Praise for Atonement
“Austin’s series opener has much to entertain readers… it paints a picture of a strong, fearless woman with a sympathetic plight.” — Library Journal
Once she looked into the lens, she embraced death.
Deputy Nicolette Rivers settled against the Remington’s cheek weld and peered through the Leupold scope. Five hundred yards away in a two-story farmhouse with chipped, white paint flaking off the wood siding, a domestic situation had turned volatile. For the first time in more than three years Nic was called on to use skills she’d hoped to never use again.
While the sheriff wanted to negotiate a peaceful end, he wasn’t stupid enough to keep Nic on the sidelines. He needed her eyes on the target: the out-of-control man standing over the cowering woman and her three children. Nic’s mouth drew into a thin line. She’d chosen this area for its lack of hostility and crime. Had chosen Nowheresville, Iowa, because there wasn’t a need for a former marine sniper.
Nic regretted putting her special skills on her résumé.“This is Rivers reporting in. I’m in position,” she said into her mic receiver.
“Go ahead,” Sheriff Hamilton replied.
The sheriff’s command post was on the opposite side of the house from her position. The abandoned truck made for a perfect spot.
It was the right height from the bed to the roof, leaving her able to settle against the rusted frame and lean into her scope. And the huge, uncovered picture window at the back of the house gave her access to the hostage situation.
Nic rattled off the position of each person in the room, the layout as far as she could see, and what the subject was doing. All info the sheriff expected, knowing he’d use it as he negotiated. Inside the house, the man lifted a bottle of liquor to his lips and guzzled. His actions tugged up the bottom of the shirt and revealed more surprises. “Male subject … Dusty is drinking. He’s carrying a twenty-gauge and has a nine-millimeter tucked in his pants’ waistband. Do you copy?”
“Copy that, Rivers.”
Before the sheriff’s link fully closed, Nic heard a fellow deputy’s protests in the background. He’d been harassing Hamilton to be allowed to talk to the target—his cousin—and was denied. In fact, Deputy Doug Walker had been ordered to leave the premises before Nic hiked off to grab her rifle and get into position. Walker swore up and down his cousin would never in a million years hurt his wife and kids. Never.
Famous last words.