Buried (Love Inspired Suspense Series)

Buried (Love Inspired Suspense Series)

by Elizabeth Goddard

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Overview

Buried (Love Inspired Suspense Series) by Elizabeth Goddard

NOWHERE TO HIDE

Fleeing to Alaska is the only option for Leah Marks after witnessing a murder. Afraid for her life, the legal investigator hopes a remote cabin will be a safe shelter. But the killer has tracked her to Mountain Cove. As he chases her into snow-packed Dead Falls Canyon, an avalanche buries them both. Saved by daring search and rescue specialist Cade Warren, Leah longs to tell him the truth. But how can she, without bringing even more danger into Cade's life? Especially when they discover the killer is very much alive and waiting to take them both down.

Mountain Cove: In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373446452
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 01/06/2015
Series: Love Inspired Suspense Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Goddard is the award-winning author of more than thirty novels and novellas. A 2011 Carol Award winner, she's a double finalist in the 2016 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and a 2016 Carol Award finalist. Elizabeth graduated with a Computer Science degree and worked in high-level software sales before retiring to write full time.

Read an Excerpt

Mountain Cove, Alaska, North of Juneau

Gasping for breath, Leah Marks ran for her life, working her way through the deep snow from last night's winter storm, the semiautomatic in her pocket pressing into her side. What she wouldn't give for a pair of snowshoes.

How had Detective Snyder found her here?

At least she'd seen him from a distance, giving her a few more precious seconds to make a run for it. She had to escape. She wouldn't use her weapon against him unless she had no other choice. Shooting a police detective, even if he was a dirty cop and a killer, wouldn't win her any points no matter which way you looked at it.

Approaching Dead Falls Canyon, she left the tree line and took the biggest steps she could, her hips aching with the effort. She couldn't outrun him this way, but she reassured herself with the fact that he struggled with the same obstacles.

The deep snow would hide the hazards, and Leah counted on that. As she made her way, a snowcapped Mount McCann loomed in her peripheral vision. She'd spent enough time on the ski patrol in the Cascades during her college days to recognize the avalanche risk was high.

As she entered the danger zone, a glance over her shoulder told her Snyder was gaining on her. As strong as she was, she couldn't keep up this pace, and as if to confirm the thought, she stumbled headlong into the powder. Leah grappled and fought her way out, gulping panic with each breath.

With her fall, she'd have to turn and face him much sooner than she'd hoped. Leaving town and hiding in an off-grid cabin in Alaska hadn't bought her enough time. Hadn't bought her safety.

"Leah!" he called, his voice much too close.

Heart hammering, she turned to stand her ground. Stared into his stone-cold eyes. Breathing hard, he flashed a knife as he approached; smirking because he'd finally cornered her.

Dressed to kill, he was in black from head to toe—a dead giveaway against the white-carpeted mountains.

So that's what death looked like.

Funny that she'd worn white camouflage hoping to remain hidden, for all the good that had done.

Cold dread twisted up her spine. She thrust her hand into her pocket to reach for her weapon.

It was gone.

No! She must have lost it when she'd fallen. Snyder now stood between her and the snow she'd crushed with her tumble. Between her and her gun.

"Give me what I want, Leah." His dark eyes flashed from the opening in his ski mask.

"Why? So you can kill me like you killed Tim?" She had no idea what Snyder wanted from her, what he thought she had, but she'd witnessed him commit murder. No way would he let her live.

A thunderous snap resounded above them. A crack appeared in the white stuff beneath Leah Marks's boots.

The ground shifted.

Before she could react, before she could think, the avalanche swept her away—swept Snyder away, too—along with everything she'd been taught about how to survive. Carried away by a daunting, crushing force, heavy and swift to kill, she was helpless to stop the power that gripped her with icy fingers.

Roared in her ears.

Terror seized her as the megaton of white powder ushered her along to a frozen grave, an untimely death, as though she was nothing more than a twig. One brutal way to die had been exchanged for another.

And then…

Her body slowed before easing to a stop. The snow settled and held her inside.

Frozen silence encased her, shrouded her in muted gray light.

Think. What did she do now? Something. There was something she must do and she must be quick. To act before the snow compressed around her.

Fear temporarily gave way to determination as survival tactics filled her thoughts. She took in a breath to expand her chest, give her breathing room. With her left hand near her face, she scooped snow away from her mouth and nose before it hardened completely. These things she did while thrusting her arm toward the surface in what she thought was the right direction. If only she could breach the packed snow and force her hand through. Before she could complete that one last task, increasing her chance of survival, it was all over. There was no more give to the snow—it had locked into place.

Buried alive. She couldn't move.

Icy grayness weighed on her.

She wouldn't dig her way out of this one. She hadn't planned for things to turn out this way. Panic the likes of which she'd never known choked her, compelling her to gasp for air.

That would kill her faster. She had to conserve her oxygen.

Inhale…exhale.

Minutes. She had minutes, if that, thanks to the small air pocket she'd created. She'd been given another chance to live, one small chance in a million. Or maybe she would die, but at least Snyder wouldn't be the one to kill her.

Calming her breaths, she prayed someone would find her in time.

But if that prayer was answered by the wrong someone.

She was dead anyway.

From the helicopter, Cade Warren stared at the northeast face of Mount McCann, struggling to remember the innocence and joy of a carefree childhood spent in the mountain's shadow. But the images from two days ago still haunted him.

Snowboarders out seeking a thrill. Kids who believed they were invincible. By the time they'd called him to assess the avalanche danger for a search and rescue team, the victims were already dead.

Beside Cade, his friend and coworker Isaiah Callahan flew the helicopter deep into the hidden mountain crags.

Cade scraped a hand over his rough jaw. They did more searching than rescuing.

He pushed the thought away, reminding himself that that wasn't what they were there for this time. Today they were supposed to forecast the mountain, assess the avalanche threat in their roles as avalanche specialists.

"I don't get it," Cade said. "Why don't people read the forecasts?"

"They read them." Isaiah directed the helicopter to the right, angling a little too sharply for comfort. "They think it won't happen to them."

People didn't want to pay attention, which was why Cade's father had always struggled to get enough funding for the Mountain Cove Avalanche Center he'd founded. With his death, his father's frustration had now become Cade's.

The death tolls this week had been brutal, making Cade even more determined to do his job. He turned his attention back to the mountain. In the distance he could see the glaciers spilling from the Juneau Icefield.

Strange that in spite of all his expertise, his father had died in an avalanche, trying to rescue someone. Cade was still trying to make sense of it all.

The one thing he knew was that his father had a reputation with the town of Mountain Cove as a real hero—a reputation that Cade strived to earn for himself. But he doubted he'd ever come close to being the hero his father had been.

"So far we have what—two hundred potential snow slides?" Isaiah asked.

Before he could answer, Cade's pager went off. He pulled it from its clip and looked at the screen.

This is a callout for SAR on an avalanche in Dead Falls Canyon…two victims. Meet at Crank Point. Respond on Code One frequency… Case No. 5547.

Cade stiffened. Not another one. He glanced at Isaiah. "Dead Falls Canyon. We can get there in time."

His pulse ratcheted up.

Maybe today he could make a difference.

Isaiah grinned his agreement and steered the helicopter east. First responders rarely made it in time to dig someone out of an avalanche. Cade and Isaiah were already in the air, near the avalanche.

They could serve as the immediate action team.

While Isaiah flew them over the harsh winter terrain of the backcountry, Cade communicated their plans, even as he wondered how and why someone would be in the remote area, especially after last night's storm.

The call had come in three minutes ago. Cade set his stopwatch to track the critical first fifteen minutes. They only had twelve left, if the witness had made the call immediately. Cade went over a list in his head, glad they always carried equipment in the helicopter for such an occasion. Probe. Shovel. And they each wore a transceiver at all times, in case the unthinkable happened and the helicopter crashed. There was also bivouac gear in the event they were stranded on the mountain.

Maybe today would be the day he could save a life instead of recover a body.

Eight minutes.

Cade tensed, praying that the area would be stable, that he would know where to search. Even if they arrived in time, there were safety issues to consider. They'd need to examine the crown and path for debris, look for ski poles, gloves, goggles—anything that might tell them where to look.

Right around the ridge, Dead Falls Canyon came into view—a deep chasm, rugged and lethal, in the heart of avalanche country. Cade tensed at the ominous sight.

Breath forced from his chest as though he were the victim crushed in the slide.

Isaiah sucked in air. "A big one."

"No kidding." Cade looked at the crown where the avalanche began, then down over the resulting debris field. "Six, seven hundred feet wide. Eight hundred long."

"Could be ten, twelve feet deep in some places, Cade. What do you want to do?"

"Get me down there."

"You sure it's safe?"

Is it ever? But whoever was buried, if they were still alive, would die if he didn't do something now. He hadn't been there to save his father that day and he'd never forgiven himself.

"I'll take my chances." Five minutes left on the stopwatch.

He swallowed. It could take him longer than that to find the victim much less dig them out.

"Someone's waving at us down there," Isaiah said.

"The witness," Cade mumbled under his breath when he spotted someone layered in winter wear. He wasn't digging, but maybe he could give a few more details about where the victims were last seen on the slope.

"There's no place to land here," Isaiah pointed out, hovering the helicopter over the snow. "I'll need to toe in, touch one ski down while you grab your gear. I'll find somewhere to land, if possible, and hike over to help you."

Cade stared at his friend—a man he'd grown close to over the past three years. "Don't set her down. Don't even think about joining me until you assess the avalanche danger."

Isaiah didn't have a degree in glaciology like Cade.

Didn't have the years of training under a mentor like Cade's father that Cade had.

Of the two of them, Cade was far better prepared—and it still might not be enough. At thirty-three, he didn't have near the experience or training he needed. He'd lost his father much too soon.

"Understood?" Cade stared him down.

"Aye, aye, captain." Isaiah saluted him.

Three minutes.

Isaiah touched the helicopter down long enough for Cade to grab the trauma kit, gear up with his equipment and step out. The landing zone was tight, and Cade kneeled next to the helicopter, the whop-whop-whop of the rotor blades drowning out all other sounds. He gave Isaiah the thumbs-up and watched the helicopter lift off and away.

The witness headed in Cade's direction and, in turn, he hurried toward the man, hoping to get the needed information. In the meantime he turned his beacon from transmit to receive and prayed for a signal.

Cade wanted to know what the witness was doing out here in the first place when the avalanche danger was considerable, but there was no time. Two lives were in the balance.

His ski mask hiding everything but his eyes, the man pointed to a place between the trees a few yards away. Not good. "Over there. I think I saw them—a man and a woman—go down, but it's hard to tell where they ended up."

Knowing the range of his beacon, Cade nodded and hurried to where the man pointed, moving down the center of the debris field, listening, looking for that life-saving signal. And then he locked on to that precious sound.

There was a chance.

He marked the spot.

Please, God, let me save this one.

He'd trained for this moment so many times—learned how to locate a beacon and dig quickly. He knew how to assemble his probe without wasting precious seconds. But rarely had he had the chance to use this particular set of skills with the real possibility of finding a survivor.

Two minutes.

Cade hoped to be a hero today, even though he'd never live up to his father's reputation. Pulse pounding, he reined in his chaotic thoughts, shut out the fear and panic. Stayed focused on the tried-and-true rescue strategies that worked.

Heart bursting, he assembled his probe—an eight-foot collapsible rod. He drove it into the packed snow, hoping to feel something—someone—beneath the surface. He kept searching and probing until finally the probe hit what felt like pay dirt only a few feet down.

A few feet and not ten or twelve or twenty.

God, please…

He tossed his probe to the man who'd witnessed the avalanche. "Start probing for the other victim."

Cade's breath hitched as he thrust the shovel into the snow, hoping he'd made the right decision to send the other man away. Then Isaiah appeared by Cade's side and helped with the digging.

Within a couple of feet they reached a hand.

Thirty seconds left on the clock and counting.

Sweat poured from Cade in spite of the cold, in spite of the fact that he was in top physical condition for his job. Together, he and Isaiah created a tunnel into the snow, searching for the face that connected to the hand. No time to stop to check for a pulse when seconds counted. There!

"Establish an airway, stat!"

They dug the snow out and away from the pinched features of a young woman so that she could breathe. Vivid blue-green eyes blinked up in surprise and relief, sending his heart into his throat. She was still alive—though he wasn't done saving her yet. If they didn't free her completely and soon, she could still die in her icy grave from hypothermia or internal bleeding. Also, Cade couldn't forget she hadn't been alone.

"You search for the other victim. I've got this," Cade told Isaiah. "I could only get one beacon signal, though."

"You sure?"

"Yeah. I can dig her out." But he couldn't tolerate letting someone die when they could save both victims. Even though they'd passed the first fifteen minutes, victims had been known to survive up to two hours on rare occasions. For the first time in a long time, Cade was on the scene in time and every choice he made could save.

Or kill.

Isaiah left his side. From his peripheral vision, Cade saw him set his beacon and assemble his probe to search for the other victim. But where had their witness gone?

Great.

Failing to keep track of the witness would be a mark against him within the search and rescue team ranks.

No time to worry about him. Cade stared down into the air tunnel and concentrated on digging out this survivor—fortunate beyond reason—careful to avoid collapsing the tunnel, the only thing keeping her alive.

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Buried 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Amigagal More than 1 year ago
I felt chilled just reading this book! From the first page, it grabs your attention and you can't quit reading until the last page! The author has you hooked from the beginning! Her characters are carefully crafted as real people that are believable and so is the storyline. Leah has witnessed a murder of her boss in Washington by a detective, of all people, so she runs....to Alaska! She thinks she's safe but the killer follows her there and they both end up in an avalanche! I would be petrified to be in an avalanche!!! The author has really done her research on everything regarding Alaska. You could tell by all the little AND big things that happened in the book. It was very realistic. It was really man vs. nature! Because of Leah's background, she does not trust men and yet, she has to trust Cade with some things because she has a killer after her. Cade is the search and rescue guy who saved her from being buried in the avalanche. Leah thinks she can handle things on her own but it quickly spirals out of control and has to let Cade help her. Cade's family takes her in and she's never been around a "loving" family before. It becomes a race against the clock as the killer has Leah in his sights. Will Cade be able to save her before either the snow or the killer get her? Fantastic suspense! I highly recommend it!
KelseyP More than 1 year ago
Leah Marks is running for her life. After witnessing a murder, Leah is using her private investigative skills to find evidence against the murderer before he catches up with her and finishes what he started. Leah is hiding in an empty cabin in Mountain Cove, AK doing research when the shooter finds her. She is being chased up a mountain when an avalanche hits and buries them both. Cade Warren is on the search and rescue team called to look for survivors. He rescues Leah but cannot find the other body, her would-be killer. Cade is fascinated with Leah from the moment her pulls her from the snow, and cannot figure out why. Leah feels safe with Cade but refuses to trust anyone ever again. Can they work together to keep Leah alive without falling for each other in the process. Will Cade overcome his guilt and remember his faith in God. Is Leah’s faith strong enough to convince her to love. It is a thrilling, Christian suspense story that will keep you turning pages until the very end.  
TrixiO More than 1 year ago
Trust doesn’t come easy for Leah Marks. Too many things have happened in her past to teach her that. When she witnesses a murder, she relies on herself to figure out what to do. That is until she met SAR specialist Cade Warren when he rescues her after an avalanche! Ultra-reluctant to expose him to any more danger, she has no other choice but to involve him in what’s going on. Cade, on his part, feels he has much in his past to make up for. Wanting to help and be a hero in Leah’s eyes, he goes above and beyond the role of rescuer to help her. Can they escape a killer who’s always one step ahead of them? Right from the very first sentence, this story puts you smack in the middle of a suspenseful scene & doesn’t let you go until the very last page! This is one book that kept my nose glued to it! Just when I thought they escaped, the killer shows up yet again. With nowhere to hide, they must rely on each other to bring him to justice and find out what he’s after. But playing cat and mouse on the mountain is a dangerous game! They each know the risks involved, but must outrun and outsmart the killer in order to survive. This has all the elements I love; suspense that keeps you on your toes, heart-pounding danger around each corner, two people thrown together by circumstance who must rely on one another, and romance thrown in the midst of it all! I also can’t forget to mention the side characters that make up the rest of this story. The author had me from the start, riding along all the twists and turns second guessing what came next. A great start to the Mountain Cove series set in Alaska; I’m certainly looking forward to reading more!
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
A riveting romantic suspense novel! I love both of the main characters in this book. Cade and Leah are very well developed and are multi-faceted. They both have strengths and weaknesses. It was interesting seeing them learn to use their strengths and accept those weaknesses. I enjoyed the exploration into the tangled emotions that someone can develop over time and through traumatic experiences. Love and admiration are not usually the only feelings we can have for another individual. Those two positive feelings many times are knotted together with some very powerful negative feelings at the same time. Learning how to recognize this can be very difficult and life changing. There is also a lot of soul searching that each of these characters go through as they try to figure out how to trust after being wounded by others. I really enjoyed seeing how both of them took things to God and trusted Him. The story started with an intensely frightening scene and the suspense really didn’t stop. There were short periods where the danger seemed to be kept at a distance so that Cade and Leah could catch their breath and relax just a little bit.
AnnE42 More than 1 year ago
Warning - don't start this book until you are prepared to keep reading until you are finished it. This is the first book that I have read by this author, but it certainly won't be my last. It is a story filled with action and suspense and I was hooked from the first pages and I read in one setting because I couldn't put it down This author definitely knows how to write a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I definitely recommend this book to the reader who enjoys an outstanding combination of Christian suspense and romance.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
“In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide.” Buried is an exciting Alaskan adventure! Elizabeth Goddard’s imagery grabbed me and pulled me into the story on the very first page! The drama unfolds quickly and kept me engaged throughout the book. I especially enjoyed the setting and the search and rescue aspects of the story, which are described with great vividness and detail. Full of danger, intrigue, and romance, Buried will delight fans of romantic suspense! I loved this story and look forward to more adventures in Mountain Cove! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Goddard's Buried Have you ever witnessed a murder? A murder committed by a decorated member of the police force? You can’t call anyone because it is being set up as if you committed the crime. Where would you go to hide? Well, get a warm beverage, grab a blanket and off we go with Leah Marks, legal investigator to hide in Mountain Cove, Alaska. Leah just saw this decorated police detective kill her boss. But why ??? The only place Leah figures she can hide while she figures out what is happening is a cabin her boss recently inherit in Alaska…. But she guesses wrong….the murderer is on her trail !!! As she runs away into the wilderness, an avalanche buries her !!! What will be Leah’s fate? This story starts out with a wallop and just keeps on being action packed to the very end. The author creates an utterly unbelievable storyline that keeps you riveted from the first to the last word. Vivid characters, drama, mystery, stunning surprises plus a bit of romance twist and turn to a captivating read. Thanks to the author for the book. My opinion is my own.
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
Buried book 1 in the Mountain Cove Series by Elizabeth Goddard Love Inspired Suspense ISBN: 9780373446452 Author Elizabeth Goddard has written another five star novel. She has entwined romance with lots of action and suspense. Be prepared to be kept at the edge of your seat with this book. I had a hard time putting it down. Leah Marks has fled to Mountain Cove, Alaska after witnessing her bosses murder by a respected detective form the local police department. Cade Warren rescues Leah after detective Snyder tries to kill her. Sparks fly but Leah has a hard time trusting anyone. Cade can tell she has a secret and is determined to help. After a while Cade gets under her skin and she soon realizes she has strong feeling for the search and rescue hero. She and Cade use her legal investigation skills to help her prove the murdering detective guilty. With both having been hurt before trust is a big issue. Read this great story to find out if they are finally able to trust and bring Detective Snyder to justice. I can not want to read more in the Mountain Cove series, I hope I don’t have to wait long. If you enjoy Christian fiction and suspense this is the book for you. I highly recommend Buried and any of Elizabeth Goddard books, I have fallen in love with her fast paced stories and faith filled style of writing. I want to give a high-five to the author Elizabeth Goddard and publisher Love Inspired Suspense for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith. The author provided me with this book in exchange for my honest review and I am so grateful for the authors and publishers generosity.
Laura_Pol More than 1 year ago
“Buried” had a good storyline and plot. I liked the characters, especially Cade. He really is a perfect hero! I also liked how the bad guy wasn't your typical bad guy. I know I wouldn’t have guessed him to have done what he did if Leah had told me. I was however slightly disappointed there wasn't as much as action as I had liked. I felt it came in spurts for the first half of the novel, with majority of it being inner dialogue. This isn't a bad thing, but I wanted something more to happen beside what they’re thinking. The action does pick up though for the last quarter of the story and had me on the edge of my seat. The beginning was utterly fascinating concerning avalanches and even being buried in one (well really all of the SAR roles). I have told quite a few people about it because I found the info so interesting. Granted I hope I never have to actually apply it personally! Overall, this was a good suspense novel and something different then my usual read! I would recommend it as it was a nice change for me with an awesome hero and scenery. (3.5/4 stars) *(I did receive this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.)*
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Buried was an exciting ride from start to finish! I love the way this book starts out. The author just throws the reader right into the action and lets you start running with it! It’s a great way to start the book and pump the excitement right into the story. Leah Marks is trying to stay alive. She is on the run and trying to hide from a pursuer who always seems to be one step ahead of her. When will she catch a break? How can she ever hope to convince people that the man they think is a hero is really a villain? And how can Leah ask for help when she doesn’t allow herself to trust people? She learned long ago that you can’t trust anyone, especially men. Cade Warren has his own trust issues. After the woman he loved betrayed him, he plans to never let another woman into his heart. He has too much on his plate as it is. Discouraged over failed rescue attempts and the inability to live up to his father’s legacy, Cade needs some things to go his way. But, will he allow himself to open his heart up to a woman who has more secrets than he can even imagine? I really enjoyed this exciting story and I thought both characters grew a lot throughout the book. This is the first book in the Mountain Cove series and I look forward to future books involving this family that is devoted to Search and Rescue missions. My thanks to the author for the complimentary copy of Buried that I received in exchange for an honest review.
Wilani More than 1 year ago
Hold on to your seat, Get ready for an intense read beginning with an avalanche.  This book is hard to put down and I did not want it to end.  One of the things I loved about this book is that the characters relied on the Lord to get them through these difficult times.  I also loved the way the characters learned to trust in one another because of the reliance on God.  Another great job by Elizabeth Goddard and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.