From the Prologue:
Her skin prickled and she stopped, alert.
Whoever was watching her was back. Or he’d never left. She suspected the latter – the sensations were so strong that she instinctively knew he was still around. Gripping her keys, she turned in a slow circle, her eyes touching on every shape, muscles tense, aware of the scents carried on the ocean breeze. From the center of town, she could hear the post office tower’s bell chime out the hour.
He was close – she could feel it. The question was, where would he come from?
The attack, when it came, was sudden – her body’s instinctive reflexes were faster than her mind and she ducked just in time to miss the swinging, clawed fist.
He roared, furious. She leapt back, dropping her purse, her breath coming in sharp rasps.
He was new to this – it was obvious from the way he carried himself. But new or not, if she wasn’t careful, he may just take her by sheer brute force.
She intended to take him down first.
They circled each other – Holly hoped that something or someone would distract him long enough so that she could gain a better advantage, but she didn’t rely on it happening. She had to rely on herself.
As she studied him, gauging his skill, her analytical mind suggesting strategies that she automatically considered or disregarded, it occurred to her reporter’s mind that there were peculiarities surrounding the death of Jackson Tanner. Peculiarities that had been similar to another death…..
Her attacker growled – her eyes widened in shock as she saw him literally expand in size and knew that she was in far more danger than she had at first realized.
She had no choice now. This was a fight that would end in one way.
She roared at him until her throat was raw, her hands like claws, and she ran at him.
His first blow sliced through her shirt and opened up her belly – four neat, parallel incisions, nearly gutting her.
The next blow killed her.