Photo Finish by Ngaio Marsh

By Ngaio Marsh

A narrative of tried homicide on a stunning lake in a distant a part of New Zealand.

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Never taking his eyes off the action in the front of the car, Luke reached across the aisle, planted his hand on top of the kid's wool cap, and pushed him back down. " Keeping his own profile low, Luke locked on to the gunmen as they systematically worked their way down the aisle demanding cash and jewelry. Slowly, so he wouldn't draw their attention, he unsnapped the sheath of the Leatherman multi-tool attached to his belt. His frickin' hand was shaking as he worked his way past the pliers, screwdriver, scissors, and bottle opener, finally locating the three-inch blade folded inside the housing.

The pa-zing of bullets slamming into the dirt at their feet, then glancing off a rock just behind them, had Luke moving fast, ducking low and pulling her close. The short head start and the cover of night were the only things they had going for them. Now was not the time to make a stand, not when he didn't know how many guns they were up against. Two for now, but there could be others. Besides, he had no idea how much ammo he had in the guns he'd lifted from the dead men. Until he had time to take stock, he couldn't be shooting off rounds in the dark.

And since bullets trumped blades any day of the week, he had to figure out some kind of force equalizer. He shot a scowl skyward, getting madder by the minute. Really? Was it really too much to ask? A lousy two-week vacation? No bullets? No bad guys? Nobody's life on the line? Especially mine? Muttering under his breath, he slouched deeper into the seat and prepared to roll into combat mode just in case these guys got too frisky. He hoped to hell they didn't. Yeah, he'd turned into that man. Once upon a time, he'd have relished the thought of putting the hurt on these two cretins.

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