Untraceable (Love Inspired Suspense Series)

Untraceable (Love Inspired Suspense Series)

by Elizabeth Goddard

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Overview

Untraceable (Love Inspired Suspense Series) by Elizabeth Goddard

NO WAY OUT 

On a daring mission, search-and-rescue specialist Heidi Warren and her team step onto an icy Alaska mountaintop…and right into a trap. A stranded gang of thieves holds them at gunpoint, forcing them to serve as guides along the treacherous path. Menaced on all sides by dangerous weather, deadly terrain and murderous criminals, Heidi desperately needs someone to trust. But her rescue partner, Isaiah Callahan, is keeping secrets from her. Secrets that ended their chance at a relationship before it could even begin. Yet her survival depends on finding a way to trust Isaiah when a blizzard starts closing in and her options start running out. 

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460378953
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/01/2015
Series: Love Inspired Suspense Series
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 91,834
File size: 451 KB

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

"Off rappel!"

Heidi adjusted her night vision goggles at her brother Cade's call up the rocky cliff face from below. The snow-covered, mountainous landscape looked green and black, but at least she could see instead of stumbling around in the dark and falling to her death. Even though the moon was out in full force, this side of the mountain remained in the shadows.

The helicopter had dropped them off as close as possible to the summit, but they'd still had to hike another two hours to get to the place where they would rappel down to the trapped climbers, at least one of them injured, or so the three rescuers—Heidi and Cade Warren and Isaiah Callahan—had been informed.

As a member of North Face Mountain Search and Rescue—like the other Warren siblings—this was only the second time Heidi had climbed at night, and she shoved aside the unpleasant memory of the first. There was enough tension between her and her brother Cade, and unfortunately their friend and coworker Isaiah—who usually flew the helicopter—that she didn't need to tack on anything more to an already heavy load. And it wasn't just the emotional and mental burden. The pack on her back weighed her down, too.

Drawing in a cold breath, she hoisted the hefty pack—loaded down with climbing, medical and camping gear for spending the night—and rappelled the cliff. Cade, ever the protective brother, had insisted on going first, though Heidi was the trained technical climber of the three.

She'd made it halfway to the next rap station and paused for a rest, when gunfire ricocheted off the mountain. Heidi jerked and lost her balance. Her overfilled pack pulled her over, flip-flopping her. Now hanging upside down, her heart pounded.

She was the technical climber here.

She was the expert they counted on to assist in getting these people out.

She hadn't wanted to come. Not after what had happened last summer. But there'd been no choice. Two other daunting rescue operations were ongoing and they needed the manpower. If only she weren't out of practice.

All her fault. This was on her, and she knew it.

Heidi was a wreck, but she couldn't afford to give in to her emotions right now. Those climbers stranded in the saddle between the summits couldn't afford her messing up.

No way would she call for help, though. The last thing Cade and Isaiah needed was a rescuer who required rescuing. Besides, she'd assured Cade she could do this, but even if she hadn't, he'd pretty much insisted that she try. Isaiah had been the one to protest. He hadn't wanted her here. Whether because he personally didn't want to work with her after distancing himself for some unknown reason or because he didn't trust her abilities, she wasn't sure. Either way, his attitude stabbed her like an ice ax.

"What's going on up there, Heidi?" Cade asked over the radio.

"Nothing."

"You need help?" Now Isaiah. Great.

And the incident command center would hear their conversation, too. Over the years, they'd developed their own radio-speak, and didn't use the more technical terms. Cade always wanted them to talk plainly. Worked for her.

"Heidi, I asked if you're good?" Isaiah again.

At the very least, she would prove to Isaiah she was back. She could do this. "I'm rapping down. You're distracting me."

With all the strength she could muster, she grabbed the rope and inched her way up, righting herself. Then she breathed a sigh of relief.

But what about the gunfire she'd heard? Heidi used her night vision goggles to scan the mountain and the saddle below, but saw nothing of concern. Was it someone chasing off a bear somewhere? Cade and Isaiah hadn't mentioned it. Had she imagined it? Or was it simply echoing from miles away? She wouldn't bring it up. All she needed was for them to think she was hearing things. As always, Isaiah and Cade were packing weapons in case they came across a bear, so she wouldn't worry.

Following Cade down, she rappelled, careful that the unusually heavy pack wouldn't throw her off balance again. She met him at the second rappel. A glance down revealed a beaming flashlight and a small fire burning nearly four hundred feet below.

Voices resounded from the camp. The climbers must have spotted their rescuers. Cade rappelled again. Heidi watched and waited before she followed. She glanced up but couldn't see Isaiah from here. He was likely growing impatient to hear her call.

Heidi looked down at Cade and saw him swinging over, creating a new path.

"Be careful. There's a vertical ice wall and a sheer drop," Cade told them over the radio.

Negotiating the terrain would be difficult enough under the circumstances, but with the expected inclement weather, even in April, things could only get worse.

"Off rappel," Cade called.

Heidi clipped in and called up, repeating the words to Isaiah, and they were back in rhythm, rappelling and descending a snow-covered slope in the middle of a cold, wintry night.

Reaching the vertical ice wall Cade had warned about, she secured her harness and traversed the cliff face, following Cade's lead. She found the third rappel station and called up to Isaiah before descending the rest of the way.

The saddle where the two summits met formed a wind tunnel. Maybe that's why Cade hadn't mentioned the gunfire. He hadn't even heard it. The high-pitched wail of the wind harmonized with deeper tones making Heidi think of a lost lover singing a seriously morbid screamo song. Thank goodness she'd grown out of that phase a decade ago.

Dropping a few feet to the ground, the pack pulled Heidi back and she fell on her rear.

Thankfully, in this spot, the curve in the rock formations above and around them protected them from the harsh blasts of arctic gusts. She hoped that would remain the case.

"You okay?" Cade offered his hand.

She didn't take it, but instead slipped from the pack. "That thing is too heavy."

"I hear you," he said.

Isaiah joined them. He tugged Heidi around to face him, his touch surprising her. She tried to ignore the current coursing through his gloved hand and her parka to burn the skin on her arm. It was the first time he'd come close to acting as if he cared in months.

Still wearing his night vision goggles, he looked her up and down. "You okay?"

"Of course, I'm fine. We're here to help them." Heidi pointed at the group who remained huddled next to their small fire, a couple of them standing, expectantly looking in the direction of the rescuers. "Stop worrying about me."

She couldn't take his attention on her right now. It only confused her and she needed to focus. Besides, she hated to be coddled, and Cade's and Isaiah's concern was too much. Cade was right to insist she had to get back into search and rescue now or she never would, but after what happened, after she'd been part of a jaunt in the mountains with friends that ended in tragedy, Heidi second-guessed everything she did. Succeeding tonight in this rescue would serve as a rescue for Heidi, in a way. And she prayed that her participation wasn't a mistake, that it wouldn't cost more lives. She reminded herself that North Face needed her today.

Heidi helped Cade and Isaiah gather up their packs and equipment so they wouldn't end up buried in the snow once the storm set in. By the look of the dark clouds rushing in from the west, they didn't have much time. She led the way, hiking over to the climbers hunkered by the fire about a hundred yards in the distance. With a glance back she saw Cade and Isaiah pointing to a cornice loaded with snow, just waiting for a reason to bury them. Cade got on his radio and communicated their status and she heard something about the potential avalanche.

Just one of many things they'd have to watch for. In the meantime, a helicopter could drop more gear now that the SAR team had made it down. After assessing the climber's injuries, they'd relay their needs to the command center.

Only, Heidi noticed, they weren't dressed like climbers. Coats, sure, but jeans and regular shoes. How could they have hiked all this way this time of year without crampons or snowshoes? Heidi told Cade to request the extra gear and whatever winter hiking wear was available. He arched a brow, the question in his eyes confirming hers, and relayed the information.

What was going on?

Isaiah caught up with Heidi. She was too stressed for her own good. That could be dangerous. But he knew he was partially to blame for that. Or was he giving himself too much credit?

She'd had a rough time of things the past few months, and Isaiah had pulled away when he'd realized they were growing too close. He couldn't let himself get involved with anyone because of his own mistakes. He wanted to keep the past he ran from hidden. Heidi deserved better than him, and when he'd seen that look in her eyes—one of longing and admiration—a look that he returned too eagerly, he knew he had to withdraw. And he'd hurt her.

Then came the accident. Heidi had been out for a hike with friends when someone had fallen to their death. Pain zinged through Isaiah. She'd blamed herself, and Isaiah could relate all too well to that feeling. How he wanted to be there for her. To encourage her and get her through it, but he'd already backed away. Let her family be there for her.

And they had been.

Except for when it came to informing Heidi that the man she was seeing, months after Isaiah had made his retreat, was married. Isaiah ended up with that grueling, dirty task. Why him, of all people?

But all that was behind them, and Heidi needed to focus on this rescue. Cade insisted that the only way for her to dig out of the dark place she'd crawled into was to get back into the thick of search and rescue. While that made perfect sense, Isaiah had been worried it was too soon.

He swallowed the sudden knot that arose again as he recalled seeing her dangling on the rope through his night vision goggles moments ago. It was Heidi's decision to be here, and her brother's business to watch out for her. Not Isaiah's, other than as her SAR team member. No. He wasn't in the Warrens' inner circle. Not since he'd severed his emotional connection to Heidi.

And not since Cade had started acting as if something was eating at him. It was unusual for Cade to keep anything from Isaiah. He didn't know what was going on, but he feared his secret was out. Cade was brooding over something and he didn't appear to know how to share it with Isaiah. Now that Isaiah thought about it, Cade had tried to talk to him a few times about whatever was bothering him, but then he'd shut down. What else could it be except that Cade had found out the truth about Isaiah? That was too much to think about on an easy day, so he shook away the thought and concentrated on the rescue.

The moonlight had crept across the sky and into the gap between the two peaks so he tugged his goggles over his helmet and pushed past Heidi, leading the way to the group. They needed to establish that the SAR team was in charge from the very beginning.

As he approached the climbers, two of the men left the circle around the fire and hiked toward him, bundled up in their winter coats, though it was spring. But mountain summits didn't often care. Isaiah squared his shoulders and stood tall as he closed the distance to meet them.

When he reached them, one of the two stepped forward. The leader of this climbing party?

Isaiah thrust his gloved hand out. "Isaiah Callahan, and behind me, Heidi and Cade Warren. We're part of the North Face Mountain Search and Rescue."

"I'm Zach, and this is Jason. Rhea and Liam are by the fire."

Zach was trim enough, though he looked bulky with his coat, but he was about Isaiah's height at five feet eleven inches. Jason was both stockier and taller.

"Good you were able to make a fire." Isaiah noticed a bruise on Jason's forehead, a cut and smudges across Zach's temple and face. "How are you holding up?"

Jason huffed, and Zach sent him a glare over his shoulder. What was that about?

"Where's the injured party?" Cade asked, coming up behind Isaiah, carrying his pack and ropes.

"We were informed someone had taken a fall." A little breathless, Heidi finally joined them. She handed off the pack holding the medical gear to Isaiah. Though they were each trained to assist in all situations, Isaiah had the most medical experience.

"That was Robbie." Zach gestured to the shadows beyond the fire. "Over there. But he's already gone. No point in worrying about him now."

Was the guy in so much shock he couldn't render any emotion over a fallen friend? The cold words struck Isaiah. He glanced to Cade and Heidi. Did they sense that something was off here, too? He couldn't read them.

Zach led them over to the fire.

The radio squawked and Cade answered, discussing the coordinates and the extra gear the helicopter would drop. He left the group to position himself to receive the goods. Heidi began unpacking, preparing for an overnight stay that would include a winter storm.

Spring didn't mean anything up in the mountains in Alaska's Coast Range.

Letting his gaze skim the fire and the climbers' sorely lacking gear, except for one conspicuous green bag near the fire, he finally spotted the bundle, likely the body, about fifteen or more yards away in the shadows. Isaiah hated hearing they hadn't made it in time to save someone but it happened all too often.

Zach was suddenly at his side again.

"What happened to him?" Isaiah pointed to what he assumed was the body of the injured climber.

"He fell."

"But he was still alive when you called us." They'd gotten here as quickly as they could.

"I don't know, man, you know how these things happen. He fell and his injuries killed him."

Yeah, Isaiah knew. He trudged in the direction of the body, the thrum of a helicopter drawing closer. He glanced over his shoulder and saw Cade's silhouette in the distance as he made his way to gather the gear being dropped.

Something didn't add up. None of the climbers were equipped to climb the summit or traverse the cliff side. How did they get here? Confusion along with an unwelcome sick feeling that something was definitely wrong crawled over him like a sudden, drastic drop in temperature.

"Where are you going?" Zach followed. "I said he was dead. There's nothing more you can do for him. We need to get out of here tonight. You're wasting time."

Isaiah kept walking. "None of us are getting out tonight."

"What?" The guy jerked Isaiah around.

"A storm's coming. Life Flight is planning to hoist the injured man out of here in the morning, that is, after the storm clears out."

"We don't need to wait."

"The logistics of getting everyone out tonight are a nightmare. In the morning when the storm clears is better. It's safer. And it's the only option."

Isaiah proceeded to the body. He knelt down to examine the man, pulling out his flashlight. Had he died of hypothermia?

Then he found the blood and…a gunshot entry wound. When he was up top, he thought he'd heard a gunshot ring out in the distance behind him, too far to be related to the group in the valley. Had he been wrong about that?

Stiffening, Isaiah slowly pressed his hand inside his parka, covering the weapon in his shoulder holster. He was here to rescue people, not hurt them.

"Don't even think about it." Zach pressed the cold muzzle of a gun against the back of Isaiah's exposed neck.

Closing his eyes, Isaiah sent up a prayer and calculated his next move.

The gun pressed harder, digging into his flesh. "Put your hands up where I can see them and slowly stand up."

Zach backed away from Isaiah as he turned to face the guy, his hands up. Too bad. He could have wrestled the weapon from him.

"He's dead because he'd only slow us down," Zach said. "Are you going to be next?"

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Untraceable 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Amigagal More than 1 year ago
Talk about a wild ride, this is it! As others have mentioned, this book hooks you from the very beginning! The search and rescue team gets a call to rescue some stranded hikers, only to discover that when they reach them, they are now hostages of a gang of armed bank robbers who want them to lead them to their extraction plane! Who would ever expect that?? Heidi, Isaiah and Cade are now at the mercy of a mean group of thugs who don't care about anything but getting to the "ice field" as soon as possible.....oh did I mention that there's a blizzard, several obstacles to cross, little food and a host of other challenges, not to mention that the thieves are not experienced in Alaskan wilderness climbing and such! The story enfolds with a lot of danger and tension as the rescuers are put in a no-win situation as they try to lead the thieves to the pick up point. Heidi and Isaiah are the main focus of this book. They had been getting closer in the past but Isaiah broke things off and Heidi had no idea why. Some tough things happened to Heidi after that and she is in a sad place in her life right now. Isaiah has some things in his past that he hasn't told anyone about so he feels he needs to stay away from Heidi. As they battle through this experience with the thieves, along with Cade (Heidi's brother), may things come to light and barriers are broken. The last couple chapters are intense, especially as the whole group reaches the ice field and the rescuers know they will probably be killed! Its definitely a page-turner! This is the second book in the Mountain Cove series. While you can read this as a stand-alone book, it would make more sense if you read the first book, Buried,, first! You would know the characters better! I'm grateful I was able to receive this book to review, but all my thoughts are my own! I recommend it highly!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
twinsnana More than 1 year ago
On a daring rescue mission, search-and-rescue specialist Heidi Warren and her team step onto an icy Alaskan mountaintop…and right into a trap. If you like suspense and intrigue, then you’ll love Elizabeth Goddard’s new book, Untraceable. It starts with a bang, and the thrill ride doesn’t stop until the end of the book. Elizabeth keeps you guessing about the fate of Heidi and Isaiah. I highly recommend this book.
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Goddard's Untraceable Survival in the Alaskan mountains….Will the Search and Rescue team responding to a call be able to save themselves and the criminals that need rescuing? The criminals have their own agenda to meet a plane on the ice fields in the opposite direction that the rescuers would take. A snow storm is coming but the criminals with their weapons prevail. So we are off on a life & death adventure. The weather conditions will make the criminals & the rescue team “ Untraceable “. What a breath taking story!!! I looked up Devil’s Paw & Michael’s Sword on the Juneau Ice field. This really pulled me into the story. While so beautiful and breath taking, I could feel the wind, cold & snow surrounding the characters as they struggled to survive. In addition to the suspense, vivid descriptions, flavorful characters, the story provides both romantic and spiritual moments you will remember after reading. This book is the second in the Mountain Cove Series. It can be read as a stand alone. Thanks to the author for the book. My opinion is my own.
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
Untraceable, Book 2 in Mountain Cove Series by Elizabeth Goddard ISBN-13: 978-0373446575 Christian Fiction, Suspense Love Inspired Suspense Heidi and Isaiah are part of the rescue team sent out to help airplane crash victims. But things take a deadly turn right from the beginning as they are kidnapped by armed robbers trying to meet a deadline to the rendezvous point. Join the search and rescue team as they fight for their lives in white out conditions, held captive by a team of rouge men and woman. Not only are Heidi and Isaiah fighting the bad guys but they fight a strong attraction and overprotective brother on this roller coaster ride. If you are ready for an Alaskan adventure be sure to read Untraceable. I give book 2 of Elizabeth Goddard’s Mountain Cove series 5 stars. It is filled with adventure, spiritual tidbits and romance. This fast paced book can be read as a stand alone or as part of the series. I have read both and loved them. Elizabeth Goddard has done a outstanding job of breathing life into this phenomenal book. She was able to weave her strong faith into the storyline in a believable way that added to the authenticity of the characters. 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. I was provided with this book in exchange for my honest review and I am so grateful for the authors and publishers generosity.
KelseyP More than 1 year ago
Book two in the Mountain Cove series, starts with Heidi and Cade Warren with their fellow Search and Rescue member Isaiah Callahan out on a mission to hopefully save any survivors of a plane crash in the Alaskan mountains. Upon reaching the survivor’s makeshift campsite, the SAR members begin rescuing only to find themselves at gunpoint and forced to guide the survivors to their new rendezvous  point. Risking life and limb to reach the new destination, Heidi, Cade and Isaiah delve into all of their training to make it through this experience alive and prayerfully together. Even though their lives are at stakes, or perhaps because of it, Isaiah is having trouble containing his long buried feelings for Heidi; while Heidi is rekindling thoughts she had thought impossible towards Isaiah. Heidi is  praying and trusting in the Lord to help them through this ordeal, but Isaiah is wracking his brain for an escape plan. Will all three of them  make it through this blizzard of tribulation? It is an inspiring and suspenseful adventure set in the heart of Alaska.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Goddard delivers another nail-biting suspense in the Mountain Cove series! In the Alaskan mountains, a group of criminals needs rescuing and forces the search and rescue specialists to guide them across the frozen terrain. Can these volunteers navigate their way to safety before a blizzard closes in? Untraceable offers a unique search-and-rescue storyline and I enjoyed the elements of good versus evil. I also enjoyed the spiritual thread that runs through the story, as well as the romantic undercurrent. Untraceable is an exciting story and I look forward to reading more of the Mountain Cove series! My thanks to the author for the complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Untraceable is book two in the Mountain Cove series and can be read as a stand alone. There are common characters between the two books in the series, and there are a few references to the storyline in book one, Buried. I, personally, would read both books to get the full Mountain Cove experience. I really liked the two main characters in Untraceable. Heidi and Isaiah are both emotionally damaged individuals trying to make it through life. Isaiah truly feels that he is doing what is best for Heidi by denying his attraction to her and stepping away from any possible relationship. Heidi has had quite a few life disappointments lately and cannot understand what went wrong between Isaiah and herself. There is wonderful romantic tension running throughout this entire story! Another great thread of tension in Untraceable is the very real danger that the rescue team is in. Heidi, Isaiah, and Cade have been called in for a rescue and instead find themselves hostages. The life-threatening danger from the environment and from the villains of the story kept me on the edge of my seat! The impossible situation that this search and rescue team was in just caught me up in the story right from the beginning! The romantic attraction kept me hoping that Isaiah and Heidi could not only make it out alive, but somehow work things out between them. There is also a beautiful inspirational thread in the book revolving around two people who love God, but have trouble knowing that He has been with them in every situation in their pasts, even the bad ones. I would like to express my thanks to the author for the complimentary copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review.
Wilani More than 1 year ago
Wow! this book had me from the very beginning. I loved the fact that the suspense began right at the very beginning of the story.  It took us on so many twists and turns.  I also learned some things about survival in winter in Alaska.  What I loved the most was the Spiritual thread found throughout the book.  Even though the characters struggled in their Spiritual walk they never took their eyes off the solution for their problems and the fact that God was with them.  I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.