David Dun Bestselling Thriller Author
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International Thriller Writers Bestselling Thriller Writer David Dun
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It all blended and swirled, creating a place of comfort because it felt familiar. Thirty yards distant stood his log house, built seventy years prior by a timber baron in this most remote corner of the state of California. As precious as the house to Sam were its contents, among them an eight-foot-high fireplace with iron log stands forged in the 1890s in Boston; handmade feather-cushioned couches and chairs passed down by his father’s Scottish ancestors; the grandfather clock that had come across the United States in a covered wagon. Most of the furnishings, even the throw rugs, had a story. But the best stories existed in no book, living instead in the land itself.

Here in the northern California coastal mountains, among the old-growth conifers shrouded in winter mist, even the greatest of men seemed small. The timber baron had chosen well, building his house on a bench on an otherwise steep mountain, surrounded by government land and adjacent to the Tilok Indian reservation and tribal grounds, home to the other half of Sam’s family heritage.

From his position, Sam could see through the bay window to the fading glow of the coals from the fire that had earlier played over the Douglas fir floor and paneling. Next to him on the ground lay Harry, a mostly Scottish terrier, snuggled in his own heavy blanket.

Sam had one last doggy treat for Harry, but he was waiting for the dog to ask for it. Out of sheer boredom Sam looked at Harry and licked his lips in a fashion commonly canine. Harry gave a quiet groan of belly-felt desire, knowing exactly what was on his master’s mind. Sam reached beside his sleeping bag and into the doggy treats bag, removed one, and held it under his own nose for a languorous sniff, as a man might do with a good cigar.

Harry thumped his tail. Sam held the treat in front of Harry’s nose and Harry sniffed it in dignified silence as Sam had taught him. Then Sam tossed it into the air and Harry snatched it with a quick snap before it hit the ground. Harry rolled over on his back for a good belly rub, which Sam obliged. Then Sam put his finger to his lips and made a slight shhh sound, at which Harry lay silently on his blanket. Harry was a master at both shush and stay. Although Harry was truly Sam’s buddy, he also played a practical role. As difficult as it was to sneak up on Sam, it was nearly impossible to sneak up on Harry. The terrier’s senses of smell and hearing were acute and he was fundamentally a paranoid dog. Given his brushes with death, he had a right to be.


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