Although the moonless desert night surrounding the dark and quiet homestead had descended into an icy theatre, the small bathroom air grew steadily tense, humid with terror and clammy with the heat of approaching fey. The only protection between hunter and the hunted was the darkened homestead and a locked fifty millimetre solid wooden door, keeping the prey safe for the moment; but like a fox trapped in its den, once the beast knew where to find its quarry, the hunt was over. Mishy's forehead glistened with sweat, her face tense with fear and her hands locked onto the barrel of Butch's shotgun. Knowing the options for rescue had been exhausted, the rules were simple: the life of a cold blooded killer or the lives of her children. Michelle Slater supposed the killer would search the house and every room, and once he found the bathroom door locked, that would be an indication something or someone of value was hiding behind its defences.
Mishy's abrupt whisper panicked her daughters and she had to quickly quieten their whimpers. "Ssshhh! Crawl into the shower recess and huddle against the shower wall."
"What about you, Mumma?" Danica's anxious voice whispered.
"I'm going to shelter in the bathtub. I should get a good shot from there and the tub sides will protect me from anything this person can throw at us."
Watching a shadow flicker under the door backlit by vehicle headlights, Mishy repeated her whispered order. The unmistakable s-q-u-e-a-k from the flyscreen door and then the muted shiver of booted feet on wooden floorboards entering their homestead domain alerted Mishy to the presence of the beast, sending her heart pounding in response and an uncontrolled tremor through her hands. Crawling as quietly and nimbly as she could and careful not to alert the fiend to their presence, Mishy slid over the tall inbuilt bathtub sides and settled into a flat, comfortable position; then with a groping hand, she felt for the shotgun barrel on the floor beside the tub and lifted it carefully and then rested the barrel against the porcelain side. Using the light beam under the door as a guide, she aimed the gun at the centre of the door, knowing she would only get one shot at immobilising the situation and surviving their ordeal.
La Belle Suisse, by co-authors Dodie La Mirounette and Jack Dey, is a fast paced mystery set in Switzerland and outback Australia. Intrigue, fun and romance hide behind every page and its playful character will lead you into familiar places where normality exists... or does it? Don't let your guard down, for everyone has a price, but where will that purchase lead you? Make no mistake... if you have a price, the devil has a cheque book.