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Aspiring scientist Arabella Holmes doesn't fit the role of a 1900s lady. Her father, Sherlock, landed her a position at the Mütter Museum to pursue her dream of becoming a purveyor of abnormal science, or what her father calls a "Boneseeker."
Henry Watson’s two-fold mission at the Mütter Museum is to join their team of forensic anthropologists in unearthing unusual antiquities and to watch over Arabella. If only he could get her to speak to him, instead of hurling knives in his general direction. Assigned to a most secret expedition to investigate a mysterious skeletal hand discovered in upstate New York, Arabella and Henry are soon caught in a scientific debate, and the search for the truth may have deadly consequences for those involved.
Are the bones from a Neanderthal? Or are they living proof of fallen angels known as Nephilim?
Watson and Holmes must put aside their differences, trust their instincts, and rely on one another to survive to uncover the truth.
*This is a new version of a previously published edition
Page Count: 286
Word Count: 64465
He doesn’t answer. Hands seize my shoulders, jamming my back into the rock, trying to bash my skull.
The man’s whiskey-laden breath is on my forehead; I estimate the height of his crotch. I shoot my knee up, connecting with soft flesh.
The body folds in half, his hair brushing my hand on the way down.
My mind whirs. You are no match for him. Use a weapon. I slip my right hand down to the knife anchored at my heel. Whipping it out, I flip it upside down and grasp his hair with my left. I crash the knife’s butt down, smashing it against his head. His hair drops away as he hits the stone.
“Get off!” Henry.
My mind estimates the lantern’s last location. If it hasn’t been kicked.
I drop to my knees, hand on the wall for perspective, and crawl along the stone floor. Keeping my left hand anchored to the wall, I scrabble in the dark with my right hand, searching. My stomach contracts. The dark. The dark.
Henry. I no longer hear him. I will away the invisible fingers squeezing the air from my lungs and suck in deep breaths. My fingers finally brush metal, and I pull the light to me. I strike a match, and the room illuminates. I sigh in relief at its yellow glow.
My attacker lies sprawled on the floor.
The second man straddles Henry, pinning his chest. The assailant’s gaze shoots to me. Mistake. Always focus on the opponent.
Henry’s fist collides with the man’s jaw with a sickening crunch.
I spring forward and kick, my boot connecting with the man’s kidney at the same instant Henry strikes his other side. Unhinging his jaw.
He howls in pain and crumples off Henry, scurrying backward.
Henry leaps up, and flings himself after him.
The man pulls a gun, halting Henry in mid-lunge.
“Just give me ’im, and no one will get ’urt.” He gestures to the man on the cave floor.
I’m searching, searching.
Black ink tattoo? Large ring?
My attacker struggles to his feet, woozily walking to his partner, steadying himself on the wall.
“Now, you two—”
My eyes tighten. I aim and launch the knife. A yawning gash spews red as the blade slashes the man’s forearm but doesn’t imbed.
He gasps as the pistol and knife clatter onto the rocks. His fingers splay and shudder.
I spy the heavy, circular ring, now covered in blood. The ring is emblazoned with an R.
Henry dives, sliding for the pistol.
Both men dart into the tunnel and are instantly swallowed by the dark.
Henry looks up from the floor, cocking his head. “Next time—we listen to me. Next time I say it is too dangerous—it is too bloody dangerous.”
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