Have you ever wanted something so badly, you couldn’t sleep, you couldn’t eat, you couldn’t live?
In the middle of the commotion, lying still in a sprawl across a carpet of leaves, was the body of a girl. Her face was turned away, but a spill of blonde hair flowed into the flaming yellows and oranges that surrounded her. Graham took one, deep breath. Counted to ten. Let it out. His feet went back into motion, carried him under the tape, closer. He nodded to the medical examiner collecting data. “Can you turn her over, please?”
The man nodded and set his logbook down. With the greatest care, as if handling something incredibly fragile, he slowly rolled the body over until her face was tipped to the sky, empty blue eyes staring without life. Graham heard the blood rushing in his ears and his heart kicked into gear, thudding hard enough to hurt. He nodded once to the man at his side and stumbled away from the lights and watchful eyes, followed closely by his best friend. In the cover of darkness, his legs gave out and he began to retch, his body shaking.
Jim’s face twisted as he clamped a hand on Graham’s shoulder to steady both men. “Hang in there, Graham. Easy, buddy, easy.”
The heaving stopped but the shudders didn’t and sobbing took over next. “God help me, I thought…at first..she looked just like Sarah and God forgive me, I’m …glad..it’s not her!”
Conservation officer Graham Scott knows what it is to want. The wilderness has given him a lifetime of pleasure, the prospect of a family in a young teacher, Sarah Waters, and her five-year-old daughter, Lila…until it turns on him. One day, Sarah surprises Graham on a picnic lunch during a routine patrol of the Rockwood State Forest. She remains behind to take a few pictures of the sunset…and vanishes.
Follow Graham on his desperate search and continue in the Lost in the Adirondacks series with The Edge of Forgiveness on Blue Mountain and Sunrise Over Indian Lake. The fourth in the series, Deserted on Lake Desolation, due out this summer.