Excerpt of No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
(Page 4 of 4)
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She reached the upriver end of Temple Island, saw again the pale
wedding-cake shape of the folly, and slowly, slowly, the dim shapes
of familiar landmarks moved by. If before she had had the sensation
of slipping backwards in time, now she felt suspended, as if only her
own efforts could inch the clock forward.
She pulled harder, again and again, lost in the rhythm of the
stroke. It was only in the instant of calm following a perfect drive
that she heard the floundering splash. The boat creaked as she
stopped, as if it were resisting the cessation of forward motion.
The sound had been close, and too loud for a diving bird. A large
animal slipping in from the bank, perhaps?
She tasted salt, realized her nose was running from the cold and
wind. Shifting her grip on her oars into one hand, she swiped at her
lip with her other sleeve. The boat rocked slightly as she twisted to
look upriver and she quickly grasped the oars in both hands again.
Then she peered at the bank, but the shadows beneath the trees had
deepened to impenetrable ink.
Shrugging, she rotated her oars, putting the sound down to her
imagination. But as she slid up to the catch, she heard a cry. The
voice was unmistakably human, oddly familiar, and she could have
sworn it had called her name.
Excerpted from No Mark Upon Her
by Deborah Crombie. Copyright © 2012 by Deborah Crombie.
Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.