Novelist Michael Murphy
Researching an unsolved murder, crime novelist Adam Quinn becomes entangled in a real life mystery, dodging assassin’s bullets in a scramble across the Arizona desert.
Full time high school science teacher and part time writer, Adam Quinn should be living his dream following the publication of his first novel.
The dream became a nightmare following the discovery of his wife's infidelity with Adam’s academic rival. Now he is staring into the barrel of his pistol.
Setting aside personal problems and seeking greater authenticity in his writing, Adam obtains the help of Arizona homicide detective Holly Farrell. Her investigation of a cold file points toward a powerful Arizona media mogul.
Soon, Adam and Holly are involved in a real life murder mystery, dodging assassin’s bullets in a rain swept dash across the Arizona desert.
Adam held his wrists out and Sam cut off the duct tape. He stuffed the knife back in his pocket and shifted the gun into his left hand.
When Sam flexed the fingers in his right hand, Adam drove his shoulder into Sam’s chest, as he had seen Garrett demonstrate to his football team.
Sam collided with the Jeep’s rear view mirror and pulled Adam to the ground. The gun clattered to the ground beneath the Jeep.
Adam scrambled to his feet as Sam crawled under the Jeep for the gun. Adam took off toward the rocky incline, knowing the farther he got from Sam the less accurate the revolver would be. He should be able to outrun the old man climbing over a rocky ridge in the rain.
Pumping his arms, Adam leaped onto the rocky slope and began to climb. The storm had ebbed, but the rain still made the climb slippery. Halfway up, his leg slipped. He banged his knee and blood oozed beneath his pant leg.
On his hands and knees, Adam clamped his eyes shut from the pain. A rock shattered to his left and he heard the shot an instant later. He struggled to his feet, leaned forward and ran up the slope, not wanting to look back.
Adam reached the top and skidded to a stop. He stood at the edge of a round boulder and looked out over a broad ravine. A sandy riverbed lay fifty feet below.
Looking over his shoulder, he saw Sam halfway up and getting closer with each step. Adam’s mouth went dry as he faced the ravine. He looked around for an escape. All he could see was the sheer drop two feet ahead.
Adam moved forward with tiny steps. He leaned over and saw a small outcropping of rock, a three-foot half-circle at least ten feet below the boulder. Covered with rocks and pebbles, the small ledge looked slick with rain.
Sam’s laughter climbed toward him. “I’ll give you a chance, Cityboy. The only one you’ll get from me. Jump.”
Could he land on the ledge without tumbling over the side? If he missed and the fall didn’t kill him instantly, he would die a horrible death slowly, perhaps as coyotes or javelinas finished the job. If his remains were ever found, there would be no evidence of homicide. He didn’t have time to analyze the odds. His foot slipped when he jumped.
Adam banged his elbow as he slid off the boulder. He landed on the ledge below. He waved both arms and tried to gain his balance as he teetered at the edge of the ravine.
Lurching forward, Adam pressed against the rock wall. His breathing came in gasps as rain spattered his back. He turned and leaned back against the rock.
Adam set his feet apart for balance and kicked a fist-sized stone off the ledge. It clattered and banged against jagged rocks and onto a narrow sandy slide that angled down toward the bottom of the ravine forty feet below.
If he could reach the stretch of sand, Adam might be able to slide to the riverbed and escape. Sam was too old to climb down. His revolver would be less accurate if Adam reached the bottom.
The sand slide might be too far away. If he couldn’t make the jump, Adam faced a four-story plunge to his death.
A shot cracked and a shard of rock chipped off inches from his head. A sting sliced across Adam’s face as the rock cut a gash in his cheek.
Adam brought a hand up and touched a sliver of blood. Glancing up, he saw Sam move to the left. Adam flattened his back against the rock and eased to the right. A second shot sailed even closer to his head.
Sam had missed twice, perhaps from the wind and rain, and the angle of his stance. With a quick glance down at the riverbed, the old man braced himself for a third shot.
Facing the sandy slope, Adam stood at the tip of the ledge. He launched himself into the air while a third bullet grazed the rock wall behind him.
He landed on wet sand and rolled onto his back. Adam slid down the slick surface angling toward the sheer drop. In desperation, he clutched at rocks, shrubs, and cacti trying to stop his slide.
Adam’s legs slipped over the side and he hurtled into the air. He landed and rolled through a splash of muddy water. His leg smashed into a large barrel cactus. His ankle snapped with a loud crack.