The Blackout by KJ Kalis (Kat Beckman Book 4)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.8 MB
Conspiracy. Vengeance. Disaster. Kat Beckman is finally coming to terms with her life when her family unexpectedly moves to California, a place she’s never wanted to live.
As she adjusts to living in strange city, she notices that a new friend, the normally composed Theresa Walsh, seems rattled. A tense conversation reveals that Theresa is suspicious there’s a conspiracy involving Palm Coast Electric & Power, the company Theresa’s husband runs as the CEO. She doesn’t know what it is, but Theresa is terrified and needs Kat’s help. The next day, Theresa goes missing, leaving her sick son in the hospital alone. Kat doesn’t know if her friend is alive or dead.
All around the San Jose area, mysterious wildfires are popping up, destroying homes and killing people in the very area that Palm Coast Electric & Power services. Is there a connection between Theresa’s disappearance and the conspiracy she was so afraid of? As Kat gets closer to the truth, she discovers a massive plot that threatens not only the community, but her own family. Will she be in time to save the people she loves before it’s too late?
he sun had set over the valley just between San Jose and Modesto. The mountains crowned, rising up and then dropping off to the valley between the two cities. Homes dotted the area, some in developments, some set off on their own. The lights of those homes were barely visible to anyone who was overhead. Thick foliage, pine trees and undergrowth gave the area protection from the heat of the day as it crawled up over canyons and up onto the mountainside.
James and Vicky Rossi were out walking their dogs as darkness descended near their home. Vicky pulled a lip balm out of her pocket to combat the dry air and tied her hair back into a ponytail. “It’s gotten windy,” she said, looping the leash of one of their Boxer-mixes around her wrist a bit tighter. Their dog, Natty, had a habit of chasing after small animals. A tight grip on his leash kept him nearby while the wind whipped around them. James, leading their other dog, Bruno, looked back and almost had to yell through the howl of the wind up the side of the mountain, “Kinda creepy with all this wind!”
Vicky followed James to the end of the street. As they turned around, they heard a crackle behind them. Vicky turned back just in time to see a transformer above them explode into a haze of blue light, glowing and throwing off sparks. It came clear off the pole, landing twenty feet away. The dogs pinned their tails and started to pull the couple up the hill toward home. “James!” she yelled, as Natty pulled her away from the noise. “Look!”
The transformer, located just above a patch of dry ground covered in leaves and pine needles, had begun to smolder, the live power lines loose on the ground. “Call 911,” James yelled, handing Vicky Bruno’s leash. Vicky pulled the dogs close to her and hit the emergency button on her phone as James ran back toward the fire.
“I’m on Sunset Ranch Road near Modesto. A transformer exploded and sparks went everywhere. There’s a fire. Hurry!”
Vicky shoved the phone back in her pocket in time to see a bank of flames erupt in front of her husband. “James!”
He turned and ran back up the hill toward Vicky and the dogs. “I tried to stamp it out, but it just exploded. We’ve got to get home now!”
As the couple ran back up the hill to their home, their dogs leading the way, the flames began to crackle into a wall of fire that started to crawl up the hillside, fueled by the wind and the dry brush.