The second book in the Mud, Blood and Motocross series,Crash and Burn is full of explosive fun, but you don’t need to be a fan of extreme sports to be blown away by this action-packed mystery.
Here are a few examples of the action in Crash and Burn:
When it’s going good…
He tried to anticipate the amount of slide through the corners. He threw his weight forward and hung off the side of the bike, using his body to offset his lack of traction. By the ninth lap, Nick was absorbed completely in the rhythm of coaxing his bike through each section of the track. It was not the same thrill as riding a bike that felt like an extension of himself – racing this beater was more like digging a ditch – but it was the kind of hard work Nick could get lost in.
Each turn, he pushed a little bit harder. Each jump, he scrubbed as hard as he could. And then, as if by magic, the bike opened up. Nick could feel the bike gain power through the straightaway.
Holding the throttle wide open, Nick blew by two riders and cut across the inside on turn seven. He could feel the bike get quicker. The old Honda had never felt so good. He braked hard into the corners and muscled her out of the turns. Nick grinned under his helmet as he tore through the stutters and he pulled ahead into fourth place.
When it all goes wrong…
Nick wicked it up the next lap. He shifted his weight and twisted the throttle through the turn. He overcompensated. He knew it the instant before he high-sided. But then it was too late.
As his bike flipped sideways away from him, Nick was tumbling midair. He hit the ground rolling. Ten feet away, his the Honda hit the ground tires first and bounced in the air.
It flipped, landed on the gas tank, and continued to sideways somersault like a vaulting gymnast while spraying gasoline in a spiraling geyser. Nick was skidding to a stop in the dirt as he watched the bike flip over and over again. On the third bounce the overheated engine ignited the spray of fuel and exploded the vapor cloud into a plume of fire.
Nick flinched at the blast and then stared in disbelief as the fireball burned hot and bright – the motorcycle was a silhouette of blackened metal. Flames licked the seat and the tires of the bike’s burnt carcass. The smell of burning rubber stung the inside of Nick’s nostrils.
His head spun with vertigo, which didn’t make sense because he was lying on the ground. And then he became aware of the pain. Sharp lightning bolts of pain shot through his shoulders and his neck and the front of his head. He knew he wasn’t paralyzed because he could feel his fingers and toes – they hurt. So he rolled over onto his stomach and began the unpleasant task of getting to his feet. Up on one knee, his head flooded with pain.
Someone was by his side hauling him to his feet and pulling him away from the burning bike and off the track. Two men were spraying the flames with fire extinguishers, while a corner worker waved a big yellow flag. From the twisted, burnt pile of metal, clouds of black smoke spiralled away in the breeze.
When it just can’t get any worse…
The side of the car hit Nick’s bike with so much force, the impact knocked it right out from under him. Nick rolled toward the car on impact and tumbled over the hood. He was flying through the air as the car braked in a cloud of dust and gravel along the side of the road.
Nick hit the grass shoulder first and somersaulted, feeling the impact on his helmet and then his back. He slid to a stop at the bottom of a drainage ditch along the side of the road.
He got up quickly but lost his balance and fell to his knees. Lights and sky spun. He looked down and saw stars. He closed his eyes tight and gripped the grass, willing himself out of the dizziness.
Before he could find his way out, two hands were on him. He was yanked to his feet and dragged up the embankment, back to the road. Nick struggled to tear free from the hands, but when he tried to pull away, a fist pummeled him.
Nick fell down on his knee hard. Nick groaned with pain, and the two hands dragged him by his arm and the collar of his shirt to the back of the gray sedan.
Nick spun and took a swing. He sunk his fist into the soft flesh of an abdomen, but he got a punch in the gut in return and all the breath was knocked out of his lungs. The two hands shoved him back and the car bumper caught him behind the knees. Nick tried to lurch forward, but the two hands were there-shoving him down flat on his back.
“Get his phone,” he heard a voice say.
A hand clamped down on his neck. Nick struggled to draw breath. He saw white stars in front of his eyes. The other hand rifled through his pockets. Nick clawed at the pressure on his neck. Panic consumed him.
Air! was the only thought he could form.
Then the pressure was gone, and Nick felt the relief of oxygen filling his lungs, like diving into a fresh, cool pool on a hot summer day. By the soft red glow of brake lights, Nick saw the curled tail of the mermaid tattoo. It was the last thing he saw before the trunk was slammed shut on him.