A wounded golden retriever and mysterious flash drive lead the victim of a violent hate crime on a perilous treasure hunt.
Mia Leone heard the footsteps she'd been dreading. They were just outside the cabin.
Gracie barked and growled, hoping to scare off whoever or whatever was coming. Her concern
was such that the golden retriever left a dish of food to challenge the invaders.
"Okay, Grace," Mia whispered.
The words were meant to be reassuring, though her body language betrayed the fear that
penetrated her being.
The idea had been to leave her apartment near the Penn State campus and disappear in
this remote part of northwest Canada. Now, she questioned the wisdom of her plan and the safety
of the woods.
Initially, she saw little need for protection from Azeer's reach, given that he was unaware
of her location. The Snake Slayer pistol she had purchased during one of her semester abroad
trips to the Yucatan jungle was sitting on the dining table. She realized that it wouldn't have a
prayer against an attack by well-armed men.
Removing the flash drive from her pocket, Mia stared at the device. If her calculations
were correct, it held the secret location of billions of dollars in diamonds. If Azeer had hired men
to find her, they wouldn't hesitate to take the data storage device and do away with her.
Something banged against the cabin's door. Either the wind had slammed a pine branch
into it, or Azeer's men were making their opening move to raid the hideout. Mia looked at
Gracie. She stroked her soft, silky head, wondering what she had gotten them into. She thought