Thursday Sampler: Torn Roots by Scott Bury
December 17, 2015
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Thursday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Torn Roots, a mystery in the Lei Crime Series by Scott Bury.
As one reviewer said: What an AMAZING Book! It grabs you from the very beginning and holds your interest all the way to the end. So many twists and turns that you won’t know what will happen next.
Hawaii is known for volcanoes and sandy beaches. Beauty and danger reign.
After breaking a case of murdered poachers in Maui’s national park, Detective Pono Kaihale accepts a short-term position as Acting Lieutenant in Hana on the island’s rain-forest coast. He is looking forward to redirecting lost hikers and moderating mild lovers’ spats, and enjoying the natural beauty of the southeast shore. But by his second week on the job, Pono finds trouble here comes in unexpected forms.
As environmentalists, property developers, protesters, arsonists, kidnappers and a rogue Homeland Security agent converge on his new post, Pono feels like the eye of a brewing storm. And when a new FBI agent gets involved, Pono realizes the stakes are much higher than a quiet period in his career.
Lives will be lost if he doesn’t solve this mystery quickly.
The man stopped a few yards from them. “Rowan Fields, come with me,” he demanded. He had short-cropped, dark hair and thick brows, a thick neck and muscles that bulged under his long-sleeved black shirt. A belt held a holstered automatic at his hip.
“Go f**k yourself,” Rowan answered.
The man scowled, stepped toward them and reached for Rowan’s arm with one hand, his other reaching for his gun.
Rowan yelled, jumped and spun. Her long left leg stretched out horizontally and connected with the strange man’s head with a solid whack. The man cried out and fell, his handgun sailing away into the underbrush.
Rowan landed in a ready pose: knees bent, fists raised. Sam grabbed one hand and pulled her away. “Come on!”
They ran uphill again, plunging into the rain forest. They followed a trail that Sam knew but that Rowan could not even see, jumping over tiny streams and fallen logs, dodging mossy boulders and ducking under low branches, always going uphill.
They paused as Sam assessed which would be the best way to go. “Still keeping up the Tae Kwon Do, I see,” he said.
“I guess you never lose it,” Rowan answered. “Which way?”
Sam indicated a path that Rowan could not see, but she followed him. The jungle got denser as they went, the terrain less even. They jumped over dips and narrow fissures in the moss-covered volcanic rock of Maui. Behind them, they could hear their pursuer crashing through the brush, cursing continually.
Sam led the way he knew well and hoped they would reach the unnamed gorge before their pursuer caught them. He chanced another glance back, and only yards behind Rowan’s shoulder saw movement under the trees. They heard more cursing.
“He’s stuck,” Sam said. He pushed a sapling to one side and let Rowan go past. “Go straight uphill. I’ll catch up.” Rowan looked scared and doubtful, but for once did not say anything and ran uphill.
The man in black appeared from the midst of a thick tangle of wet branches. His black clothes were torn and Sam could see a bruise already forming on his jaw where Rowan’s foot had connected.
Sam let go of the young tree in his hands. It sprang up and smacked the pursuer dead-center in the face. He went down again with another curse, but Sam did not stay to admire his work.
He found Rowan standing at the edge of a shallow gorge twenty feet across. “Now what, genius?”
“I am a genius,” Sam said. He took her elbow and headed to the right. “This way.” Past another tangle of bushes, they reached a mossy log stretched across the gorge.