If I Should Die (Lucy Kincaid Series #3)

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Overview

If I Should Die includes Allison Brennan’s chilling novella Love Is Murder, formerly available exclusively as an eBook!

A TRIP TO THE DARK SIDE
 
Aspiring FBI agent Lucy Kincaid and her P.I. boyfriend, Sean Rogan, are heading to the Adirondack Mountains for a pleasant romantic getaway when they detour to help troubled friends, owners of a new resort who are battling malicious vandals. After Lucy and Sean ...

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If I Should Die (Lucy Kincaid Series #3)

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Overview

If I Should Die includes Allison Brennan’s chilling novella Love Is Murder, formerly available exclusively as an eBook!

A TRIP TO THE DARK SIDE
 
Aspiring FBI agent Lucy Kincaid and her P.I. boyfriend, Sean Rogan, are heading to the Adirondack Mountains for a pleasant romantic getaway when they detour to help troubled friends, owners of a new resort who are battling malicious vandals. After Lucy and Sean pursue an arsonist into an abandoned mine shaft, Lucy stumbles upon an even more heinous crime—and the perfectly preserved remains of its victim.

The only thing more disturbing than the discovery of the corpse is its sudden disappearance. While the local police remain skeptical, Lucy is dead certain that there’s a connection between the sabotage at the resort and the murder—one that the less-than-neighborly citizens of Spruce Lake seem to have a stake in keeping hidden. Then, when a cold-blooded sniper targets Sean and Lucy, FBI agent Noah Armstrong enters the fray to ensure that more bodies don’t hit the ground. Now three outsiders race to untangle a violent conspiracy before they end up like the rest of Spruce Lake’s secrets: dead and buried.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Brennan’s roiling third suspense novel featuring FBI recruit Lucy Kincaid (after Kiss Me, Kill Me), the romantic Adirondacks vacation of Kincaid and PI Seth Rogan lasts only long enough for Rogan to chase an arsonist from their Spruce Lake lodge and stumble into an abandoned mine shaft. While rescuing Rogan, Kincaid discovers the body of a young woman carefully posed on a rocky shelf. A disappearing corpse, a corrupt sheriff’s deputy, and a town full of people too afraid or too involved in whatever’s going on make the couple determined to probe further. Rooting out the cancer that infects Spruce Lake reveals a convoluted history of increasingly deadly crime led by a monster whose ambitions threaten an end to Kincaid’s romance before she can work up the courage to tell Rogan she loves him. A bonus prequel novella, Love Is Murder, suggests more fun to come. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345520418
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/22/2011
  • Series: Lucy Kincaid Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 129,110
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 4.20 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Allison Brennan is the New York Times bestselling author of many romantic thrillers, including Kiss Me, Kill Me; Love Me to Death; Sudden Death and Killing Fear. A five-time RITA finalist and Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Brennan enjoys spending her free time reading, playing games, watching high school sports, and researching her novels. A member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, Allison Brennan lives in Northern California with her husband, Dan, and their five children.
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Read an Excerpt

ONE

Present day

Sean Rogan watched Lucy stretch with the grace of a cat, her thick, wavy black hair falling across his bare chest. She sighed as she relaxed on top of him, her dark eyes closed, a half-­smile on her face.

There was little Sean enjoyed more than early-­morning sex with Lucy.

For the first time in months, they were alone—­no friends, no family, no stress—­sharing a secluded cabin in the middle of the Adirondacks. Just the two of them. Lucy didn’t seem to realize how much she’d needed this vacation—­already, after one night, she was looking more rested than he’d seen her in months. Sean hoped their change of plans to help his brother Duke’s friend wouldn’t put a damper on their week together.

“This is perfect.” Lucy kissed his chest. “I wish it could last.”

A faint, nagging fear that such unadulterated happiness would come at a cost marred Sean’s good mood. He knew Lucy was talking about their time alone, but he couldn’t help but think she had been reflecting on their relationship.

“Luce?”

“Hmm?”

What should he say? That their vacation could last forever? Should he call her out on her skepticism? If he asked her to explain her comment, she’d overthink her response, and worse, she’d put her shields back up. He’d worked hard at getting her to put down her armor; it was these rare moments when she was entirely comfortable that he savored.

“Up for a hike this morning?” he asked instead.

Lucy didn’t sound as though she noticed his hesitation. “After breakfast. I’m starving.”

Sean laughed.

She leaned up and looked at him, her eyebrows raised. “What’s funny?”

“In the four months I’ve known you, not once have you told me you’re hungry, let alone starving.”

He grinned, then reached up and tickled her ribs. Her spontaneous laugh was genuine, such a rare sound that every time he heard it he remembered how much Lucy needed him to remind her of the good in life, and forget the evil from her past.

“This is war!” she declared. Before Sean could tighten his abs in resistance, she tickled the sensitive sides of his stomach. He tried grabbing her hands as he laughed, but she enjoyed winning far too much to make it easy for him.

“Stop. Please.”

“Say Uncle.”

“Uncle.”

She stopped, and he flipped her onto her back. “Now that you woke me up—­”

“You mean you weren’t awake when we were having sex?”

“That was just a prelude, Princess.”

She tensed, and for a moment Sean thought he’d done or said something wrong. He was about to ask her what it was when she said, “Do you smell something?”

Her hair, their sweat . . . and something else he recognized only as she spoke. “Smoke.”

They jumped up and pulled on the clothes closest to them.

He grabbed his backpack and they ran out the door, the scent of burning wood palpable as soon as they stepped outside.

They sprinted down the shadowy trail to the main lodge. Dawn had just broken over the mountain ridge, casting a fresh but pale light all around. A growing plume of dark gray smoke rose from the trees, and as soon as the lodge came into sight Sean saw smoke pouring from an open kitchen window. Several flickers of orange flames glowed through the thick smoke, but the fire hadn’t reached the external walls.

Sean instantly took in the scene: twenty-­two-­year-­old Adam Hendrickson at the water tank struggling with the hose attachment; his older half-­brother Tim bolting across the center clearing, his face a mask of disbelief and rage; the Spruce Lake Inn manager, Annie Lynd, at his heels, her long, dark red braid trailing down her back.

There was something else—­a sound in the background, growing fainter. A motor? Had the saboteur who had caused the Hendricksons’ extensive property damage over the last several months now moved up to arson?

Sean scanned the area. Partly obscured by the barn a lone figure dressed in black rode slowly away on an ATV, glancing over his shoulder at the house. When he saw that Sean had spotted him, the rider sped up and disappeared into the trees, hightailing it away from the lodge.

Sean caught up with Tim and gestured toward the fleeing arsonist. Sean said, “I need an ATV.”

“In the barn—­”

“I’ll get him! Take care of the fire.” Sean sprinted toward the barn.

Lucy caught up to him as he turned the ignition in the ATV. “Be careful,” she said.

“Always.” He took his gun from his backpack and threaded his holster through the loops in his jeans. “I’ll switch my cell to radio, better to communicate short distances. I’ll keep in touch.”

Sean sped out of the barn. The arsonist had left a light trail of exhaust, the ground too moist to kick up much dirt. But Sean found the tire tracks in the soft earth and stuck with them, picking up speed, driving the ATV with as much confidence as he drove his Mustang. He lowered the face shield on the helmet and leaned forward. The bastard had picked the wrong way to escape—­Sean was boldly proficient on any sort of wheels, from motorcycles to SUVs.

The Yamaha Raptor he was riding had terrific responsiveness. He reached fifty miles per hour on the straightaway leading into the woods, though he suspected he could push it faster. Any other day, he would enjoy being on this powerful mechanical beast, but today, he had a job to do.

He was at a slight disadvantage in that he didn’t know the area. Whoever was sabotaging the Hendrickson property was most likely a local, born and raised in the Adirondacks. The saboteur also had a big lead—­Sean couldn’t hear the other quad over his own engine. Without a line of sight, Sean pursued on instincts alone, following the fresh dirt trail the arsonist’s ATV left in its wake.

The trees where Sean had seen the rider disappear came quickly into view, and Sean slowed to maneuver down a trail barely wide enough for the quad. Branches cut into his bare arms and he pulled his elbows in. The cold morning air seeped into his bones, his adrenaline keeping him from shivering.

The trail wound dangerously through the trees, a foot-­worn path unsuitable for ATVs. Only the newly turned soil told Sean he was heading in the right direction.

The path came to a sudden end and Sean almost drove straight into the lake. He breaked rapidly and turned ninety degrees, fishtailing. Though the drop was short, the sheer ledge led directly to the water below. Sweating, Sean leaned forward and to the left, using his weight to balance and maintain control.

For a split second, he thought he’d stall out; the quad sputtered and jerked. He eased up on the throttle, rolled back an inch, then gunned it. The engine roared back to life, and Sean let out a relieved sigh.

He pushed on along the edge of the lake. The initial cold Sean felt wearing only a T-­shirt and jeans had given way to overheating, sweat dampening his shirt. He barely registered the sharp sting of pine needles on his neck when he came too close to a low-­hanging evergreen.

The trees thinned out and Sean found himself in a clearing about half the size of a football field. It appeared to be a seasonal camping spot, with two wood pits on either side.

The asshole he was pursuing had spun donuts in the area in an attempt to confuse him. “You’ll have to do better than that, prick,” Sean muttered. He ignored the disturbed campground and looked for where the other ATV had exited the clearing. Sean grinned when he found it after less than a minute.

The rocky trail turned steep quickly, and a sharp turn took him in the opposite direction of the lake. The terrain was becoming more difficult the higher he climbed up the mountain, with large branches that crunched under the quad’s wide tires. Sean was forced to slow down to circumvent a rock that, had he hit it, would have flipped the vehicle; at thirty miles an hour he’d probably have broken his neck.

But that meant the arsonist had to slow as well. The chase might end when one of them ran out of gas—­Sean hoped it was the other guy.

A sharp bend in the path nearly sent Sean down the mountainside fifty feet. His back wheels spun off the edge. He was losing ground and almost jumped from the ATV to save his life when the front wheels caught traction and he lurched forward.

The quad stalled, and he took a moment to breathe. He wouldn’t do anyone any good if he ended up dead.

In the sudden silence, Sean heard the other rider, much closer than he thought. He saw that the path peaked only twenty yards away; the arsonist sounded like he was right on the other side.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Great book...wonderful author!

    I am enjoying all of her books...the kind you can and will read again and again!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Great a must read

    I read this in a few days, loved the book can't wait for the next one to come out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Great read

    Another great read from Allison Brennan!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an exhilarating tale

    FBI agent Lucy Kincaid and her boyfriend private investigator Seth Rogan go on a romantic Adirondacks vacation. They enjoy wake up sex when they smell smoke. The nearby Spruce Lake Inn is on fire with an apparent arsonist fleeing the scene. Sean borrows an ATV from the resort owner and pursues the firebug. He falls inside an abandoned mine shaft.

    Kincaid extracts Rogan from the mine, but she also finds the corpse of a young woman inside the shaft. Sheriff's deputy Weddle ridicules Kincaid as the body vanished. As Rogan heals from his dislocated shoulder and minor scrapes and bruises, he and Kincaid investigate a murder that the townsfolk ignore. Someone tries to kill the intruders while FBI agent Noah Armstrong arrives to assist his friends.

    The third Lucy Kincaid FBI suspense (see Love Me To Death and Kiss Me, Kill Me) is an exhilarating tale from the moment the idyllic week ends with the arson. The story line is fast-paced throughout as reader will enjoy this taut tale while also wondering whether Kincaid can tell Rogan she loves him.

    Bonus novella: Love Is Murder. Lucy Kincaid visits her brother Patrick, a former cop, in the Sierra Nevada's. Also at the Delarosa Mountain Retreat are three newlywed couples. A snowstorm isolates the lodge from the outside as one of the brides Vanessa took too many pills and is found dead. Patrick suspects murder, but he becomes ill, so Lucy investigates the homicide. This is an entertaining locked lodge mystery occurring before the heroine became a Fed but Kincaid professionally works the case like a seasoned veteran.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2014

    Another fabulous suspense romance. This is the 3rd book in the

    Another fabulous suspense romance. This is the 3rd book in the Lucy Kincaid series and I loved it. Each of the books is developing a romance between Lucy and Sean which I love !!!! They have problems and difficulties that they are working through and you can watch their romance unfold. It makes the story so much richer to be able to watch them grow closer in each story. There is also the suspence and mystery that each book brings. Allison Brennan writes a mystery like no other. They are filled with intrigue, clues and twists and turns that I didn't see coming. If I Should Die is a definite recommendation for romance readers and also for mystery/intrigue readers as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This thriller by Brennan was suspenseful and captivating.
    It was so good I had difficulties putting the book down!

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    highly reccomend

    i'm an allison brennon fan and i was not dissappointed. i can't wait for the next book to come out. hurry hurry!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Good Read

    Catches you and doesn't let go

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Fgsgfegffg

    Uvnnfgh

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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