Protagonist Abi Spencer is just getting into the action-packed introduction of D.S. Factor’s “Relentless”, our novel of globe-trotting suspense. Join us today as we reveal the continuing story of a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Propelled from the water was an arm that once again took aim at her ankle, and the opportunity to knock Abi off her feet.  The second blow was a bit higher than the first, and packed considerably more power behind it.  For a miniscule moment, she thought she would be able to retain her stability, but seconds later she felt herself falling into the cold shock of the very deep and darkened lake. 

Breaking the surface of the water, she reached for the wooden post that moored the Bayliner inside the boathouse.  Her fingers grazed its edge, but then she was ripped from the shore and forced beneath the lake’s surface.  Kicking at her attacker with her free leg, she desperately tried to tear her foot from the man’s grasp.  She could feel the need for oxygen burning her lungs as the man slowly pulled her deeper into the water and away from the safety of the boathouse. 

I’m going to die.  Could I really die in practically my own backyard?  Her body was steadily being pulled out and along the shore of the lake, perhaps twenty yards down the south shore.  Still beneath the water‘s surface, her body screamed for air.  But then, strangely, the movement stopped.  Abi began fighting with renewed energy, as the man slowly raised his arms to her face and placed huge hands over her mouth.  Damn.  Damn.  Damn.  Her mind said haul off and belt him, but her latest attack had melted away her strength and she now felt utterly helpless.   

Unexpectedly, the water became darker and Abi found herself staring at the worn insides of a rowboat.  Disorienting at first, the boat had been inverted in the water and bound to the shore by a rope connected to the remains of a dock Brad had altered for the purpose of keeping the boat’s metal inside from frying its occupants when they first got in.  The storm’s power had begun to wane, but a steady machine gun sound continued to pelt the underside of the boat.  A small pocket of air above the water line and below the bottom of the boat allowed Abi to inhale her first breath in what seemed an eternity.  In reality, the whole ordeal took place in just under two minutes.     

“Abi,” the man whispered into her ear. 

“Oh my God, but what…?” she spat incredulously.     

Brad attempted to again cover her mouth, but she peeled his hand away, turning to face him.  “What the hell are you doing?” she muttered, with a mixture of shock, anger, and fear. 

“Ssshh,” he whispered.  “Be still, and we’ll find a way out of this.” 

Seconds passed quietly by, accompanied only by the dissipating rain and the soft chirping of crickets coming from the thatch of weeds growing close to the water’s edge.   

Abi’s eyes had at last adjusted to the darkness under the boat, and she looked at Brad with pleading eyes.  “Please…,” she hesitated, lowering her voice.   “Please tell me what’s going on?  What are we hiding from?” she murmured under her breath. 

In the eerie darkness, his reply hung fearfully in the air.  “It’s not what babe…it’s who.” 

 Brad knew that the next moments would be crucial to any hope he had of getting himself and his wife of nearly four years to safety, so he silently hoped that the action he was about to take would somehow be right.  Turning to face Abi and explain, he was stunned to discover that, like a ghost, she had slipped away and vanished into the murky water. 

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