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The Dark Corners of the Night (UNSUB, #3) by Meg Gardiner Read Online (FREE)

The Dark Corners of the Night (UNSUB, #3) by Meg Gardiner

Read The Dark Corners of the Night (UNSUB, #3) by Meg Gardiner full novel online for free here.

Stars, hide your fires;
Let not night see my black and deep desires.

—William Shakespeare, Macbeth

 

1

March

 

Caitlin Hendrix thundered down the off-ramp hard past the speed limit, into the smoke. The haze obscured the skyline and hung a red pall in the morning sky above the Berkeley Hills. Nine hours after the blast, Temescal Hospital was still burning.

On the radio, reports were grim. “Oakland authorities confirm multiple fatalities …”

Caitlin punched the steering wheel. “Goddammit.”

She slewed to a stop in the hospital parking lot and her skin turned cold. Ladder trucks ringed the building, spraying stubborn hives of flame. Search-and-rescue teams combed the smoldering ruins of the ER with dogs, hunting for trapped survivors.

“Latest in a string of bombings that spans the country …”

Caitlin jumped from the car and was blinded by acrid smoke. At the yellow perimeter tape a police officer raised a hand to keep her back.

She flashed her FBI credentials. “ATF?”

The patrolman pointed toward the hospital’s crumbled façade. “They went in.”

She ducked under the tape and ran. The ER entrance was a gaping hole half-choked by debris. She climbed over unstable slabs of concrete and rebar, picking her way through. The wind gusted. Ash flicked her face, hot.

It seemed impossible that anybody could have escaped this place alive.

From the eddying smoke, a specter emerged. A red bandanna was tied around his face. A badge hung from his neck. ATF—the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Caitlin scrambled through the rubble toward him. Sean Rawlins saw her and his shoulders dropped. Her throat went dry with dread.

Her best friend had been on duty as a nurse in the Temescal ER when the bomb exploded. Michele Ferreira—whom Caitlin had been trying to reach for hours. Michele was the reason she’d flown all night from DC to get here.

“She’s not answering her cell,” Sean had said on the phone, his voice like broken glass. “Nobody knows.”

The attack on Temescal was a massive escalation in the bomber’s campaign. It was a devastating turn in a case Sean had been working for months. And it had done more than bring disaster to the East Bay. Because Michele was more than Caitlin’s friend. She was Sean’s ex-wife. The mother of his little girl.

Caitlin grabbed Sean’s arms. He was dirty and hollow-eyed. A tremor ran through her.

He pulled down the bandanna. “They found her.”

His voice was raw. Caitlin’s heart fisted.

Behind him shadows solidified from the smoke. A search-and-rescue team emerged from the ER, their hard hats and yellow vests filthy. They were lugging a basket stretcher.

In it, unmoving, lay a small woman in raspberry scrubs. Her shirt, her face, her crow-black hair, were caked with concrete dust and matted with blood. The rescue team hadn’t bothered to cover her broken form with a sheet.

Grief raked Caitlin’s throat. Her friend was shattered, her skin the gray of a stone angel.