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Bones, bodies, and a love rekindled.
Paleontologist Caroline Priest is shocked when she finds a dead body at her dig site. When she calls it in to the sheriff’s department, her former boyfriend, Rand Callahan, comes out to investigate. The evidence quickly starts to point to Caroline being the killer, and Rand has no choice but to arrest her.
It’s clear to Caroline that she’s been set up, but by who and for what reason? While Caroline is out on bail, Rand rekindles his relationship with her as they try to solve the mystery before it’s too late.
Content Warning: contains some sexual content
Caroline rose from dig site two, wondering what Eddie was doing a few hundred yards away at dig site one. She felt a bit jealous, thinking perhaps someone had discovered a never-before-seen fossil. Hell Creek State Park so far had only coughed up a humerus and a few small bones—nothing spectacular, which surprised Caroline because Jordan, Montana, was a hotbed for its fossils, especially here at Fork Peck Lake.
The sight of her assistant, Eddie Parker, running toward her stole away her moment of reflection. She folded her arms and shook her head at the young man’s almost childish excitement. When he reached her, he pushed up his dark-rimmed glasses that had slid down his nose as he ran. “Caroline!” He stopped to catch his breath. “You need to call the sheriff!”
Caroline frowned in confusion. “What on earth is going on over there?”
“A body!” Eddie answered, turning to point at dig site one. “Not dinosaur bones, but human bones, and they’re pretty damn fresh!”
“A body? What’s a body doing out here? Are you sure he’s dead? Maybe he’s just unconscious and need medical attention. I better have a look.”
“Come on!” Eddie ran ahead of her. From the back, the poor young man looked more like thirteen than twenty-seven, and sometimes his behavior leaned more toward the younger age.
“How the heck did a dead body show up here?” Ryan mused. Ryan was working alongside Caroline at dig site one. At twenty-eight, he was the more mature one in the group as well as the team leader. He had only to finish this dig site and he would be finished with his dissertation and receive his PhD.
Those who’d gathered around the body parted ways when Caroline approached, letting her through. She tentatively peered at the gruesome sight, and then put a hand to her nose at the odor that greeted her. “Oh my God,” she muttered. What upset her more than viewing a fairly fresh death was that the face looked vaguely familiar.
Others gathered around the body. “You’d better call this in, Caroline,” Ryan said. “Jeez, I wonder what happened to him. Could have been a hiker who had a heart attack or something like that.”
“I suppose.” Caroline and Ryan walked off to the side to get away from the smell. “You better tell everybody to make sure they don’t contaminate the area. Tell them all to get away from there.” Caroline took her cellphone from a pocket on her cargo pants and dialed 911.
“Sure,” Ryan answered, then walked off to give the orders as Caroline gave the information to a 911 dispatcher in Jordan, answering questions as best as she could.
“I have no idea how the person died or who it is,” she explained. “I’m a paleontologist, here with a dinosaur lab and working on a dig site.”
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