book cover of Brutal Mercy
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Brutal Mercy

(Book 18 in the Sydney Rye Mystery series)
A novel by

The dog’s howls echo the mechanical whine of the sirens blaring from the speakers. The sounds undulate, rising and falling like the jungle-draped topography around us.

The airfield we stand on is a swath of ochre in a sea of riotous green—the sky above a cerulean dome hazed in tremulous clouds. Sunlight beats through them, baking the dirt, mixing with the moisture of the jungle and wrapping itself around us in a heavy, sweaty embrace. My arms tighten around my son.

Frank presses his snout to James’s foot, a low whine escaping as he looks up at me. Nila joins with Blue circling us as though forming a defensive line. They know we are in danger but don’t know from what.

The dogs in the jungle, trained to protect the compound’s perimeter, continue to howl even as the sirens wind down.

Blue leads us to the jungle path. Darkness closes in around us, the air stifling and humidity thick. Over the cascading insect orchestra, a resonating hum grows louder. James looks up at the canopy above us. “Vroom?” He asks.

“Vroom,” I agree, keeping my focus on the winding path. Roots criss-cross the dirt. Big wet leaves and spidery vines encroach, tugging at my clothing as if to stop me from entering. Sweat slides down my spine under my shirt.

Nila jogs ahead, taking the lead, her nose to the ground while Blue stays by my side and Frank behind us—a train of people and dogs. A pack moving through the jungle. A formidable force.

A bird squawks loudly, jerking James’s attention. He pulls his arms from around my neck to clap.

The drone’s mechanical hum grows louder.

Nila stops, turning her head to the sky, nostrils flaring, trying to find its scent. I crane my neck. Through the thick foliage the sky is just a few flashes of blue. Three shadows darken the diamonds of light cascading to the jungle floor, and flashes of white glint above us. No bombs drop. No bullets rain.


Genre: Mystery

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