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Dead Even
Cover of Dead Even
Dead Even
Dead Series, Book 3
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From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes a novel of sexy romantic suspense for fans of Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, and Karen Robards.

Three devious prisoners vow murderous revenge. Now the third is free.

FBI Special Agent Miranda Cahill has always played by the rules: always maintain a respectful professionalism, and never mix business with pleasure. Except when it comes to fellow agent Will Fletcher. Their on-again, off-again relationship has left painful scars even he has never seen.

Now, a series of murders has the two agents racing to outwit a killer before he can strike again. Miranda and Will know that lives depend on identifying intended victims and tracking them down before the killer does. But as they begin to unravel this homicidal agenda, it becomes clear that Miranda may be the last and final target in a twisted game. With the clock ticking, time is running out on a killer who is determined to cross Miranda's name off his hit list . . . permanently.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Mariah Stewart's Dead End.

From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes a novel of sexy romantic suspense for fans of Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, and Karen Robards.

Three devious prisoners vow murderous revenge. Now the third is free.

FBI Special Agent Miranda Cahill has always played by the rules: always maintain a respectful professionalism, and never mix business with pleasure. Except when it comes to fellow agent Will Fletcher. Their on-again, off-again relationship has left painful scars even he has never seen.

Now, a series of murders has the two agents racing to outwit a killer before he can strike again. Miranda and Will know that lives depend on identifying intended victims and tracking them down before the killer does. But as they begin to unravel this homicidal agenda, it becomes clear that Miranda may be the last and final target in a twisted game. With the clock ticking, time is running out on a killer who is determined to cross Miranda's name off his hit list . . . permanently.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Mariah Stewart's Dead End.

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  • Chapter one chapter one

    Fingertips tapped lightly on either side of the rim of the steering wheel, a quiet expression of annoyance favored by FBI Special Agent Miranda Cahill when faced with a vexing situation over which she had no control. The current immovable object was the rental car that had buzzed along nicely from the Natrona County Airport just a short hop from Casper, Wyoming, where she had picked it up, to the spot where it had sputtered unceremoniously to a stop some fifteen miles from Pine Tree Junction.

    At least, that was where the last road sign had placed her, but that had been close to half an hour ago. She wondered if perhaps somehow she’d taken a wrong turn. Tough to do, she thought wryly, when there had been so few turns to be taken.

    She turned the key in the ignition one more time, praying for a smooth start. Her prayers were answered with the clack-clack-clack of an engine that steadfastly refused to turn over. Battery, maybe. Or perhaps the starter. Either way, the Taurus was dead. And that meant she would be walking the rest of the way to Linden, however far that might be, if she was going to get there today.

    Cursing aloud, she got out of the car.

    “I should leave you unlocked, you know that?” She spoke aloud to the car, pausing with the key in her right hand. “Let’s see how you like being abandoned out here in the middle of nowhere, all alone. Defenseless. May you be pilfered and vandalized.”

    She locked it anyway, tossed her large brown tote bag over her shoulder, and set off on foot toward her destination. Hardly defenseless herself, she slipped her Sig Sauer into the holster that rode on her hip, just in case a mean-spirited rattlesnake or equally ornery cowboy crossed her path.

    While she walked along the narrow shoulder of the road, she fiddled with her phone, found the autodial number she wanted, and hit Send. When there was no answer, she dialed a second number, never missing a stride.

    “Please leave a message for John Mancini. . . .”

    “Damn,” she grumbled. “I hate voice mail.”

    She blew out a heavily agitated breath.

    “John, it’s Miranda Cahill. I’m currently hoofing it up what I believe is still Route 387, but since there are no signs out here in the middle of No Where, Wyoming, that’s just a guess on my part. I’m due in Linden in twenty minutes for the meeting, but that looks way optimistic right now. I tried calling Aidan, but he didn’t pick up. If you or someone else could reach him, please let him know I’m going to be a little late. If he’d like to come and pick me up, even better. I’ll be the one walking along wearing a tan suede jacket and a we-are-not-amused expression.”

    She ended the call, slipped the phone into her pocket, and hitched the bag a little higher. Her long legs ate up lengths of the road at a healthy clip despite the high-heeled boots, partly because her natural pace was quick, partly because the temperature was barely thirty degrees and certain to be dropping as the day began to fade. She was determined to reach Linden before that happened. If there was one thing she hated more than anything, it was the cold.

    “Jamaica,” she mumbled under her breath. “Bahamas. Acapulco. Bermuda. The Keys . . .”

    She tried to recall the words to some of the old Beach Boys surfer songs they played on the local oldies station, but the only song that came to mind was “Kokomo,” so she sang those few words she knew over and over—“Bermuda, Bahama, come on, pretty mama, to Key Largo, Montego,...

About the Author-
  • Mariah Stewart is the bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas. A RITA finalist for romantic suspense, she is the recipient of the Award of Excellence for contemporary romance, a RIO (Reviewers International Organization) Awards honoring excellence in women's fiction, a Reviewers Choice Award from Romantic Times magazine, and a three-time recipient of the Golden Leaf Award for contemporary romance. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband, two daughters, and two rambunctious golden retrievers in a century-old Victorian home. She is a member of the Valley Forge Romance Writers, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Romance Writers of America.

    From the Paperback edition.

Reviews-
  • Romantic Times "Mariah Stewart is fast becoming a brand-name author."
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Dead Even
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Dead Series, Book 3
Mariah Stewart
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