Chasing River: A Novel by K.A. TuckerChasing River: A Novel by K.A. Tucker

Chasing River: A Novel

byK.A. Tucker

Paperback | July 7, 2015

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A suspense-driven New Adult romance novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water.

Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also can’t be identified at the scene—so, he fled. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Pushing her away would be the smart move.

Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.
Title:Chasing River: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 0.9 inPublished:July 7, 2015Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476774234

ISBN - 13:9781476774237

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible I'll be honest.. the first chapter was hard for me to get into. But after that, I think it was my favourite KA Tucker book yet. The characters made me completely fall in love with them. As well as the setting. This book literally made me fall in love with Ireland. Enough to try and go travel there on a vacation. Definitely read!
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chasing River was amazing! K. A. Tucker just continues to surprise me with every new book in Burying Water series. I absolutely loved previous two books, Burying Water and Becoming Rain, and I anxiously waited for the next one. Still, I was a little bit afraid because I had doubts about story and its originality compared to first two books. I shouldn't have had any doubts - Chasing River was amazing.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chasing River Quite good! A great start that gets you interested and characters you'll come to really like and understand. A little slow at times but a satisfying read altogether. I really enjoyed Chasing River!
Date published: 2015-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Love K A Tucker, never fails to deliver a great book, can't wait for the next instalment of this series
Date published: 2015-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book had you from the first Chapter! Just finished Chasing River . It was fantastic!!!! I have been to Dublin and it felt like I was back there again. The details were spot on and the story was beautiful. Nice to read a book that was different.
Date published: 2015-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved Amber and River!! I really enjoyed Chasing River by K.A. Tucker. This the third book in her Burying Water series. This story focuses on Jesse's sister Amber whom we first met in Burying Water. "I'll tell you a story about a lowly Irish peasant bartender who falls in love with a beautiful American princess." Amber Welles has been saving her money for the last couple years to be able to travel around the world and experience life outside of her small town. When she makes a stop in Ireland she decides to spend the day on a bus tour. She ends up running late so she takes a short cut across Steven's Greens and something horrible happens. Lucky for Amber a mysterious stranger is there to save her but he doesn't stick around long enough for her to thank him. Will Amber ever be able to find the man that saved her life? River Delaney does everything he can to keep his older brother out of trouble and when he finds out that Aengus is going to plant a bomb at the Greens he follows him. He also ends up saving a beautiful American girl who happened to be running through the Greens as the bomb was going off. He hopes that the girl didn't recognize him as he doesn't want the police to come looking for him. He goes back to work at the pub and can't believe his eyes when the beautiful American shows up his pub to thank him for saving her life. He knows he should stay away from her but there is something about her that he is immediately attracted to. What happens when Amber finds out who River really is? Will these two be to make a relationship work or will their completely different lives push them apart? A river may be diverted, its waters pooled, its natural course interrupted. But its current will only ever truly flow one way. I loved the connection between River and Amber. The secondary characters added lots of depth to the storyline. I loved the twists and turns the story took. I really enjoyed learning about some of the history of Ireland and now hope to be able to visit there someday. I can't wait to read Surviving Ice which is the next book in the Burying Water series.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Wonderful read. I went into this book expecting K.A. Tucker to wow me with her witty yet compelling writing style and was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a new element as well, history. A little too much history for my taste as I found it slowed down the story but it didn't take too much away from the overall story. Amber and River's story was beautiful. The way they got to know each other despite their unconventional first meeting was so sweet. I loved watching Amber slowly come out of her comfort zone. I didn't want to put this book down. I love the colloquialism embedded into the conversations. It really made me feel like I was in Ireland hearing the accents and all. I think a lot of people can find a little but of themselves Amber. She was so life like. A very real character with realistic character flaws. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I'm really looking forward to Ivy's story and am hoping to see a little more of Amber and River in Surviving Ice.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love it Wonderful read. I went into this book expecting K.A. Tucker to wow me with her witty yet compelling writing style and was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a new element as well, history. A little too much history for my taste as I found it slowed down the story but it didn't take too much away from the overall story. Amber and River's story was beautiful. The way they got to know each other despite their unconventional first meeting was so sweet. I loved watching Amber slowly come out of her comfort zone. I didn't want to put this book down. I love the colloquialism embedded into the conversations. It really made me feel like I was in Ireland hearing the accents and all. I think a lot of people can find a little but of themselves Amber. She was so life like. A very real character with realistic character flaws. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I'm really looking forward to Ivy's story and am hoping to see a little more of Amber and River in Surviving Ice.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Wonderful read. I went into this book expecting K.A. Tucker to wow me with her witty yet compelling writing style and was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a new element as well, history. A little too much history for my taste as I found it slowed down the story but it didn't take too much away from the overall story. Amber and River's story was beautiful. The way they got to know each other despite their unconventional first meeting was so sweet. I loved watching Amber slowly come out of her comfort zone. I didn't want to put this book down. I love the colloquialism embedded into the conversations. It really made me feel like I was in Ireland hearing the accents and all. I think a lot of people can find a little but of themselves Amber. She was so life like. A very real character with realistic character flaws. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I'm really looking forward to Ivy's story and am hoping to see a little more of Amber and River in Surviving Ice.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great book by KA Tucker! I love KA Tucker's writing style so much, it really sucks you in. I really liked this book, but it isn't my favorite by KA. I loved the way River and Amber met, it was very original so it shocked me. I really liked that they both couldnt stop thinking about the other. I really need to visit Ireland, I really fell in love with the country while reading this book. One of my favorite part was the story telling, I love those kind of things (I am putting it on my bucket list!). I wish the epilogue was longer, I want to know what is going to happen with River and Amber. The reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because I didn't really connect as much with Amber as I did with River. He was the hero for me in this book. However this doesnt mean I didn't like Amber, she did grow as a person in this book, which I enjoyed reading about. I also think the book should be longer, the ending was a bit rushed for me. I loved the side characters Rowen and Ivy, hopefully both of them will get their own book. Can't wait to see what else KA Tucker has in store for us!
Date published: 2015-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A story was packed with drama and romance By now it shouldn’t be a secret or a surprise that I love K.A. Tucker and her books. In the last year and a half I have devoured every book she’s published and I just can never seem to get enough. The last few months I was dying to read her latest, Chasing River, and I was not in the least bit disappointed by the story. Amber Welles has never ventured outside the comfortable bubble of her small Oregon hometown, but she’s decided that it’s time to experience life for what it is. Setting off on a trip around the world, Amber is ready for an adventure wanting to see what the world has to offer. What she never expected was almost dying in a terrorist bombing in Dublin. At the last second, a stranger jumps in and saves her, before taking off again without giving her a chance to thank him. Determined to find her mysterious saviour, Amber keeps looking around Dublin hoping she’ll find the man who saved her life. The one problem is that River is doing everything he can to stay away from Amber, no matter how much he feels a pull towards her. It’s not just to protect himself and his family, it’s also for her own protection. But even if it means putting themselves in danger, Amber and River can’t keep fighting the forces that keep pulling them together. Here’s the thing about writing reviews for books written by a favourite author: it’s HARD. If I’m being completely honest, all I really want to say about Chasing River is that it was freaking amazing and everyone should read it. But in my opinion, I could say the exact same thing about every one of K.A. Tucker’s books that I’ve read (so all of them), so that’s not entirely helpful. Unless you’re just going to take my word for it and walk over to your local bookstore to pick up any one of her books. So I’ll try to give you all a little more than that where Chasing River is concerned. For starters, this story gave me wanderlust like no other. I’ve been to Dublin and other parts of Ireland before, but reading Chasing River totally made me want to go back, even with the book starting off with a bombing in one of the busiest areas of Dublin. And speaking of that bombing and all its implications, I really enjoyed how much of the story was tied to the history of the IRA and how over time the organization has changed from what it originally was. It added another layer of depth to the story, beyond just the “traditional” suspense and the romance. Which, speaking of the romance, it should go without saying that I loved it. I loved the way the relationship between Amber and River developed, how despite that initial attraction they both tried to resist it, knowing that it was likely not going to end well. It only made it that much better when they did get together In many ways I could related to Amber, especially when it comes to doing the “safe” thing and never really doing anything to stray from that supposedly “safe” path. Because that’s pretty much what I’ve done with my life so far. So I appreciated and understood that side of Amber’s personality. And I could totally understand her desire to want to go on an adventure, to see what the world had to offer. So it didn’t take long for me to connect to Amber and her story. And as much I would love to go off on a trip around the world the way Amber does, I would like to hope I wouldn’t end up almost killed in a bombing like she did. Or if that were the case, maybe there would be my own River on hand to save me. Because I wouldn’t mind having my own River, or even stealing this River from Amber and keeping him for myself, because, well, yeah. River was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he was doing the best he could to do the right thing by his family and the people he cared about and that often put him in difficult situations. But I admired his loyalty, even if sometimes it led to him making some questionable decisions. It all worked out though, but there were still some close calls. But none of that stopped me from absolutely loving River. Also, Ivy was awesome. I loved seeing so much of her in Chasing River and it made me that much more excited about reading her story in Surviving Ice. Chasing River was exactly what I had hoped it would be. This story was packed with intrigue, drama and romance, just the way I liked it. K.A. Tucker absolutely delivered with this story and I can’t wait to see what she does next with Surviving Ice.
Date published: 2015-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Irish you would read this!! I have loved all things Irish-Ireland since I first saw the movie Far & Away. It was the landscape that sold me to add a trip to Ireland on my bucket list. I also will watch any movie or show that features any part of Ireland (P.S. I Love you - I haven't read the book only seen the movie - and Leap Year, even the show Vikings is taped in Ireland and I look at the landscape more than the plot or actors!). So when K.A. Tucker announced that Amber's book was set in Ireland, it quickly became my most anticipated read for this year. After reading Becoming Rain and the absolute anxiety I felt reading that book, I felt that Chasing River was a little slower pace. Yes, there's still action and wonder, but it's not as breath-holding I found as in Becoming Rain. I also forgot that the story really only happens over the course of 8 days. EIGHT DAYS!! I really wish that I could have stepped into Amber's shoes and lived this 8-day story. I was smiling reading the last chapter and the epilogue. Loved it. I hope to see more of Amber and River in Ivy's story!
Date published: 2015-07-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great installment Another great installment from KA Tucker-solid 4.5 stars. This is the third in the series and while the beginning was a bit slow (even given that we know these characters from the previous two books) it was a captivating read once it got going. I loved the setting...Ireland baby...so beautiful. Loved the concept of the bucket list but truthfully I thought it would take a more prominent role-well that more would be crossed off (perhaps those will be in the next installment). Amber has been featured in both installments of the Burying Water series and it was so good to really get to know this good girl on her own personal journey of self discovery. River's entrance into her life was legendary...I mean how many men come into your life during an explosion...literally! I don't want to give the plot away, but Tucker's ability to hook readers with her romantic suspense style in unmatched and worth the investment of reading time. A perfect escape!
Date published: 2015-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from take a thrilling trip to Ireland I really loved the first two books in this series and chasing river falls into line with the rest. The story takes you to Ireland and into the dark crime theme I've come to enjoy from K.A Tucker. This story pulls you in from the first few sentences and keeps you enthralled.  Chasing river takes place during the same time as becoming rain. It allows you to get to know Amber and also introduces you to Ivy, the tattoo artist in burying water. It's a great set up for future books in this series and I felt the stories end was more completed than becoming rain. Definitely another favorite K.A. Tucker novel
Date published: 2015-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Take a trip to Ireland through K.A Tucker I really loved the first two books in this series and chasing river falls into line with the rest. The story takes you to Ireland and into the dark crime theme I've come to enjoy from K.A Tucker. This story pulls you in from the first few sentences and keeps you enthralled.  Chasing river takes place during the same time as becoming rain. It allows you to get to know Amber and also introduces you to Ivy, the tattoo artist in burying water. It's a great set up for future books in this series and I felt the stories end was more completed than becoming rain. Definitely another favorite K.A. Tucker novel
Date published: 2015-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favorite Read So Far! I received a copy of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You know the book is good when you stay up to the wee hours of the morning because you cannot put it down! This morning I am exhausted and the coffee that I have been slamming back is not working fast enough. However...it was 100% worth it! The story of Amber and River is probably one of my favourites that I have read this year! Amber has always been a rule follower and the popular girl. When she decides to go on a world travelling trip to get perspective on her life she gets more than she bargained for when she ends up being a bystander of a bomb. If it wasn't for the stranger that just happened to be there it could have been much worse. River is trying to keep his family together and out of trouble. It ends going from bad to worse when he saves a pretty stranger from a bomb that his foolish brother sets in an act of revenge. The chemistry and pull these two have is sizzling! River is nothing like the guys Amber has ever been with and while she has vowed to never rearrange her life for a man again the feelings that she has for River is making her question everything. I have not read all of Tucker's work but all that I have I've always enjoyed. This is my favourite of hers so far! And the best part of her series is that they are stand-alones. So while it is always nice to know all the history of the secondary characters you do not need to read the previous books to enjoy and you will enjoy this one!
Date published: 2015-06-18

Read from the Book

Chasing River TWO AMBER The Fusiliers’ Arch is this way . . . I think. I’ve always seen myself as someone with a keen sense of direction. But then I embarked on this grand adventure to find myself and, well—I’ve found myself, alright. Twisted and upside down and heading blocks in the wrong direction enough times to accept that I actually suck at reading maps. If not for the tiny charm on my bracelet that doubles as a handy compass—a gift from the sheriff, ever worried for his twenty-five-year-old daughter’s safety—I wouldn’t know which way was north half the time. I doubt that even the compass can help me now. The tour company brochure states a seven thirty-five sharp departure and it’s now . . . I glance at my watch and my anxiety spikes. Seven thirty-three. Stupid me for booking a day trip the morning after I arrive in Ireland. Just twenty-four hours ago I was plane-hopping from Charlottetown to Toronto to Amsterdam to Dublin, going back in time one hour before jumping ahead five. Instead of sleeping, I spent the overnight flight feeding my addiction to Mad Men. By the time I stepped off the plane at three in the afternoon, I was exhausted. Of course I figured that two years of flip-flopping between night and day shifts at the hospital would make adjusting to the time change easy for me. Of course my alarm rang for exactly thirty-two minutes this morning before my brain actually registered the sound. And now I’m going to miss the freaking tour. Cutting through this park is supposed to save me a few minutes of travel time. That was one of the few pieces of wisdom my taxi driver from the airport imparted to me yesterday. But he didn’t tell me which paved path, of the countless ones that snake among gardens and forested areas, to take. So in complete desperation, I choose an unconventional diagonal route, rushing past an English garden ripe with colorful summer blooms to run across a grassy field. The morning air is crisp, leaving my legs—bare, thanks to the jean shorts I threw on in my rush, not thinking—touched by gooseflesh, even as sweat trickles down my back. It’ll be okay later, I remind myself. They’re calling for a high of 74 degrees Fahrenheit today. Well, technically, 23 degrees Celsius. Even after traveling across Canada for three and a half weeks, I still can’t seem to grasp the metric system. Seven thirty-four. “Crap!” I scan the city map held out in my hands as I run. So distracted that I don’t notice a section of the field ahead taped off until I’m almost tearing through it. There are no construction signs or pieces of equipment lying around. Probably just freshly planted grass seed or something. Whatever the reason, it’s smack dab in the middle of my path and I’ll lose time trying to avoid it. Time I don’t have. Beyond the field, another path winds its way to a fountain and benches and more paths. A round glass dome peeks out over the tree line farther ahead. That’s the shopping center I’ve read about. And to the right of that is where my bus will be waiting. Or not, if I don’t hurry up. I jump over the tape with a grimace and a silent apology. I check my watch again. Maybe it’s a few minutes fast. Maybe the tour bus driver isn’t really a stickler for a prompt departure. Maybe— He comes out of nowhere, from the left. My only warning is the sound of his feet pounding against the grass. I turn my head just as he plows into my side, sending me sailing through the air. Pain explodes in a dozen different body parts as I hit the hard ground, my lungs grappling for oxygen. He’s on top of me in an instant, crushing me under his weight, his thick arms roping around either side of my head, smothering me. I can’t breathe, or scream, let alone fight him off right now. I manage just one fleeting thought—that this man, with his forehead pressed against mine and his ragged breaths assaulting my face—is about to rape me in broad daylight in a city park. And then I’m plunged into a strange void that devours all my pain and fear. A wave of pressure races past a split second before all of my senses are swallowed by a deafening bang that rattles my brain and the ground beneath me. Then . . . nothing at all. Only eerie silence and air. I know that time has passed, but I can’t say whether it’s been a split second or ten minutes or an hour when I realize I’m lying on my back, staring up at a plume of white smoke, the familiar sweet metallic scent of expended gunpowder permeating my nostrils, my head stuffed with cotton. That eerie silence has given way to a high-pitched ringing and I cringe as it echoes in my eardrum. Maybe I cry out, too. If I do, I can’t hear it. I’m struggling to string together enough thoughts to understand what the hell just happened. “Are you okay?” The question floats in from somewhere distant. And then suddenly a man hovers over me, a fringe of coppery hair like an untidy halo framing his face, staring down at me through mossy green eyes. “What happened?” I manage to ask, though my voice sounds far away. At least I’m no longer winded. “An explosion. A bomb.” A bomb? A chill runs through my limbs as my brain wraps around that word, delivered in a light Irish brogue. I sense hands slide along my thighs, over my knees, curling to the undersides, but I don’t think to deflect them. “You’ll be fine,” he mutters, a sigh of relief sailing from his lips. He shifts on his knees, making to stand. And I seize his forearm, surprising myself with a sudden wave of strength as I hold him down. “Stay.” His muscles tense beneath my fingertips. “I can’t. But please know that I didn’t do this.” Honest, pleading eyes implore me silently for a few heartbeats, and then he’s gone, running—albeit staggered and off-balance—before I can ask more questions. I roll my head to the side and watch him disappear into a line of trees, a dark stain blooming in the material of his vibrant green T-shirt. Moments later, a jogger reaches me in a pant, a cell phone pressed against her ear and a panicked look on her face. Shouts sound from somewhere in the park and a chorus of sirens scream in the distance. Another jogger arrives some thirty seconds later. Next a security guard, and then a couple dressed in suits, on their way to work. Within minutes I’m encircled by people. Despite everyone’s insistence that I stay lying down, I manage to sit up. Everything is spinning. The granola bar and orange juice that I stuffed into my mouth on my way out the front door churn and I can’t be sure I’ll keep them down. But I force myself to focus on my surroundings—the charred grass, the divots gouged in the oak tree trunk nearby, the singed leaves dangling above, their ashes floating like sooty snowflakes. It begins to sink in. I could be dead right now. Had it not been for that guy, I might have been. He wasn’t trying to suffocate me. He was shielding me. “You saved my life,” I whisper under my breath, knowing that my words will never find his ear. Cocooned within a haze, I watch emergency vehicles and the police and bomb squad charge in, herding the spectators away from the crime scene like cattle, their radios buzzing, their notebooks and pens out and ready. Reflective yellow letters that read “Garda” stretch across bulletproof vests everywhere. Paramedics rush over to me. I’m fine, I tell them. In shock and my hearing is still muffled, but otherwise . . . I can’t believe I’m fine. They help me onto a stretcher and wheel me over to the ambulance to examine me further. Again, I promise them that I know what I’m talking about. I’m a nurse, after all. The female paramedic nods and smiles, dabbing at my bottom lip with gauze. Only then do I see the blood, do I taste the copper. I allow them to check my vitals as I watch the police dropping numbered markers all over the grass and beginning to question witnesses. I wonder how my dad would handle something like this. I’m pretty sure he’s never dealt with a bombing in Deschutes County, Oregon. “How is she?” someone asks, pulling my attention to the left, where two police officers stand, watching. “Only the small laceration on her bottom lip from what we can see, and her vitals are fine. Though it’ll take a while for the shock to wear off. She’s had quite the scare.” That assessment’s delivered with a wink, and then she begins packing up her kit. “She’s awfully lucky . . .” To me, the tall, average-looking officer says, “I’m Detective Garda Garret Duffy. This is me partner, Detective Garda Paul O’Brien.” The man next to him, a pudgy middle-aged officer with a shiny, bald head, offers a tight smile. “Can we ask ya some questions?” Despite the situation, I smile. Duffy sounds exactly like the leprechaun in the Lucky Charms cereal commercial. “Sure. Okay.” “And would ya mind terribly if our colleagues examined your bag? This is yours, yeah?” He gestures at a man with white gloves hovering at the side. I look down at the limp black knapsack that holds my umbrella, a couple of bottles of water, and a bag of grapes, no doubt a mess of pulp and juices now. I don’t know why they’d want to, but . . . “Go ahead.” “Thank you,” Duffy says, smiling kindly at me, his notepad already open in his hand and waiting to be filled. “Let’s start with your name?” “Amber Welles.” “And you’re American, from the sounds of it?” I nod but then answer, “Yes.” My dad taught me to always answer verbally, to avoid misinterpretation. “Do ya have identification?” “My passport. It’s in my backpack.” “Okay.” He nods toward O’Brien. “We’ll get that. What are ya doing here in Ireland?” “Traveling.” “Are ya here alone?” “Yes.” His forehead wrinkles in surprise. I get that reaction a lot. I guess I can understand it. It is a bit strange for a girl my age to be traveling alone. If he knew that I have thirteen other countries to visit after this, I’m sure he’d have a comment. “Do ya have friends or family, or acquaintances, in Ireland?” “No.” “And how long have ya been in Dublin?” “Just landed yesterday.” He scribbles his notes down quickly. “And what were ya doing in the Green this morning, so early?” “I was late for my tour bus and I was running through here to try to make up some time.” I guess it’s safe to say that the bus has left without me. “So . . . ya were running across the grass.” His eyes and finger trail through the air, as if trying to get his bearings. “From which direction, exactly?” I point across the way. “Right. And then the bomb just exploded?” His impassive eyes remain glued to my face, waiting, as if readying my answer for a scale, to weigh its truth. Just like my dad’s eyes weigh on a person whenever he’s asking questions, whenever he’s digging for information that he thinks the person may be hiding. My heart pounds in my chest as I begin to see this for what it really is. You don’t grow up with a father like Gabe Welles without learning what distrust feels like. And you don’t grow up with a brother like Jesse Welles without learning what questioning a person who you think is guilty of something sounds like. Twenty-five years in the Welles family has taught me the art of suspicion well. I summon whatever calm I can muster and look at the blast site—cordoned off with a new, bigger square of blue-and-white tape—through new eyes. A marker sits where I was found. Another one indicates where I’m guessing the bomb went off. A man is measuring the distance between the two points. Another man photographs the oak’s tree trunk, riddled with gashes, while his partner waits behind him, with plastic gloves and bags and tweezers to collect evidence. I can see why the police might be suspicious. They’re probably wondering how I could have been that close and not earned a single shrapnel wound, when that tree has been brutalized. But what do they seriously think happened . . . that I set the bomb and decided to play victim? My stomach drops. Maybe that’s exactly what they’re wondering. When I replay the detective’s words about being awfully lucky from a moment ago inside my head, it doesn’t sound as sincere anymore. I can’t believe this. One day in Ireland and I’m being questioned by the police. This is something that happens to Jesse. Not to me. “No. A man ran out of nowhere and knocked me down to the ground. Then the bomb exploded.” It’s so slight that it’s almost imperceptible, but Duffy’s brow definitely jumps. “What did this man look like?” “I don’t . . .” I frown, trying to picture his face. “He was young . . . Irish . . . I don’t know. He ran off right after.” “In which direction?” I point toward the bushes where I last saw him. “What else can ya tell us about him?” O’Brien asks. They both stare at me, waiting, their demeanor having softened somewhat now that I’ve given them reason to suspect that maybe I’m just an American tourist who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. “I didn’t get a good look at him. I was in shock.” I’m still in shock. “Anything at all. Was he tall, short? Twelve stone, fourteen stone . . .” I frown. Duffy smirks. “Ye Americans call it ‘pounds.’ ” “Oh.” I shake my head. “I’m . . . not sure. A hundred and eighty pounds, maybe?” “Think hard, Amber. We need to find him,” he pushes. “You said he was Irish. How do ya know that? Did he speak to ya?” “Yes. He said that he didn’t do this,” I whisper, hearing his voice as I repeat the words. Remembering that pleading look in his eyes. Duffy and O’Brien share a glance. “You think he set it, don’t you?” I ask. “Maybe,” Duffy says. I frown. “That doesn’t make sense. Why would he jump in front of it to save me, then?” O’Brien shrugs. “Change of heart? He saw a pretty bird and didn’t want to be responsible for her death.” My cheeks heat with the unwanted compliment, although I really want to roll my eyes. Sometimes people with the best intentions say the most stupid things. I mean, does it all come down to looks? If I were ugly, would the guy have run the other way and let me blow to pieces? Duffy must see my irritation. “He ran. Innocent people don’t run.” My eyes drift to the spot in the trees where I saw him vanish, and I start to question myself. Am I a fool for believing him the second the words came out of his mouth? I didn’t even question why he might say something like that. Maybe . . . he knew the bomb was there, lying in quiet wait in the grass. He knew exactly where it was and he must have known when it would go off, the way he ran at me. If he had nothing to do with it, how would he know those kinds of details? Maybe a bomber’s word isn’t worth much when he’s . . . a bomber. But he saved my life. He put himself in harm’s way to protect me. Maybe innocent people don’t run, but bombers don’t save lives. I dismiss the detective’s suspicion. After all, five minutes ago, he was ready to accuse me. “What else did he say?” Duffy pushes. “He asked if I was alright,” I mumble. “And then he ran.” Duffy scribbles it down. “Good, Amber. What else? What about hair color? Eye color?” “Green eyes.” Rich, insistent green eyes. “And I think he was hurt.” Because he put himself in harm’s way . . . for me. Suddenly, I don’t want to tell these two officers anything else. Not until I can wrap my head around this. “That’s all I can remember. I’m sorry.” Duffy brings his radio to his mouth and begins spouting off a series of words and numbers that I can’t identify beyond knowing it’s police code. Buzzing fills the air and several uniforms scatter, directing each other with fingers and shouts. They’ll be canvassing the park and the area beyond the walls. I wonder if they’ll find him. “That’s helpful, Amber. We’ll check the hospitals.” He pulls a business card out of his pocket and hands it to me. “Ya may remember more after a few hours or a few days. Give me a ring if ya do.” “They’re going to be wanting to talk to ya.” O’Brien nods toward something in the distance. I peek out around the back doors of the ambulance that shield me from prying eyes. News crews have begun to trickle in, their mammoth black cameras sweeping over the area. Fortunately they’re held back by a wide perimeter of tape and I’m still hidden. I can see the headline now: American Girl Saved by Irish Good Samaritan, Who Then Runs. I’m guessing this would be a story that the media would love. It would probably go viral. It would certainly be my way of making sure my thank you reaches him. But it would also reach my parents, and guarantee that my dad’s first trip out of America would be to Ireland, for the sole purpose of dragging his daughter back in handcuffs if need be, twenty-five years old or not. I pull the rim of my pink baseball cap down. “Any chance we can avoid them? And keep my name and picture out of the media? My dad won’t take this too well.” Duffy eyes the gathering crowd. “They are hounds, aren’t they? Maybe we should give ya a lift somewhere.” “That’d be great. I’m staying at a house on Hatch Street, just off Leeson. It’s a few blocks away.” “I know the street.” He radios for a spare jacket, and I use it to shield my face and upper body as they usher me to their car.

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