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Dark Water

Dark Water

4.2 24
by Sharon Sala

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The water is dark and cold....

Two decades ago, Sarah Jane Whitman's father disappeared with an embezzled fortune from his local bank, an act of betrayal that subjected his wife and daughter to a vicious scandal. Now a body has been pulled from its watery tomb, a body that is identified as Frank Whitman's. This grim discovery proves Sarah's father was


The water is dark and cold....

Two decades ago, Sarah Jane Whitman's father disappeared with an embezzled fortune from his local bank, an act of betrayal that subjected his wife and daughter to a vicious scandal. Now a body has been pulled from its watery tomb, a body that is identified as Frank Whitman's. This grim discovery proves Sarah's father was innocent...and that the real thief got away with murder.

Now Sarah's obsession with uncovering the truth is making some people in Marmet, Maine, very nervous. Suddenly the prosperous citizens of this community are under intense scrutiny--including Tony DeMarco, who grew up with Sarah. But is the concern Tony shows for Sarah's safety genuine or is he hiding something dangerous? And can she trust him with her future as a desperate killer tries to shut the door forever on the past...?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A number of suspenseful scenes liven up a formulaic story line in the latest romantic intrigue from Sala (Snowfall; White Mountain). The novel opens with the discovery of Frank Whitman's corpse, which has lain in a lake for some 20 years since he allegedly stole a million dollars from the bank he headed. Upon learning that her long-reviled father may have been an innocent victim, Sarah Whitman returns to Maine to ensure his killer is brought to justice and to face down the townspeople who turned against her and her mother so long ago. There she meets and teams up with her childhood crush, Tony DeMarco, who has come to town out of loyalty to Sarah and her father, his onetime mentor. An attempt on Sarah's life fails to dissuade her, but when a key piece of evidence falls into her hands, the attacks intensify. Sala keeps the tension high and the pace hopping. Although the dialogue is sometimes flat-footed ("He's running scared, Ron. He'll make a mistake, and when he does, we'll get him"), and the characters have an annoying habit of reiterating what has already happened, readers will likely be turning the pages too quickly to notice. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.58(h) x 1.26(d)

Read an Excerpt

Dark Water

By Sharon Sala

Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Copyright © 2002
Harlequin Enterprises Limited
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1551669390

Chapter One

If Avery Wheeler hadn't robbed an armored truck in Farmington, Maine, and taken a woman hostage, the state police would never have given chase when he headed north up Highway 27. He made it all the way to the outskirts of Stanton before taking a side road toward Flagstaff Lake. The police were only a minute or so behind him, and even though it was almost dark, he knew he wasn't going to make it to the Canadian border before they caught up with him. His plan, for the moment, was to get lost in the woods around the lake and hope for the best.

At that point he was wishing he hadn't dropped out of high school back in the seventies and had taken that job in his uncle's meat-packing business. Even more, he wished to hell he'd never laid eyes on the woman in the seat beside him. She hadn't stopped screaming since he'd shoved her in the car at gunpoint. Now all he wanted was to start this day over. But since that wasn't possible, he opted for making a new start, and to do that, he had to get rid of the police and that damned screaming clerk. As he rounded a curve in the road, he saw the opportunity to do both.

With the setting sun coming in through the driver's side of the windows and the dark water of Flagstaff Lake before him, he unbuckled his seat belt, lowered the window, then stomped on the gas. The force of the acceleration slammed both him and his hostage against the back of the seat. Gritting his teeth, he braced himself against the steering wheel while the decibels of her shrieks rose. Out of patience and time, he backhanded the woman into a state of semiconsciousness as the car went airborne.

The silence that followed was surreal. Even the sirens from the police cars seemed to fade. For Avery, everything began passing in slow motion.

The slight whistle of the wind coming in through the open window blew soft against his cheek.

The last rays of the dying sun glittered on the dark, mirrored water like broken glass on spilled coffee.

The soft moan coming from the woman's lips mingled with his own panicked breaths as the water grew nearer and nearer.

Then they hit. The impact was sharp and jarring, and Avery wondered how something so fluid could be so hard. The displaced water sent a ten-foot spray into the air, and then the car began sinking, faster than he would have imagined. When the water began spilling in through the open window, his heartbeat accelerated, even though this was exactly what he'd planned. He reached into the seat behind him and grabbed the bag with the stolen money. As he did, the woman he'd taken hostage began to come around.

A thin trickle of blood was coming out of her nose from where he'd hit her, and when she reached toward her face, it smeared across her cheek. She opened her eyes in blank confusion, then reached down for her seat belt, brushing at the water on her clothes as if it was dust. When it wouldn't come off, she looked up at him with a wide, frantic stare.

"Can you swim?" he asked. She shook her head no. "Sorry," he muttered, and pushed the front seat all the way back to give himself more room in which to maneuver out the window. She was going to drown. There was nothing he could do about that.

"Don't leave me!" she screamed, and grabbed at his arm.

He hit her with his fist. Her head snapped backward from the blow as she slumped down into the seat.

"You'll thank me later," he muttered. At least her death would be painless.

As he started out the window, the car began to flip. Panicked, he slung the shoulder strap of the bag over his head and began climbing out the window, desperate not to get caught in the sucking undertow. Twice the bag got caught - once on the gearshift and once on the side-view mirror on the outside of the door. Both times he thought about just letting go and saving himself, but he'd gotten into this mess because of the money. He wasn't yet ready to give it up.

Suddenly he was free, and the elation of the moment gave him renewed hope. He felt along the underside of the frame until he came to a wheel, climbed up on it and pushed himself off, praying that he was swimming up and not down.

The water felt thick, as if he was swimming in gelatin. He knew it was from the weight of the bag, but he was strong and a damned good swimmer. Moments later he surfaced, only to realize the sun had gone down. Treading water, he dared a glance at the shore. Although he could hear shouts from the police who had finally arrived, all he could see were the red-and-blue flashing lights and the vague silhouettes of the men as they ran back and forth in front of the cars. He didn't think they could see him any better than he could see them, but the knowledge that they might made him swim even harder. He swam and he swam, until his arms felt like lead and his lungs were about to burst.

Once again treading water, he stopped and looked behind him. The shore he'd come from was alive with flashing lights and the faint sounds of men's voices, shouting to one another. With a satisfied grin, he tugged the heavy wet bag to a more comfortable position and began to swim again. The opposite shore was nothing but a vague blur above the surface of the black water, but he could see one small light - probably someone's porch light - through the trees. He fixed his eyes on that light and began to stroke.


Excerpted from Dark Water by Sharon Sala
Copyright © 2002 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Adventure is more than a code word to USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Christina Skye. The globe-trotting China scholar has savored snake meat in Shanghai and tracked obscure folk art in Canton. She shoots firearms, treks off-road on her motorcycle and hikes mountains with equal passion. For her devoted readers she serves up a signature blend of action, high-tech adventure and romantic suspense with "snappy dialogue" and an unerring ability to keep "the narrative energy high and the pacing swift," according to Publishers Weekly.

Her twenty-two novels have earned impressive spots on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list, four weeks at number one on the Waldenbooks Romance Bestseller list, and repeated positions on USA Today's bestseller list. After Skye received her doctorate in classical Chinese literature, she wrote five internationally acclaimed art and cultural guides to China while also working as a consultant to the National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History. In 1990 her first novel sold to a publisher in six days.

Skye's books always feature smart, stubborn women (yes, even in her historical romances!) and tough men. She has written nine contemporary works of romantic suspense with police/military themes, six historical romances and a series of seven wildly popular paranormal romances set at a haunted English abbey. Currently she is working on the sixth book in her acclaimed Code Name series, featuring tough, smart women teamed with white-hot Navy SEALs. Adventure, humor and sizzling passion are her trademarks. Two of her Code Name books have been chosen as Cosmopolitanmagazine Book Club Selections. Code Name: Princess was also a Borders Best Romance of 2004 and Readersread.com Best Book of 2004. Code Name: Blondie stayed on the USA Today list for three weeks. Her books have been translated into eight languages.

In addition to frequent standing-room-only appearances at writing conferences and workshops, Skye has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including Geraldo! ABC Worldwide News, Travel News Network, the Arthur Frommer Show, Voice of America, Looking East, Good Morning, Arizona and Good Morning, San Diego.

While researching her latest Navy SEAL adventure, Code Name: Bikini, during the Authors at Sea cruise organized by Levy Entertainment, Skye scored an exclusive interview with the head pastry chef aboard a Carnival Cruise ship. She went behind the scenes, spending several hours in the galley learning the ins and outs of shipboard life. In addition to finding four great ways to kill her villain, she came away amazed by the staff's skill and dedication in a fast-paced profession.

When this bestselling author isn't testing her Jeep's transmission off-road, you'll find her at work on her next Code Name Navy SEAL adventure for HQN books.

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Dark Water 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CarolSC More than 1 year ago
I haven't read any of Sharon Sala books that weren't good. I enjoy every one I have read. She is my favorite author and this book did disappoint me
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a Sharon Sala fan for a long time! This book didn't disapoint! Good romance and a mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat! I couldn't put it down!!
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twilighfan More than 1 year ago
ever since ive read Bloodlines under ms.dinah mccall ive been looking forward to read her other storys...it was so fascinating and thrilling.. i really love reading story w/ some twist thrilling and romantic momment..and some happy times of the characters. this one is another great story of ms.dinah or ms.sharon. i love the passionate love of Tony for Sarah. I've never seen such man like him, so dedicated and in love with her over 2 decades. And the love of the characters for each other was so fascinating and the drama unfold from the past when Sarah's father remains showed. and you can really rely on Sarah's feelings when all the town folks of Marmet,Maine was one of the two reason why she was left alone in the world. and her aunt Lorett was a blessing for her and for having a gift of sight that she have learned to trust the man she would love :p "i recommend this to all book lover who loves some romance w/ suspence and for all the daughter's and son's who once had doubted their father)"
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in less that ten hours time. It was so addictive, I couldn't put it down. The suspense was not roller coaster suspense, but just enough to keep pulling you along at a steady pace. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I enjoyed the relationship between Sarah and Tony. It was not a hot and steamy romance, but I did feel the amount of compassion and concern the characters felt for one another. I especially liked how the killer was not revealed until the moment that the author intended the reader to know the truth. There were no obvious red herrings nor were there the obvious innocent people. It was very well written and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists this author implimented in the story line. I have read other Sharon Sala novels, and enjoyed them very much, but this one stands out as possibly one of the top reads on my list. I can't wait to buy more copies for my friends and family. It is definitely a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The three stars were earned for the level of suspense that the story maintained and the strongly developed secondary characters. I was definitely drawn to the mystery portion of the book, but not the romance portion. I did not sense the attraction between Sarah and Tony. I only wish the characters of Sarah and Tony were as well presented as the supporting characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After twenty years, Frank Whitman's body is found in the murky depths of a lake. This discovery calls Sarah Jane, his daughter, out of the exile the citizens of Marmet drove her to when he was accused of stealing a fortune. Her return opens the door to secrets long buried, secrets that lead to the identity of a thief and murderer. Her ally in the search for the truth is town bad boy, Tony De Marco, a man she once and still loves. The passion between them will have to take second place to solving the mystery, before the killer silences Sarah Jane and the truth permanently. **** Sharon Sala once again has a winner on her hands and a treat for her readers in DARK WATER. Though I have enjoyed other books of Ms. Sala's more, one of her works can never be a waste of time or a disappointment. Her heroines are always determined, strong women who are capable of taking care of themselves, yet the addition of a sexy hero is nothing to be ignored. Tony is in every way the alpha male, yet a sensitive and caring one, despite his tainted past. Supporting cast members round out the action filled plot to create a world well worth visiting. **** REVIEWER: Amanda Killgore
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sarah was only 10 years old, when her beloved father Frank vanished, along with one million dollars from the bank that employed him. The ensuing viscous scandal prompted Frank¿s wife to commit suicide, and Sarah was sent to her Aunt Lorett in New Orleans, much to the relief of the citizens of Marmet, Maine. 20 years after the scandal, Frank¿s body is recovered from the bottom of Flagstaff Lake, and Sarah returns to Marmet, convinced he was murdered, not the thief he was made out to be. Enter Tony ¿Silk¿ DeMarco, local bad boy who turned his life around, thanks to Frank¿s help, when he was a teenager. Determined to assist Sarah in her quest for retribution, and to repay old debts to Frank, Tony and Sarah begin their search for the killer. Attempts are made to silence them, and Tony¿s feelings for Sarah rapidly grow to more than just protector. Aunt Lorett comes toMarmet lend her support to Sarah, and proves a most interesting secondary character, along with other townsfolk and muscle Tony brings in to aide in the search for the killer. ¿Dark Water¿ is a fast paced suspense, with just the right amount of romance mixed in. ¿Silk¿ is a hero to die for, as is customary for Sharon Sala¿s leading men, and Sarah is a remarkably strong woman, considering what she has been through. All in all, a very enjoyable read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Over two decades ago in Marmet, Maine, local bank vice president Frank Whitman vanished along with one million dollars. The townsfolk ostracized Frank¿s wife and daughter Sarah. Unable to cope, Frank¿s spouse committed suicide and most of the locals sighed with relief when a family friend took Sarah to New Orleans to raise her. In the present, an armored truck robber tries to escape the police by driving his getaway car into Flagstaff Lake. Divers searching for the robber find a foot locker on the bottom of the lake that contains Frank¿s body. Most of the townsfolk including the Sheriff¿s office prefers the theory that Frank¿s accomplice killed him, but Sarah, feeling guilty about how she thought of her father over the years, believes her father is innocent. She arrives in town to prove her case. Knowing that Frank helped him straighten out his life nightclub owner Tony ¿Silk¿ DeMarco returns home from Chicago to assist Sarah. As Silk and Sarah fall in love in front of a hostile community who wants sleeping dogs kept quiet, someone goes one step further trying to silence Sarah permanently. DARK WATER is an exciting romantic suspense with the accent on the tension though the romance is not ignored. The exhilarating story line moves rather quickly forward propelled by the lead couple, especially Sarah, seeking to clear her daddy¿s name. Sharon Sala is in top form in this town without pity powerful tale. Harriet Klausner