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Avery Hudson's life had been turned upside down the moment took on the assignment of tracking Hollywood actor, Jason Peters. The only bright light was small town sheriff, Mary Jamison. Together, they are pitted against forces beyond their control. They must stand up to a supernatural bounty hunter calling himself, Mr. Dark; face a corrupt paramilitary force; deal with an ambitious reporter; and stay a step ahead of two FBI agents.
Faced with the fact that his guns are useless against his adversaries, Avery must rely on the one thing he lost many years ago—his faith. Will it be enough?
With his gaze temporarily diverted toward the yellow flash of lightning that lit the night sky, an alarming truth crossed his thoughts: the storm is coming in faster than anticipated. The wind had begun to pick up its pace, making his dangerous task that much more complex. He would have to move faster.
The thief stood backward on the ledge of the hotel rooftop, his feet apart. He scrutinized the nylon static cord once more. The cord, fixed firmly across the metal clamp, had passed his final inspection. Confident, he smiled underneath the oxygen mask. Adding slack through the metal clamp, he took one-step backward, placing his feet onto the side of the building. Scaling down the wall several inches, his body configured into a letter L shape. He was now in position. Bending his legs inward, he immediately thrust himself away.
His body seemed to float in midair as he descended. This routine was continued each time his feet made contact with the wall’s surface. When the thief reached his desired level, he halted his freefall. Locking the harness into place, he counted the number of windows to his right flank. He needed to be in front of the seventh window. Walking sideways across the building, he reached his objective.
His body swayed heavily in the breeze. The squalling wind at this height threatened the thief’s plans. Suspended in air, he struggled to maintain his fragile balance. Gaining a footing on the window’s ledge, he glanced at the gauge strapped on his wrist. He saw that the wind surpassed twenty-nine knots. If not for his insulated climber’s suit and oxygen mask, he would have succumbed to unconsciousness or fell victim to the bitter cold wind.
Dangling against the one-inch thick glass, he stared inside, spying the dark room. The accommodations reflected an odious bright green through the lens of the night vision goggles. As he expected, no one was present in the room. Retrieving a cutting apparatus from his utility belt, he examined the four corners of the window. No alarms, he thought.
Placing the suction cup against the glass, he cut out a large neat spherical hole from the window. Tapping lightly around the suction cup, he gave it a vigorous push. The glass surrendered under his weight. He let it drop to the plush carpeted floor inside without a care. The wind ripped into the newly formed opening, causing a loud whistling rumble. He secured the bottom of the rappelling rope to the ledge with anchors keeping it taut.
The wind forced its way into the room. The thief had to move quickly. He positioned himself more securely onto the window’s slender ledge. Unfastening the rappelling rope, he held himself aloft by clinging onto the windowpane. Although the anchors held the rope in place, it swayed slightly in the wind outside the window sounding like a guitar string being tuned.
Retrieving a custom-made Italian pistol crossbow from his side, he loaded it with an arrow. Attached to it was a thin steel wire. He fired through the breach, propelling the projectile across the room and into a far wall. On impact, the head of the arrow opened, releasing sharp hooks, grappling itself to the wall. Attaching the new line to the rappelling cable, he created a horizontal pathway into the room. He hoisted himself up onto the line and into a bedroom.
The accommodations were vacant. The hotel suite belonged to a Princess Foluke, the daughter of a visiting dignitary that was here to arrange a new trade agreement with the American government. They were from a small African nation no one had ever heard of called Zambomo. She and her staff were attending a gala thrown in her father’s honor by the Governor of California.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Darin Keith Gaston has been writing since childhood. He started his journey writing comic books of his own creation with friends. Later, in the military, he would make up stories to entertain fellow soldiers. After earning a BA from the Detroit College of Business and a MBA from the University of Phoenix in Technology Management, he decided to put his imagination once more to paper. He is an avid fan of science fiction, horror, mystery and suspense. Married with children, he resides in a suburb of Detroit. Darin is also a member of the writer’s group, Metro Detroit Creative Writers.
XIII: "This book feels like a high octane action movie, you can almost hear the explosions and imagine the special effects." - Brynneth N. Colvin/Author
XIII: “If you’re looking for an adventure/thriller, XIII hits the ground running.” – Donna Sundblad/Author
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 418
Paper Weight (lb): 17.4
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