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Isa McQuiston is caught between two worlds.
Strange creatures are attacking her people, their injuries beyond her medical expertise. More than one fisherman has been tossed ashore by the waves, drained of blood, a severed tentacle piercing his flesh. To find answers, she must forge a cautious alliance with the outsider making inquiries… even if he does present an almost irresistible temptation.
Dr. Alec McCullough, an injured naval officer, is restless and bored.
Until his brother—an agent for the Crown—offers him an assignment: investigate a recent rash of unexplained octopus attacks. On the wet and windy Hebridean Isles, his every effort is met with resistance. Coaxing an attractive young widow—the local healer—to allow him to examine the latest victim only leads to further complications.
A fusion of living and mechanical components, the creatures follow instinct, but also command.
Together, they uncover layers of deceit, revealing traitorous tentacles that entangle both their lives. As those behind their creation callously sacrifice innocent lives in pursuit of their goals, Isa and Alec struggle to forge a future together while attempting to prevent a disaster of international proportions.
PRAISE FOR THE SILVER SKULL
“…dashing heroes and the fierce heroines who battle beside them.”
“…an action-packed thriller.”
WEEKS OF BITING COLD, lashing wind and endless rain had turned up nothing. No strange scraps of skin, no whispers of octopus attacks and no dead bodies—human or cephalopod.
All he’d managed to do was relax his grooming standards. He resembled a slightly insane Scottish fisherman inclined to pass his evenings in the local pubs. Yesterday, he’d caught a passing glance in a salt-crusted window and barely recognized himself.
Wind-bitten skin. Shaggy hair. A bushy beard. Wool sweaters and oilcloth outerwear. And though it wasn’t visible, a hint of rancid fish prompted the more finely dressed to step away with a wrinkled nose and a sidelong glance.
Temporary work on a fishing boat, hauling in nets of herring, had won him a cautious acceptance in town. He’d even dropped in on the local physician with complaints of knee pain—which was, alas, not a complete fiction—prompting the doctor with a fish tale of a kraken injury sustained at the London docks, but the man refused to bite. Alec’s direct inquiry about dangerous local squid had earned him an odd look, but he’d left with no more than an overpriced bottle of laudanum.
Only yesterday had a ray of sunshine finally broken through the clouds. His ears had pricked at talk of a wedding. Not because generous amounts of libations would flow—this town frowned upon alcohol consumption in all its forms, negating a valuable source of information that often sprang from loose tongues—but because the bride was sister to a healer. A female healer named Mrs. McQuiston.
The very woman he watched now.