward the crate in the bed of her truck, covered by a tarp. When he spoke, there was excitement in his voice. “Is that it?”

“Yes.”

“Can I see?”

“What about my money?” Laura asked.

“I have it.” The man chuckled. “You’ll get it once I verify the package is genuine. Now, may I see?”

“It’s real, I assure you.” Laura went to the back of the truck and dropped the tailgate. She pulled the tarp aside. “There.”

Mr. Smith came closer. He leaned forward, his eyes wide with anticipation. “Fabulous.”

“I don’t get it.” Laura studied the creature, curled up in a fetal position on the crate floor as it slept off the sedative. It was three feet long with a thick scaly hide, muscular limbs, and a toothy snout. “Why pay so much for an alligator?”

“You think this is an alligator?” Mr. Smith laughed and peered into the crate, his face inches from the wire.

Laura shrugged. “Sure.”

“Oh, my pretty. You’re no alligator, are you?” he cooed the words, eyes roaming across the slumbering beast. “Oh no. You are much better.”

“What’s so special about this, anyway?” Laura found the creature repulsive. “It’s ugly.”

“That it is.” Mr. Smith agreed. “But under that grotesque shell lies a work of art. Ancient genes, dormant for millennia, turned back on thanks to genetic engineering. Size, power, instincts, all reverted to an earlier, more primal stage. It’s fascinating, and it’s going to shave years off our research.”

“Why bother to do the work yourself when you can just steal it?” Laura said, instantly regretting the words as Mr. Smith fixed her with a cold glare.

“You don’t have much room for judgment, young lady. After all, you are the one who stole it for us,” Mr. Smith said. “Speaking of which, you made sure it would not be missed?”

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