Thursday Sampler: Run and Hide by Alan McDermott
August 23, 2018
There’s only so long you can run for your life.
Eva Driscoll is used to chasing down bad guys, but now the bad guys are chasing her. She knows they won’t stop until she’s dead.
After her brother is killed in a faked suicide, Driscoll teams up with ex-soldier Rees Colback, the one person who can help her find answers. Together they’re determined to uncover why members of his Special Forces squad are dying in mysterious circumstances.
But with every agency in the country in hot pursuit, their only choice is to flee.
The clock is ticking. They can’t run forever. It’s time to make a choice: kill or be killed…
Run and Hide is the first novel in a new series by the bestselling author of the Tom Gray series.
Castleton nudged Eckman and pointed to the hotel. A Dodge van had pulled up. An elderly woman got out.
Eckman snatched up his binoculars and focused on the entrance to the Beechwood. As the woman walked inside, he put the glasses down. “It’s not her, unless she put on a hundred pounds and aged forty years in the last few days.” He looked at his watch as the seconds ticked toward four in the morning.
The arrival of the van made no difference to the mission. Hopefully it would be gone before the countdown expired, but if not, no big deal. The plan was to take Colback and Naser out the back exit, so any activity at the front of the hotel was irrelevant. Everyone was in place and they were just awaiting his word.
The moment to issue the go order finally arrived. Eckman gave the command over the closed comms and watched as two of his men walked around the side of the building and headed for the main entrance. Out of sight, Eckman knew that six of his men would be making their way in through the back, with four more covering the outside in case the targets managed to slip past the vanguard.
The two-man team at the front disappeared inside and, seconds later, Eckman’s comms squawked into life.
“Eagle Three. Eyes on Colback and Naser.”
Damn. That soon?
Eckman hadn’t expected them to be in the reception area. They were supposed to be tucked up in their beds, oblivious to the snatch squad coming for them.
The chances of this going down quietly were fast disappearing.
“Take them, but try not to cause a scene,” Eckman ordered.
He waited for an acknowledgment, but none came.
“Eagle Three, did you copy last?”
“Rook One, Rook Two, targets sighted in the reception area. No response from Eagle Three. Check it out.”
Eckman saw the four men creep around the side of the building and head toward the entrance to the Beechwood. He also saw someone emerge from the van with an assault rifle at his shoulder.
The gunman opened fire before he could get his warning away, and one man staggered and fell. The others dived for cover as three figures ran from the hotel entrance to the Dodge. Two of them were Colback and Naser, and Eckman was surprised to see an old woman with them.
Too late, he realized that he’d been fooled by a simple disguise.
“All units, they’re at the entrance! Driscoll’s with them! They’re getting into the van!”
The target vehicle was already on the move. Eckman could only watch as two more of his men were hit, and that spurred him into action. He ordered Castleton into the driver’s seat of his Jeep as he continued to issue orders.
“They’re moving! All units, mount up. They’re heading north on 7th Street Road.”
Castleton gunned the engine and the Jeep roared onto the street to give chase. They were the only pursuers for the moment, as the rest of the men ran back to the parking lot to retrieve their vehicles.
Eckman’s phone chirped and the caller ID told him it was West.
“I need satellite,” Eckman said. “They’ve taken off and we’re pursuing, but she’s got a head start.”
“The bird’s not available,” West told him. “It’s tasked with an antiterror operation in California. We’re tracking Naser’s phone though. Stay on the line and I’ll give you updates.”
Eckman was glad West hadn’t asked how the operation had gone pear-shaped. That conversation could wait.
Eckman saw the van go off-road and told Castleton to follow. He hung on tight as the Jeep bounced up the curb and onto dirt. The Jeep had better traction and was gaining rapidly, but the cloud of dust being thrown up made it difficult to see. He almost soiled himself when the road suddenly disappeared, and Castleton brought the Jeep to a skidding halt inches from the drop onto the railway track. He could see the van pick up speed as it made it onto asphalt.
“Back up!” Eckman ordered, and got onto the radio to let the others know where Driscoll and her team were heading.
Eagle Four responded to say they were on an intercept course, while the teams he’d sent south to cut Driscoll off gave their ETAs.
Castleton reversed at speed and bounced back onto 7th Street Road, then headed north to the next turn, but by then they’d lost contact with Eagle Four.
Castleton stopped the Jeep at the next intersection, where the intercept team’s crumpled vehicle was clearly visible, embedded in the corner of a tire shop.
“Where are they?” Eckman asked West.
“Heading east. They turned right onto West Oak Street toward Limerick. Wait one . . . Shit! We lost the signal.”