Anything could happen while the dead slept. Which was why some would say
a woman shouldn’t tread alone through a cemetery at 2:55 on a Tuesday
morning in April. But possible danger had never stopped Houston FBI
Special Agent Tori Templeton, especially when her mind marched with
determination. Her body refused to give in to rest, but it wasn’t a
violent crime robbing her of sleep.
The worn path below a black sky ended at Kevin’s gravesite. She was
here to visit the one person who could help her make sense of a puzzling
Tonight, like many nights in the past, she made her way to Kevin’s
final resting place to talk to him about work, life, problems, and
victories. Maybe someday she’d figure out his intrigue with God.
Her brother. Her friend. The one she looked up to and treasured. Tori
didn’t stalk a cemetery because of some superstition that he lay
beneath a marble stone and could communicate with her. She visited the
site because it signified peace. Maybe by a weird osmosis, she’d find
what had given Kevin strength. She wanted to believe he lived pain-free
with his God. No cancer. No side effects of chemo and radiation. An
eternal home with a God he embraced tighter than life. At least he’d
claimed those beliefs before he breathed his last.
“Special Agent Templeton?”
At the sound of the voice, a twinge of annoyance filled her spirit. The
man greeting her was a friend, except she wanted to be alone.
No need to face him. “Yes, Officer Richards.”
“Saw your car, thought I’d check on you.”
“I’m a creature of habit.”
“I noticed. Nothing’s stirring, so I’ll leave you to your
The sadness in his voice drew up a well of compassion, and she turned to
him. “Wait. How’s your family?” The man walked the graveyard
shift—literally—and he might need a listening ear more than she
should ponder the existence of a good God in a world plagued with
“The same. Ups and downs mixed with hardheads and love.” He sighed
and scanned the area. “Nice night.”
A familiar insect’s call reached her ears. “We have a choir.” She
smiled into the shadows, where a light, twenty feet away, illumi- nated
his stocky frame and highlighted his silver-gray hair, giving him a halo
effect. She stared above his head at a slice of the moon resting on a
canvas of stars.
“Cicadas are to the night as robins are to the day.”
“Well stated,” she said. “I never pay attention to them until
it’s dark and quiet.” She brushed aside a leaf on Kevin’s
gravestone. “We haven’t talked in over a week. Did your son join the
“Yes. A good choice. I pray he learns discipline and respect for
himself and others.”
He said the pray word. Not what she wanted to hear, and she drew in a
breath. “Your daughter?”
“Agreed to rehab. Another prayer answered.”
Kevin had used the same language, and look where it got him. Was her
brother’s confidence in a divine being a way to endure the devastation
of cancer? A crutch in the midst of excruciating pain? Always the same
questions as she searched for the why of tragedies.
“How’s your wife?”
“Good, thanks. She told me you were welcome to—”
Her phone alerted her to a call. “Excuse me a minute.” She yanked it
from her shirt pocket and confirmed it was Assistant Special Agent in
Charge Ralph Hughes before answering.
“We have a possible homicide,” the ASAC for violent crimes said.
Her mind spun into agent mode, her job, the only part of her life where
she sensed purpose. “Who and where?”
“Nathan Moore, owner of Moore Oil & Gas, died in his home this
Distress rambled through her, though she did her best to over- come it.
She’d known Nathan since college days. “What happened? Why suspect
“Due to the threats on his life and a call made to his attorney prior
to his death,” the ASAC said.
“What was said in the call?”
“Moore suspected someone was trying to kill him and getting close.”
Tori stared at Kevin’s tombstone and recalled the day she and Mom
selected the blue-gray granite. Now Nathan’s widow faced the same
dilemma. “Are we thinking the environmental activists are
responsible?” Five days ago, one of Nathan’s drill sites had been
bombed—possibly part of a retaliation move for winning a lawsuit filed
by environmentalists who believed he was illegally dumping backflow
water from fracking. But a bombing was unlikely in his home. “Was he
gunned down? A break-in?”
“Moore’s death appears to have been a heart attack, the result of
natural causes. A medical examiner is on it.”
“Too coincidental for my take. I want to know who threatened him, and
I need you and Max at the Moore residence. He’s been notified and will
meet you there.” He texted her the Moore address at Lake Pointe
Estates in the Katy area west of Houston, but she had it memorized.
The call ended and Tori rose to her feet. “Officer Richards, I need to
“Sure thing. See you again soon.”
“Count on it. Best to you and your family.” She hurried to her car
while the devastating news played havoc with her mind.
Why hadn’t Sally contacted her about Nathan’s death? They were
closer than sisters, weren’t they? Tending to her grieving sons could
have her emotionally spent. Even Tori was finding it hard to accept
She shoved aside personal sentiments that ushered in disbelief. Her
investigative skills were needed. The ASAC had assigned her to
investigate a potential crime.
Nathan possibly murdered? He had sainthood stamped next to his name.
Charity work. Generous donations to worthy causes. Incredible husband
Who could possibly want him dead?
Excerpted from "Deep Extraction (FBI Task Force Book 2)" by DiAnn Mills. Copyright © 2017 by DiAnn Mills. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.