USA Today Bestselling Author
Rogan arrives at the arctic training camp in the midst of chaos and suspicion. Missing men, fires in the kitchen, Magnus still recovering… and Mountain tearing across the tundra searching for his brother…
Lisa was brought in to assist Dr. Sydney in the medical clinic and is only just now catching up on the horrific events that’s plagued the camp. She’s trying to ignore the distrustful gazes as the only newcomer allowed in, even as everyone is trying to leave.
And yet through it all, the team investigating find some answers and yet a dozen more questions arise. Adding to the confusion, the science center is having unexplained issues with their generator. But with several scientists gone missing their problems are just starting. And those problems spill over to the training center upping the ante for both groups…
Tensions are high when Rogan arrives, everyone is suspicious and really just want to leave. So much has happened, the drug issue, fires and burns, deaths, missing people, hypothermia. It’s all happened and far too often for comfort.
Lisa Whelan was here for training, but since she’s a trained nurse she’s been assigned to help Sydney. She really wants to do some of the training she’s been sent to do and since the clinic isn’t busy at the moment, she is able to take advantage of it once the Colonel agrees. Unfortunately, a trainee gets chilled badly and she is in the clinic again.
On Sentry duty, Rogan gets the sense something’s wrong at the Scientist’s Base Camp. Magnus confirms they are having generator issues and not for the first time. The two of them head out to help. The generator has many issues, but they get it running and the scientists face joining them at the camp instead of maintaining it.
When the generator goes out, sabotage is suspected and confirmed. Someone was lurking outside Lisa’s door that night and then another person goes missing. On the search, Magnus and Rogan go to the scientist’s camp.
This is a favorite scene.
When Rogan met the rest of the search team outside, everybody was quiet, their faces grim. As Rogan looked around, he saw no sign of Mountain in any of the groups, but Magnus was here. Rogan walked closer to Magnus, who looked up and pointed at him.
“You’re with me.”
Rogan raised an eyebrow.
“Where are we going?”
“To the scientists’ camp.”
“Good enough,” Rogan replied. “And what about the locals’ village?”
“Somebody else has gone there.”
While Magnus didn’t say as much, Rogan suspected that somebody may have been Mountain. Rogan asked Magnus, “So everybody else is heading out in groups? Do we have trackers?”
Magnus nodded grimly. “It didn’t snow overnight, so there’s a hard crust, but no fresh tracks that we can see.”
Rogan stopped and looked at him. “So, what are you saying?”
“Chances are, Ron disappeared last night.”
“Shit.” Rogan groaned, as he walked over to the snowcat.
“Joe is leading the dogs. He’s got two trackers with him, so, with any luck, they can find Ron,” Magnus added, as he tightened his hold on his backpack. “We’ll go up to the scientists’ camp, double-check that they’re fine, and see if they’ve had any contact with Ron.”
With that, they got into the snowcat. In the distance Rogan watched the others as they took off on skis and sleds. “What the hell is going on?” Rogan muttered in the cold interior, as they set off.
“I don’t know, but we’ve got more brass involved, so we might see a change at the top here very soon.”
“I’m not surprised,” Rogan replied, “though I’m sorry about that because I’m not sure the colonel deserves whatever is coming his way.”
“As you well know, that doesn’t matter one bit in the military. Failure is not an option.”
“Definitely been a hell of a lot of failure here so far,” Rogan agreed, with a nod. The rest of the journey was made in eerie silence. Though, if it weren’t for the circumstances, Rogan could really enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty. He focused on surveying the area, trying to find any sign of their missing man. “We’re absolutely positive that Ron’s not back at the base, right?” Rogan asked.
Magnus nodded. “You were part of the room-to-room search. A full search has been done. Every bed’s been lifted and checked— still no sign of him.”
“But couldn’t he have a hiding place we haven’t considered or found?”
“Anything is possible,” Magnus acknowledged, with a shrug. “He’d be an idiot to be still hiding though.”
“Unless he has no choice.”
“Believe me. We thought of that too, and even the freezers were checked. I don’t know what more to say. When I say that a full check’s been done, I meant a full check has been done.”
“And presumably that was done under orders from the colonel?”
“He ordered it, but he didn’t personally supervise it. Just another reason why there will likely be a change at the top.”
“So, they want all hands on deck for this,” Rogan muttered.
“Yeah, and, at this point in time, the colonel might be thinking somebody is trying to make him look bad.”
“Wow.” Rogan faced Magnus. “I hadn’t even considered that.”
Magnus continued to concentrate on navigating them safely. “Yes, it’s a possibility. I can’t see anybody giving a shit, … unless they’re trying to make him suffer. Maybe trying to make him pay for something. In that case, … I wouldn’t be at all surprised if somehow something goes wrong. And the colonel ends up staying here because then it would mean that he was part of the targeting.”
At that, Magnus fell silent again, as Rogan contemplated what it would look like if somebody were trying to get payback on the colonel for something. “I suppose nobody did any checks into the colonel’s background, did they?”
Magnus snorted. “Good luck getting that, though things may have changed by now because of Ron. However, it probably depends more on what the outcome of this search is. If we find nothing’s wrong, and it turns out that Ron is fine, then the colonel will probably skate on this. Yet, if Ron’s isn’t fine, I suspect we’ll find out that the colonel is being heavily investigated.”
“Right, but that still doesn’t mean he’s guilty.”
“Absolutely not, it doesn’t mean he’s guilty of anything. Somebody could have something against him, and they’re determined to make him pay.”
“By making it look like this entire charade is his failure?”
“Yeah, by having multiple guys die or go missing under his watch, it goes without saying that the colonel’s completely useless as a leader.”
Rogan added in a sad tone, “Man, it’s a shame to think about deaths due to revenge or just sheer incompetence. Nobody deserves to die over that.”
“No, they sure don’t,” Magnus confirmed, “but, if somebody is prepared to kill— just to make someone else look bad— they sure don’t give a crap about the ones they are killing. And they really don’t give a crap about what you or I think about it.”
“That’s great,” Rogan muttered. “You could have lied and told me this would all blow over,” he joked.
“Yet you and I both know it won’t.”
“No, it sure doesn’t feel like it.”
“Did you find out anything through your questioning?”
“No, nothing besides the betting against Mother Nature thing. Even with our guys increasingly bored and forced to stay inside, I can’t believe we have any segment of people who are crazy enough to risk their life for some ego trip or pennies or whatever. Plus I’m still trying to figure out who the hell would have been standing outside Lisa’s door.”
“You may want to change your sleeping arrangements, if it matters to you that much.”
“What do you mean, if it matters to me?” he asked, his anger seeping through. “To have any of the women targeted matters to me.”
“Sure, but, in this case, we’ve got men being targeted as well, so—”
“Everybody needs to be careful, and everybody needs to be working on a buddy system,” he spelled out for him.
“Right.” Rogan nodded. “I wasn’t sure what you were trying to say.”
“I was trying to say that you’re sweet on her, so don’t bother with excuses. If you’re worried about her, you may want to change your sleeping arrangements.”
Rogan stiffened at that and turned to look at him, but Magnus was totally unaffected by Rogan’s glare.
“Don’t refute it,” Magnus stated, “because I can see the truth every time the two of you are together. You lean in closer. You’re always very solicitous, and your eyes follow her every time she gets up and leaves a room.”
“Crap,” Rogan muttered. “I can’t say I even noticed, and I’ve put it down to being friends.”
“You may have been firmly friend-zoned or you friend-zoned her at some point in the past, but something has shifted, and it feels weird.”
“Yeah, it feels weird all right,” Rogan said under his breath. “It also feels weird that everybody else seems to have some idea of what the hell is going on between me and Lisa, and yet I don’t have a clue.”
At that, Magnus burst out laughing. “Get used to it, buddy. In this place, there’s nothing to do but analyze everybody else around you, so it happens. And now you know. Get yourself up to speed or move on.” He pointed up ahead. “Almost there.” As they approached, he swore.
“What’s the matter?” Rogan asked.
“I don’t hear the damn generator.” He parked outside the front entrance, and together they raced inside. As he opened the door and stepped over the threshold, he felt the chill. “Hello! Hello! Where is everyone?” No sign of anyone in the main room. Magnus walked through and sniffed the air. He looked at Rogan, who had the same somber expression on his face. “I don’t like that smell,” Magnus roared, racing back to the front door, propping it open, and immediately covering his face with his hoodie.
“That’s gas,” Rogan snapped. “Stay here.” He raced through the center to where the sleeping quarters were, opening the doors to find still bodies in the beds. He raced to each person, checking for pulses. He took two on his first trip out.
Magnus raced to meet him by the door, helping to get the first two into the Cat.
“It might be carbon monoxide poisoning,” Rogan suggested. “They’re in bad shape in there.” Both men raced to the bedrooms, carrying two people over their shoulders. “We don’t have very much room with this machine,” Rogan said, with a groan.
“Doesn’t matter. We’ll stuff them in here anyway. Thank God the other team was just visiting and left shortly thereafter,” Magnus stated. “You can stay behind, if need be.”
“That’s fine,” Rogan agreed, “or I can ride on the damn roof even.” They double-checked the scientists’ camp for any more people, but only found the six that they’d already loaded up. They sent a message back to the base, putting Sydney and Lisa in the clinic on full alert.
Rogan took one last look around. He left a note on the front door, in case the rest of the scientists were out collecting data. By his count two people were missing. One female doctor and one male geoscientist.
With that, knowing they were literally racing against life and death, they climbed on the snowcat and headed back to base.
Dale Mayer. Rogan-Dale-Mayers-re (Kindle Locations 1452-1529). Kindle Edition.
Nothing like having things turn to crap, but they do manage to get the four scientists that were in life threatening condition out. The remaining two, Anna and Myles and two missing scientists are now a priority. Then Myles goes missing and ends up being found with a local hunting group, feverish and cold.
Nothing is making sense. Rogan and Lisa’s friendship turns to romance even as things escalate.
Plenty of danger, more suspicions, romance and a touch of sizzle.
I can’t wait for the next book in this series!
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.