Dead Heat by Joan Reeves

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The only thing that saved Sabrina Snow was the too-sensitive car alarm on the twenty-year-old Renault Espace she’d bought when she’d arrived in France. One minute she’d been sound asleep, dreaming about blue skies, sunshine, and babies. The next, the wailing alarm on the old clunker’s ultra-sensitive alarm she’d had installed, split the night.

Adrenalin dumped into her bloodstream. Her internal timer kicked in.

One, one-thousand.

Sabrina didn’t hesitate or take a second to look out the window to see if a person or an animal had bumped against the car. She thrust her feet into her hiking boots, slapped the Velcro fasteners into place, and grabbed her Glock from the nightstand. Over the ululating siren, she heard men shouting—cursing in Albanian.

Two, one-thousand.

A few seconds is all it would take for someone with the right explosives to breach the old farmhouse’s heavy wooden door. Her combat knife was in its Kydex sheath strapped above her right ankle. A spare knife, along with a double-stack magazine for her Glock, was on a webbing belt around her waist.

Three, one-thousand.

She snagged her thermal coat from the doorknob on her way out of the room. Bare basics for escape and evasion were in the coat pockets even though she had that and more in her go-bag. She shoved her arms in the coat sleeves and zipped it as she raced downstairs.

Six, one-thousand.

She threw open the cellar door, leaped down the short flight of stairs, and headed for the hidden entrance to the tunnel.

Seven, one-thousand.

Desperation gave her strength and speed. She shoved aside the dusty pile of old carpet and broken furniture that hid the opening to the tunnel and crawled inside. The dank smell of earth that hadn’t been disturbed in decades filled her nose and created an anxiety of its own. She didn’t like tunnels or small spaces….

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