Title: Beyond Reason
Author: Kat Martin
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin raises chills as danger stalks a woman determined to make it in a man’s world…
Five weeks ago Carly Drake stood at her grandfather’s grave. Now she’s burying Drake Trucking’s top driver, and the cops have no leads on the hijacking or murder. Faced with bankruptcy, phone threats and the fear of failure, Carly has to team up with the last man she wants to owe—Lincoln Cain.
Cain is magnetic, powerful, controlling—and hiding more than one secret. He promised Carly’s granddad he’d protect her. The old man took a chance on him when he was nothing but a kid with a record, and now he’s the multi-millionaire owner of a rival firm.
But Linc’s money can’t protect Carly from the men who’ll do anything to shut her down, or the secrets behind Drake Trucking. If she won’t sell out, the only way to keep her safe is to keep her close . . . and fight like hell.
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The clerk walked up to the counter, gray-haired and slightly bent. Daisy Johnson had worked at the sheriff’s office since Linc was a kid.
“Well, if it ain’t Lincoln Cain,” she said. “I saw in the paper a few years back you’d bought the old Blackland Ranch, but last I heard, you were stayin’ out of trouble.”
Linc grinned. The old woman was a pistol. “I do my best, Miss Daisy.” He turned. “This is Carly Drake, Joe Drake’s granddaughter.”
“Hello, Daisy,” Carly said. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“You, too. Your granddaddy was a real good man.”
“Thank you. Yes, he was.”
“We need to talk to the sheriff about the Hernandez murder,” Linc said.
Daisy’s face wrinkled into a frown. “Bad business, that. I’ll tell Sheriff Howler you’re here.”
The shuffle of boots drew their attention. “No need, Daisy–I got eyes.” Howler ambled out of his office, tipped up his chin as a signal to Linc. “You want to talk, you and the little lady come on back.”
Linc caught the stiffness that crept into Carly’s shoulders. Looked like Joe’s granddaughter was going to get along with the sheriff about as well as Linc and her grandpa had. If they weren’t there to find a killer, he might have smiled.
They followed Howler into his office and he sat down in the chair behind his desk. “What can I do for you?”
Carly spoke up. “I want to know what you’re doing to find the men who murdered Miguel Hernandez.”
Howler leaned forward across his desk. “Don’t get yourself in a fret. We’re gonna find ‘em. Just takes time. This ain’t San Francisco, little lady.” He flashed Cain a sneer. “It ain’t Dallas, neither. Our deputies have been out there asking questions, following up leads. But nobody saw nothin’ and there ain’t no sign of the truck.”
“What about the crime scene?” Linc asked. “Surely some kind of forensic evidence turned up where the body was found.”
Howler shook his head. “Just because you spent time behind bars, don’t make you an expert on the law.”
Linc ignored a shot of irritation. He and Howler had a history and it wasn’t a good one. His gaze went to Carly. No surprise in those big blue eyes. Clearly, she had done her homework before he’d shown up for yesterday’s meeting. She knew he’d been in prison but instead of disapproval, she was glaring at the sheriff.
“There’s no need for you to be rude, Sheriff Howler. Mr. Cain asked you a question that deserves an answer. I’d like to hear it myself.”
Howler grunted. “Truth is, we didn’t find much of anything. The morning Hernandez’s body was discovered, it had rained off and on during the night. Any DNA evidence was washed away.”
Linc thought of the detective he had hired. He wanted answers. He didn’t figure he’d get them from Howler and so far he was right.
“Who found him?” Carly asked.
“Man and his wife driving back to Dallas from a visit to their folks in Texarkana. They’d pulled off to the side of the road to let their dog out to take a leak. Dog must have scented the body on the other side of the road. Hernandez had been dead a while by then.”
Carly glanced away.
“What’s the coroner give for time of death?” Linc asked.
“Between eleven and one a.m. You can talk to Doc Bradshaw yourself if you’d like.”
“Consuelo said she got a phone call from Miguel about eleven,” Carly said. “He was fueling up at a truck stop a few miles south of Dallas. He told her he’d be home a little after midnight.”
“Seventy miles to Iron Springs from Dallas,” Linc said. “No traffic that time of night. Looks like the coroner got it right.”
The sheriff picked up a pen on his desk and began to click it open and closed. “I know you want those bastards caught and so do I. But standing here jawing about it ain’t gonna help. I need to get back to work.”
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About the Author:
Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of sixty-five books across multiple genres. Sixteen million copies are in print and she has been published in twenty-one foreign countries, including Japan, France, Argentina, Greece, China, and Spain. Her books have been nominated for the prestigious RITA award and won both the Lifetime Achievement and Reviewer’s Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews.
A resident of Missoula, Montana, Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She and her author husband, L.J. Martin, spend their winters in Ventura, California. She is currently writing her next Romantic Suspense.