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Douglas K Dandridge

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Diamonds in the Sand
by Douglas K Dandridge   

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Books by Douglas K Dandridge
· Exodus: Empires at War: Book 1
· Afterlife
· Daemon
· Refuge: The Arrival: Book 1
· Refuge: The Arrival: Book 2
                >> View all


Science Fiction



Copyright:  Jan 20, 2012


When a perfectly fit scientist is found dead in a closed lab of an apparent heart attack, it is up to a Sarasota PD detective to solve the case. But everyone in the world is out to get the professor's work, no matter the cost.

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When a perfectly fit scientist falls dead in a closed room of an apparent heart attack, Detective Lieutenant Gary Lariviere is called in to solve the case. Doctor Matheson has been working in the field of nanotechnology, a science that promises great advances, and the potential for great disaster. There are many who would see the scientist fail. Religious fanatics who see the potential for transformation of the human genome as a violation of God’s will. White supremacists angry that a black man of prominence is married to a white woman. International corporations that would like nothing better than to control the secret for themselves. Diamond smuggling crime syndicates with greed in their eyes at the prospect of making diamonds from the sand. And the graduate students who had lived in the shadow of the great man while their own accomplishments were ignored.
Gary must navigate the shady undercurrents of the sunny Florida retirement city, trying to get at the truth. Obstacles are thrown in his way by powers both legal and illegal as he closes in on the secret. Until he runs into the full potential of the new technology, and the full terrors.


Gary thumbed the ammo selector as the AP bullets were pulled back down into the magazine and the stunner rounds were moved into place. These rounds were set forward of the AP rounds, and so would receive less of an initial pulse than the killer bullets. Gary squeezed the trigger and the round sped out of the magnetic accelerator which was the pistol. The round's short, sharp needle extended as it left the barrel, and the stunner flew unerringly to its target. The needle hit the tough impact armor and also failed to penetrate, as the stunner round fell uselessly to the grass, electricity crackling from the tip of the round, the electricity that Gary had hoped would have stunned his quarry and make it unnecessary to kill him.
Bakr ran on and grabbed a young woman who had been staring at the confrontation, putting his needler to her throat as he turned to face his pursuer. Gary pulled up and reset his pistol as he waited for the man to make his move, deciding that it might not be possible to take this one alive. A stunner might penetrate the skull, and a heavy shock right into the brain could be deadly, but not instantly. He set the velocity to five, the rounds set at AP. Now, he thought, it's up to the international felon to make his move.
"Stop right there, policeman," Bakr yelled, digging the needler into the neck of the frightened young woman for emphasis. "I will kill her if you make another move."
Gary brought the laser sight to where the red dot was centered on the man's forehead, then froze into place.
"You know I can't let you go. I'm going to bring you in."
"She will die if you try anything. I mean it. You will listen."
"Sorry," said Gary, "but according to the Antiterrorist and Felon Statute of 2018, I cannot let you move from here. If you drop your gun and let the woman go, I will make sure you are well treated."
"No. You will drop your gun, or her blood will be on your hands."
Oh well, thought Gary, I tried. First he made sure that there was no one in line of sight behind the man. He squeezed the trigger of the police special and the gun bucked gently under the acceleration of the eight millimeter round. The bullet exited the barrel at five thousand feet per second, enough to allow the steel jacketed bullet to penetrate several inches of steel, much less a human skull. The bullet hit dead center between the eyes, plowing through the skin and skull, pulping the brain in its path, while the wall of air it carried with it ripped and pulled at the surrounding gray matter. The shock wave struck the back of the skull at the same time as the bullet, exploding the skull outwards in a huge hole, throwing blood and brains out at high velocity. The man's hand and the needler were jerked away by the force of the hypersonic blow, well before his slower nervous system could tell his finger to pull the trigger. The woman fell as the man's other arm jerked her back, as he flew over backwards from the force of the shot, she landing on top of the body and screaming for all she was worth.
Gary ran over and pulled the woman away from the lifeless man, looking her over for any injury. Her still screaming was a good sign, as the needler would not have allowed her that much ability to move within seconds after being hit.
"You're OK," he said. "I'm the police, and an ambulance will be here in seconds. But you are OK. You will not need medical attention."
The woman calmed down quite a bit at his words, as she sat on the grass shaking and looking at the man who had threatened her life, lying on his back in the grass, eyes wide and staring, a spreading puddle of gore beneath his head. Gary looked at the man as well, grabbing the needler immediately so it wouldn't fall into other hands while no one was looking. He reached into the man's pocket and removed the cloth package. He opened it up and felt his mouth fall open as he stared at the largest diamond he had ever seen in his life. And Karla had said there were a lot more where this one came from. And probably just as perfect. He was still examining the beautiful stone when the ambulance and backup police arrived on the scene.

Professional Reviews

Five Star (Smashwords)
Wow, can nanobots really perform as suggested in this book? It could be both fantastic and frightening. This was a good read.

Mirella Banfi
Five Star (Smashwords)
Good plot, nice reading. A few typos, but nothing to prevent smooth reading. Very enjoyable.

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