Summer Searcher by M.K. Dymock (A Lost Gorge Mystery Book 3)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.8 MB
Neither of them will survive the search alone.
When a strange woman stumbles out of the mountains, disheveled and bleeding, begging for help to find a lost child, Sheriff Sol Chapa stops everything to search. Three days later, with no sign the girl even existed, sympathy turns to suspicion, and the woman disappears as quickly as she appeared. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Sol is haunted by the small chance that he failed.
Jennifer lies about everything, including her name and her background, but she didn’t lie about the kid. She knows firsthand the terrors the backwoods inflict on the young. With no one left to trust, she searches the wilderness herself.
Sol can’t shake the feeling he quit too soon.
Jen won’t give up on the missing girl.
Neither will survive the search alone.
Sol had personally trained each member of his team; he knew how good they were. But until he had a way to transfer his instinct into the trainees, he would forever be on call.
A family reunion had brought a few dozen families to the majestic, yet remote Montana mountain site, which, due to its elevation, only stayed barren of snow a few months per year. Even in July, each summer storm carried the risk of snow.
The mountains around them stood in rugged defiance to the plains beyond. Their county lines bordered almost ten thousand square miles—bigger than some states. Plenty of folks tended to get lost or hurt, and search and rescue, or SAR, did its best to save each one.
With a cup of cold coffee and no intention of sleeping, Sol pored over the area maps.
The myriad of canyons above the campsite concealed a multitude of mines with more entrances than could ever be mapped. The county had done what it could with the popular spots and gated them off. Smaller holes, about the size of a boy, still dotted the cliffs but the closest had to be a few miles away.
Sol knew these mountains better than most people knew the path between their bed and bathroom, but the mines added a layer of complexity. “Where have you searched so far?”
Clint sat across from him at the small pullout table. “The first night was spent canvassing the campground here and the lower sites as well. We went down a few trails but didn’t want to risk destroying any track until we had daylight. The second day, we hit it hard but the dogs couldn’t get a good bead on his scent and every trail petered out. We’ve got more volunteers coming up tomorrow—at least a hundred.”
“Show me the marked maps.” The team would have meticulously marked each searched trail with a timestamp. There were no wasted efforts. Sol ran down each line, mentally removing them from his own plans. “What about the mines?”
“Every entrance we’ve found so far is still locked. I’ve sent for the state’s experts, but they haven’t arrived yet.” Clint slumped in his seat. His freckles made him look younger than thirty-five, but the weight of the job had slowed his usual ready smile. He’d held the office of sheriff for less than a year. Sol felt no regret at relinquishing the position to the long-serving deputy. At the time, Clint had taken the mantle with eagerness.
“You might as well get some sleep. Nothing to be done before dawn,” Sol said.
Clint stared at the maps as if they would tell him something new. “The parents aren’t sleeping.”
Above them, a long rumble of thunder rolled its way across the sky. Sol prayed without faith that the storm would take pity on the missing boy, Benjamin, and pass them by. His fingers hovered over the topographical map, showing the elevation gains. Clint stood, but before he could walk away, Sol’s finger jabbed the map. “He’s here. Probably up one of three draws. I’ll head out at dawn.”