Title: Blade of Death
Author: McKenna Grey
He'll strike when she least expects it.
Alexa Kyndall, an FBI special agent, has seen too many vile and unrepentant people escape justice. After coming off a harrowing kidnapping case, she visits her hometown of Stewart’s Crossing while on a two-week vacation.
Set in the wilderness of Alaska, "Blade of Death" will leave readers on edge and grasping for clues in this short story prequel to the Kyndall Family Thrillers. Join Alexa and her brothers as they track down a killer before an old friend becomes his next victim.
Sheriff Donovan Kyndall stood on the dock of Nowhere Lake, hands in his pockets, and watched the divers raise the body from the icy water. His morning patrol had been interrupted by the frantic call from Dale Brock, a local hunter and wilderness guide. The hunter’s son, Dale Jr., on his first solo survival trek, had stopped at the lake to make camp. At first, Dale Jr. hadn’t been certain what he saw bobbing in the water a few yards from the rocky shore until he studied the object with his pocket binoculars.
Regardless of what many in the Lower 48 believed, murder didn’t occur in every small town or forest of Alaska. Two weeks ago, Donovan would have said a murder had never taken place in their village of Stewart’s Crossing. They had their share of accidental and natural deaths, but not a single murder since 1957 when a woman killed her husband after a long winter stuck inside their remote cabin. Now the bodies were piling up.
Donovan kept his eyes on the body but asked the coroner, “How young?”
“Twenty to thirty. Petechia in her eyes.” The coroner stood. They stepped aside so two men with a stretcher carrier could move the body. “I know it’s not much to go on, but with the temperature of the water, I can’t get an accurate time of death from the liver temp. The medical examiner in Anchorage can give you more after the autopsy.”
Donovan watched them carry away the covered body and disappear on the trail through the trees. “The killer picked the perfect place. Few people come here when the weather is good. With the freezing night temps, the body might not have been discovered this soon if the kid hadn’t stopped. Or if our killer was better with knots. I’d wager there was something heavy tied on the other end of the rope.” Donovan pointed to the rope now sitting in an evidence bag.
“I’d agree this is recent, considering the condition of the body. You think it’s related to the other two deaths?” the coroner asked.
Jackson Sprinder was two months into his new appointment as county coroner. He possessed a sharp mind and wasn’t squeamish, for which Donovan gave thanks, but Sprinder lacked experience when it came to murder.
Donovan nodded and waited for the divers to finish pulling anything else out of the water that could be tied to the body. “Too much of a coincidence not to be related.”
He turned and saw Alexa appear at the edge of the trail where it met the slope leading to the dock. She most resembled her twin, Jordan, but there was no mistaking the relation between Donovan and Alexa. His hair might be a shade darker than the medium-brown length she had pulled back. He shared the same green eyes as their brother, Owen, while her and Jordan’s more expressive light brown eyes shifted between shades of green with flecks of gold.
Donovan remembered their high school years and the way his friends used to pretend not to stare at Alexa. At least they’d been smart enough not to ask her out and risk tangling with three brothers. When they saw her at her graduation from the FBI Academy, all of them couldn’t help but be grateful she now carried a gun.
“I got your message.” Alexa walked toward him wearing the clothes she’d left the house in that morning. He’d interrupted her run, but having an FBI agent in the family definitely had its advantages.
“Sprinder, you haven’t met my sister, Alexa. Alexa, this is the county coroner, Jackson Sprinder.”
“Nice to meet you.” She shook his hand and planted her hands on her hips. “What’s going on, Donovan?”
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
This is a better question for readers, but what I really like about it the sibling relationship. In the middle of all the thrills and suspense and the beautiful Alaska setting, the four siblings have a great connection. Whether they’re serious or bantering, they’ll do whatever it takes to help each other. It’s a great introduction to the series and the sibling dynamic that shows up in every book.
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McKenna Grey is the contemporary alter-ego of an award-winning, historical romance and western author. She writes romantic suspense, including the Kyndall Family series, and heartwarming, small-town romance to break up the murder and mayhem. She enjoys a quiet life in the northern Rocky Mountains where she is writing her next book.
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