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Love Inspired Suspense March 2021 Box Set 2 of 2

Framed in Death Valley

Deadly River Pursuit

Abducted in Alaska

Dana Mentink

Heather Woodhaven

Darlene L. Turner

Table of Contents

Framed in Death Valley

By Dana Mentink

Deadly River Pursuit

By Heather Woodhaven

Abducted in Alaska

By Darlene L. Turner

It was futile. The car was nearly upon them…

Abruptly, Beckett grabbed Laney’s arm and pulled her to the side.

They watched as the car continued straight ahead and smashed front first into the rear of their van. Glass spewed in all directions. Metal crumpled with a squeal that drowned out Laney’s scream.

They were alive. She hugged herself in disbelief, but Beckett was urging her up.

“Keep going. Don’t stop.”

“I can’t…” she panted.

“We have to run to the ruins,” he commanded. “Come on. I’ll help you.”

The ruins? The old borax works were unstable, treacherous piles of loose brick concealed by the pitch dark.

The sound of shifting gears caught her attention. She managed to turn her head, and over Beckett’s shoulder she saw the car reversing, pulling free from the wrecked van with the sound of shearing metal that set her teeth on edge.

Horror nearly overwhelmed her. The nightmare was not over.

He was still coming for them…

Dana Mentink is a nationally bestselling author. She has been honored to win two Carol Awards, a HOLT Medallion and an RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award. She’s authored more than thirty novels to date for Love Inspired Suspense and Harlequin Heartwarming. Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her at danamentink.com.

Books by Dana Mentink

Love Inspired Suspense

Desert Justice

Framed in Death Valley

True Blue K-9 Unit: Brooklyn

Cold Case Pursuit

True Blue K-9 Unit

Shield of Protection

Act of Valor

Roughwater Ranch Cowboys

Danger on the Ranch

Deadly Christmas Pretense

Cold Case Connection

Secrets Resurfaced

Gold Country Cowboys

Cowboy Christmas Guardian

Treacherous Trails

Cowboy Bodyguard

Lost Christmas Memories

Visit the Author Profile page at Harlequin.com for more titles.

Framed in Death Valley

Dana Mentink

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

—Romans 8:1

For Ann, my golden-hearted friend who has given so much to so many.


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Dear Reader


Beckett Duke hunched in the passenger seat, avoiding the narrowing gaze of the man who’d given him a lift.

The radio news reporter delivered the words impassively, but they hit like bombs. “The murder case against local firefighter Beckett Duke was dismissed due to improper police procedure. Duke was released from jail this morning, according to Inyo County’s DA’s office. He was awaiting trial for the murder of Pauline Sanderson, a forty-two-year-old nurse visiting Death Valley National Park. Her body was found on the grounds of the Hotsprings Hotel.”

The man behind the wheel squinted suddenly, his gaze sliding from the radio to Beckett as he put the thing together in his mind. Beckett pulled his baseball cap down farther on his brow, but the damage was already done.

“My vision ain’t so good anymore and you look different without your beard. If I’da known who you were,” the man growled, “I might have run you down instead of given you a lift. Get out.”

Though they were still more than a mile from the Hotsprings Hotel and the late-October temperatures were cracking the ninety-degree mark, Beckett did as he was told, struggling to eject his six-foot-four frame from the front seat. The sun beat down on him with hammer blows.

Before he drove off, the man rolled down his window. “You got some nerve comin’ back here, Beckett Duke. I hope you get what’s coming to you.”

Beckett didn’t reply, just stood there in the ferocious heat, jaw tight as the man delivered the final blow. “You’ve always been a monster,” he added, before leaving Beckett in a cloud of exhaust.

Monster, a title he’d earned in high school. Even now, at age forty-three, he could remember the exact moment when he’d executed the throw in the wrestling match. But something had gone wrong. He’d been too quick, too forceful. He heard the snap of his opponent’s neck, instant collapse, moaning. The hush in that shocked high school auditorium echoed louder in his memory than the aftermath of boos and shouted insults that would follow. Beckett had caused a head injury that blinded a young man with a brilliant future ahead, a full-ride scholarship to an Ivy League school. One moment had ruined both their lives.

Out of that terrible event came the parade of accusations, blame and paralyzing self-doubt. Hadn’t he realized that Dan Wheatly was not confident? That he hadn’t been fully ready for Beckett’s overeager attack?




He swiped a hand across his sweating brow. That was twenty-six years ago. It had no bearing on his current situation, which was dire enough. The message had been delivered to him in jail three days before, in the form of punches that blackened his eye and busted his lip, kicks that bruised his ribs, while the other inmates cheered and hooted.

How does it feel, tough guy? The beating hadn’t scared him nearly as bad as the whisper in his ear from the two prisoners who held him down and pummeled him. Kenny is going to kill you for what you did to his sister. It wasn’t a threat, but a promise. Paroled felon Kenny Sanderson intended to kill him. That he could accept. His life was over anyway, his reputation in tatters, his heart so numb it could have been replaced by a hunk of solid stone. It was the second part of the message that reverberated in his ears like a scream echoing along a desert canyon.

And your wife too.

Laney. They’d been married exactly thirty-seven days before he’d found Pauline Sanderson’s body. On that hideous morning he’d discovered her dumped in a wooded culvert on hotel property, not a stone’s throw from Death Valley National Park. Pauline, his former high school

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