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Colder than Ice

Colder than Ice

4.1 11
by Maggie Shayne

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Seventeen years ago, government agent Joshua Kendall was part of the raid on the cultlike Young Believers compound. His own bullet killed an innocent girl, and he has lived with the guilt ever since. But a new assignment will reveal that the most shattering incident of Josh's life was nothing more than a lie.

Elizabeth Marcum was that girl. She survived the


Seventeen years ago, government agent Joshua Kendall was part of the raid on the cultlike Young Believers compound. His own bullet killed an innocent girl, and he has lived with the guilt ever since. But a new assignment will reveal that the most shattering incident of Josh's life was nothing more than a lie.

Elizabeth Marcum was that girl. She survived the bullet from the botched raid and now lives under a new identity in rural Vermont, hiding from the cult leader who has managed to elude capture all these years. But she's tired of running, tired of hiding. If Mordecai Young tracks her down, so be it.

When Josh is sent to protect Elizabeth--and realizes who she is--he will do anything to keep her alive, including lying about who he is. But as Mordecai descends back into their lives they become targets in a deadly battle that threatens to shatter their last chance at life and love.

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4.19(w) x 6.63(h) x 1.11(d)

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Colder Than Ice

By Maggie Shayne

Harlequin Enterprises Limited

ISBN: 0-7783-2094-4

Chapter One

Arthur Stanton stood in the middle of the narrow, deserted road while the rain poured down on him. In the distance, sirens wailed. Bloodhounds bayed, their unmistakable yowk-yowk-yowks rubbing his nerves raw. Every few seconds a helicopter passed overhead, its searchlight sweeping the ground. Men's voices rose from far away. Too far away, though. Right now, it was just the two of them: Arthur Stanton and the man in prison grays who'd come stumbling out of the tree line only to stop in his tracks, thirty feet away.

The convict met his eyes; then his glance slid lower, toward the gun Arthur held. He didn't move, just held his breath, waiting.

Arthur's hand trembled, not with fear, nor with the symptoms of his age, but with the weight of the decision tearing at his soul. David Quentin Gray, Jr., white-collar criminal and former attorney to a madman, wasn't the offender Arthur lived to apprehend. But he could be the key to that criminal. If he were free. Imprisoned, he was useless.

Swallowing against the bile that rose in his throat, Arthur lowered his weapon.

The convict frowned at him, jerking convulsively in an almost-lunge, before going motionless again.

He thinks I'll shoot him in the back if he runs. Hell, maybe I should.

But Arthur didn't. Instead, he turned and trudged back to his car. It waited on the muddy shoulder, where he'd skidded to a halt when he'd spotted the scarecrow silhouette among the trees, picked out by his headlights as he rounded a curve.

After three steps, Arthur stopped and squeezed his eyes tight. I can't, I can't just let him walk. He's a criminal. I've spent the past forty years working against his kind.

He raised his gun as he turned again, unable, unwilling, to do something so contrary to everything he believed.

But David Quentin Gray, Jr. was gone. The decision was made.

Headlights found Arthur, as if to illuminate this newest stain on his soul. Tires skidded, and a car door slammed. It was done. He couldn't undo it. And now, he thought, the lies begin.

"Stanton? What's going on? Did you see something?"

Arthur recognized the voice and turned. "Thought I did. It was just a deer, though."

Assistant Warden Martin Phillips sighed deeply, came closer and clapped a hand to Arthur's shoulder. "Dammit, I'm sorry. I know what this prisoner meant to you, Stanton."

"We'll get him. He can't get far."

"Still..." Phillips sighed, looked around just in case, lowered his voice. "You'll probably have to move her now, right?"

Arthur lifted his head.

"Hell, only a handful of people even know she's alive," the assistant warden went on. "Much less where she's hiding out."

"You shouldn't even know."

"I wouldn't-if Gray's cellmate hadn't been so eager to earn a few brownie points. He was coming up for parole and thought telling me what he knew would help his case." He grinned. "By running his mouth, all he really did was force us to keep him inside, where he couldn't spread what he knew about Elizabeth Marcum. Poor stupid shit."

Arthur reacted instantly, gripping the man by his lapels and drawing him up onto his toes. "She's dead. As far as the world is concerned, she's dead. I hear you say her name again, I'll have to put you someplace where you can't spread it around."

"All right, all right. Damn." Arthur released the man, and Phillips smoothed his lapels. "You act like it's my fault Gray saw that news clipping of some small-town Blackberry Festival with her in the background. Hell, if it were up to me, they wouldn't have access to television, newspapers or anything else from the outside."

Arthur unclenched his fists. He was angry with himself, not Phillips. He'd fucked up. Again.

"So will you move her?" Phillips asked, apparently too stupid to know when to let it drop.

"No." He'd come this far, Arthur thought. He might as well see this through.


"But nothing. You've been keeping the prisoner under surveillance since you found out what he knew. Haven't you?"

"Well, yeah. We've watched him like a striptease."

"And he hasn't tried to get word out to anyone about the woman's whereabouts, has he?"

"No. But... all due respect, Arthur, that doesn't mean he won't run straight to Mordecai Young now that he's free."

I'm counting on it, Arthur thought. But aloud, he only said, "How about you do your own job, Phillips, and let me worry about mine?"

"Jesus, Arthur, if Young finds her, he'll kill her."

"I'm not going to let that happen." He couldn't let that happen. He couldn't have the blood of one more innocent staining his hands. He would see to it that Elizabeth Marcum-Beth Slocum, as she was currently known-remained safe. Not by moving her, but by being ready for the madman to strike. And then he could finally catch Mordecai Young and redeem himself. God knew he didn't have a lot more time to make amends. He was on the far side of sixty, and facing mandatory retirement.

He was using an innocent woman as bait to capture a madman. He knew that. And it was wrong. He knew that, too. He'd had to make a snap decision, and he'd made the wrong one. But it was made. Now he had to follow through. He could make it work out right; he knew he could. The key was in seeing to it that "Beth Slocum" had the best protection he could give her. Someone who would lay down his life before letting any more harm come to the woman.

And he knew there was only one man he could count on to do that.

A man who, like the rest of the world, believed she was dead. A man who had spent the past eighteen years convinced he was the one who had killed her.

Mordecai Young sat in his car with the wipers set on intermittent and the headlights turned off. An observer, had there been one, would have said he was alone in the car, yet Mordecai was never truly alone. He waited right where he had said he would. He could wait all night. But he wouldn't have to. He had it on pretty good authority that his old friend and former attorney, David Quentin Gray, Jr., would make it here unscathed.

It would be good to see David again. It had been a long time.

He really had picked the perfect spot-or rather, his guides had: a pull-off near a railroad crossing where no trains ran anymore. Back roads, no one around.

Oh, there would be roadblocks, but that didn't matter. He didn't know why yet, but he knew they were not going to be a problem. He knew it with a certainty that told him it was "given" knowledge. It came from beyond him.

Mordecai sat a little straighter in his seat when he spotted the man, hunched and shivering, near the edge of the woods. Gray was peering through the rain at the car, as if too wary to come any closer. Smiling to himself, Mordecai flashed his headlights on, then off, then on again. He left them on, because he couldn't believe his one-time attorney looked the way he did. Prison had apparently forced him to overcome his obsession with Italian suits and flawless grooming. David could have passed for a scrawny, half-drowned alley cat.


Excerpted from Colder Than Ice by Maggie Shayne Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

RITA Award winning, New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne has published over 50 novels, including mini-series Wings in the Night (vampires), Secrets of Shadow Falls (suspense) and The Portal (witchcraft). A Wiccan High Priestess, tarot reader, advice columnist and former soap opera writer, Maggie lives in Cortland County, NY, with soulmate Lance and their furry family.

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Colder than Ice 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first book,and I thought it was good. I was excited that there was a book number two. I started it and will not finish it. It continues where the first book ended and it could have ended with with book one.Do not not abuse yourself and start reading this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DJAERA07 More than 1 year ago
Another Great Book from Maggie Shayne!! I loved this series. Another awesome original story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
twilighfan More than 1 year ago
ok so i just got it from a bargain book shop and saw Maggie Shayne's name and just pick it up. i never thought that this is sort of continuation of my first book of her titled "Thicker Than Water" just like the first book it's great! the story was still almost the same with the insane leaders of Young Believers who still chasing for Lizzie just like what he does to Jewel at the first book and looking for his heir. When i first read the page one i thought i just bought same book but im 100% sure that it's not the same title coz ive always remember the title of my best story book. anyway... i enjoyed reading it, it's like a tv series, i new it the first time i read the Thicker Than Water and know that Maggie Shayne never really did end the story, that it has a part two. now that i know this is so wow! i really love the added characters, makes the story complete! adding a romance bet. teenager is kinda sweet Dawn and Bryan :p knowing that Mordecai Young is not really that bad it felt so bad.and never expect the ending of their story.it felt so bad that one of the character in the story had to left. i think it always does. if you first read this you ought to read the first who started it all. it'll tell you all about Lizzie,Dawn,Jewel,Mordecai Young and Joshua's past. and ofcorz you'll know more about Dawn's adopted parents Julie and Sean McKenzie. i loved all the character's and the added. one of the best suspence romance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that I have read by Maggie Shayne, and I wasn't disappointed. The plot was refreshing, and I love the fact that there seemed to be a slight fantasy element to the story. I will definitely begin reading more of her books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that if you are looking for this book to be about vampires then you might be a little upset. This is a suspense novel. Lots of murder, 'who done it' and 'run girl, run'. I loved it! Maggie doesn't make mistakes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Maggie Shayne's books, every single one of them but this is the first book of hers that I actually have to force myself to read. However, this doesn't take away from all of her other great books. One lemon out of many is pretty good.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The government raids the Young Believers compound to get to its leader Mordecai Young. During the chaos that ensues, Elizabeth Marcum known as Beth Slocum inside the encampment takes a bullet. Fed Joshua Kendall believes he fired the shot that killed her. Mordecai survives the onslaught of the bungled assault. Joshua spends the next seventeen years living in remorse and guilt over Beth¿s death. However unbeknownst to the haunted Josh, Beth is alive and currently in hiding in Vermont. Mordecai is coming to complete the circle by killing this cult survivor. Josh comes to Vermont to protect Beth, only to realize the woman who haunted his nights with her death is alive and well at least for now. He willingly would die to keep her safe knowing that the monstrous cult leader is coming.--- Mordecai is so realistically evil that he takes this action-packed suspense thriller to new levels of excitement that will have readers holding onto the arms of their chair. Beth is a solid heroine who is tired of running while Josh is a terrific champion realizing he has a second chance to keep Beth safe. Though more thriller than romance as Josh keeps Beth¿s wellbeing above his personal needs, she forces the issue of their attraction. As with the first of the Young Believers trilogy (see THICKER THAN WATER) COLDER THAN ICE is a strong superb ¿High Noon¿ like tale with the deranged villain methodically going after the good guys.--- Harriet Klausner