Unhallowed Ground ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Heather Graham

Unhallowed Ground

Publication date: November 2011
ISBN: 9781408955482
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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Now The area near the nature preserve was overgrown. Salt flats and marsh met Matanzas Bay and the Intra-coastal, and the water went from shallow to deep, from sloping sand to a sudden drop-off leading to a misty and strange world of fish, tangled plant growth and, despite the best efforts of local and federal lawmakers, de facto garbage dumps. Caleb Anderson had been drawn to a shopping cart down at about twenty feet, then on to a tire rim beneath a tangle of seaweed at thirty-five, but neither one turned out to be hiding what they were looking for. The problem was, the authorities were searching blindly. A girl named Winona Hart had disappeared. She had been at a party, but none of her underage drunken friends&mdash half of them potheads to boot&mdash seemed to know when she had left, where she had gone, or with whom. He looked at his compass, then up through the filter of light to the cable from the police cruiser serving as their dive boat. In his mind, if anything was going to be found, it was going to be closer to the shore. Unless, of course, she'd been kidnapped by a boater and dumped somewhere beyond the bay and out in the Atlantic. If that was the case, their chances of finding her were almost nonexistent. The ocean was huge. True, if caught in a current or an undertow, a body might wash up on land. And if they came up with a suspect who regularly followed a certain route, even a weighted body might somehow be discovered. But at the moment they were searching blindly. Still, he hadn't wanted to miss the opportunity to be in on the search, not when he had promised he would do everything humanly possible to find Jennie Lawson. Admittedly, this grim attempt was not to find Jennie but a local teen who had now been missing for nearly forty-eight hours, a case that might or might not be connected to Jennie's. No one knew if Jennie Lawson had actually made it to the beach in St. Augustine, her intended destination. They only knew that she had landed in Jacksonville, gotten off the plane and picked up a rental car. Neither she nor the car had been seen since. He didn't have much hope of finding Jennie alive. Her mother had told him that she knew Jennie was gone, because her daughter had come to her in a dream the night before her disappearance was reported and said goodbye. Caleb wasn't sure what to believe, because Mr. Lawson seemed to think that Mrs. Lawson had lost her mind when their daughter had disappeared, and he had, in fact, made a motion behind his wife's back to indicate as much. Caleb had heard of stranger things than ghostly midnight visits, however, so he had simply smiled and vowed to Jennie's mother that he would do everything he could to find out the truth, even if he couldn't return her daughter to her. That had comforted her. Closure was something people needed. Perhaps it was too painful to live with eternal hope. So Caleb was also looking for Jennie, or any sign of her, even if he was officially on the trail of another young woman for whom many were still holding out hope. But this dive was important for other reasons, too it was giving him a chance to get to know the local authorities and the local expert on the surrounding waters. As he moved toward the marshy shore, he couldn't see more than a few feet in front of him, but he was accustomed to such conditions. His dive light illuminated the surrounding area as he searched, and he was methodical in covering his assigned section of the bay. He had seen the grid, and he meant to search his assigned area thoroughly, leaving no possibility that anything had been overlooked. As an out-of-stater, he was the odd man out here. If he did anything to make the other men&mdash and the one woman&mdash on the local forensic dive team resent his presence, he would end up ostracized, and that would be a real problem in his search for Jennie. For that reason, getting along with the police lieutenant in charge of the case, Tim Jamison, and Will Perkins, the dive master,
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