Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Lo sguardo oltre le dune by Carla Perrotti. Lo sguardo oltre le dune by Carla Perrotti ,. Fabio Pasinetti. Temperature estreme, dune altissime, infide pietraie non ci hanno sconfitto. Provati, ma con una gioia immensa, abbiamo tagliato il traguardo. Per me la settima impresa nel deserto, "Fabio Pasinetti ed io, nel novembre abbiamo attraversato a piedi, in totale autonomia, il deserto bianco egiziano, per un percorso di chilometri che abbiamo coperto in due settimane.
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Community Reviews. He had to slow his pace only slightly for her. As they ran, Dryden kept looking to the dunes. He and the girl had gone no more than fifty yards when the first sharp spike of light topped the ridge.
Within seconds, three more appeared. He was surprised by how close they were; the night had been playing tricks on his sense of distance. Directly ahead along the boardwalk, one of the overhead mercury lights was coming up fast. Dryden stopped, the girl almost pulling his arm off as she stopped with him.
The men with flashlights—six of them now—were descending the face of the dune ridge at sprint speed. Dryden looked over the rail on the ocean side of the boardwalk. The beach was only a few feet below. He gestured to it, and the girl understood. She slipped under the waist-high rail, and he followed, his feet touching down on the loose stones piled beneath the walk.
Beyond the stones, the beach extended a hundred feet to the waterline, rocky but still mostly sand. Dryden knelt and touched the surface; it was smooth and flat, saturated by the mist, and bore not a footprint as far as he could see in the near-dark. If he and the girl made any move on the beach, the pursuers would easily spot their prints and follow. He turned his attention to the space beneath the walk. It wasn't promising. The piled stones were volleyball sized; picking their way over them would be slow going, especially in the deep shadows there.
Worse, support beams crisscrossed the space every few feet. They'd make little progress before the men arrived, and certainly at least one of the six would drop to the beach to put some light under the boardwalk. As a hiding place, it was a dead giveaway. Dryden looked up over the planking and saw the men reach the base of the dune. It was all happening too quickly.
In the still night he heard their running footsteps on the asphalt of the harbor road, and then on the wood of the inland boardwalk stretch. In less than thirty seconds, they would reach the rail above this very spot.
Dryden looked at the cross bracing under the walk and saw the only solution available. He guided the girl underneath. She was shaking but seemed relieved to be getting out of sight. Below the surface planks, heavy beams ran lengthwise along the walkway. These were in turn supported by far thicker beams, running sideways like the planking.
Above these lower beams were gaps, not big enough for a person to fit into, but big enough for a pair of feet or hands. She complied without hesitating; the footsteps of the approaching men began to shake the boardwalk. With the girl hugging tight against him, Dryden reached up and grabbed one of the lower beams with his fingertips—it was far too big to get his hands around—and then swung his feet up and hooked them into the gap above the next beam, five feet away.
He made a hammock of himself, with the girl atop him, and pulled himself as tightly against the underside of the boardwalk as he could.
It was like doing a push-up in reverse. It was immediately clear he could not hold this position for long. Everything about it was wrong. His fingertips had no traction on the giant beam, requiring him to apply pressure to hang on. The muscles in his forearms were burning within seconds. At the same time, keeping his body straight involved contracting half of his muscles in ways they weren't meant to be used.
The girl seemed to understand, perhaps feeling his muscle tremors. As the footsteps thundered toward them, she put her mouth to his ear and whispered, "They have guns. They'll kill us. A moment later, the gaps in the boardwalk above filled with flashlight glare. The men had reached the shoreline stretch of the walk and had begun to fan out along it. One of them spoke, his voice ringing clear and strong.
It sounded like a voice accustomed to giving orders. Boots scuffed the wood, then landed hard on the rocks nearby. The glow of the flashlights filled Dryden's peripheral vision, though for the moment the beams remained pointed toward the sea. The girl hugged him tighter; he thought he could feel her shutting her eyes as she buried her face in his shoulder.
The pain in his muscles was beyond burning now, but pain wasn't the problem. There were ways to disregard agony—Dryden had learned them long ago—but at some point his muscles would simply fail. Willpower couldn't beat physics forever. He managed to swivel his head a few degrees toward the beach. The flashlight beams finished sweeping the sand, and then one by one they turned to scour the space beneath the boardwalk.
Dryden looked upward again, to prevent his eyes from shining. Staring at the planking above his face, he saw the diffused glow as beams passed directly beneath him. If even one of the searchers was clever or suspicious enough to raise his light by two feet, it would all be over. Dryden waited for the blinding glare that would signal that very thing. The vague wash of light subsided. Dryden counted to ten and risked another glance at the beach. The searchers had moved on to the north, inspecting the boardwalk as they went. It was time to swing down and try for a quiet getaway, whatever the risk.
Every moment he delayed increased the chance that he'd simply fall, which would be anything but quiet. He was starting to slide his feet out of the gap when a sound stopped him. Heavy and slow, on the boardwalk above. They approached from the south, the direction the searchers had come from.
Dryden remained frozen. The man on the boardwalk stopped directly above him; traces of sand fell in Dryden's face. It was the leader.
The guy with the voice. He'd remained on the boardwalk while the others searched. One of the men on the beach, Clay apparently, turned and approached, his flashlight playing haphazardly over the ground. He stopped at the edge of the boardwalk, looking up at the leader. Had he lowered his gaze and looked straight ahead, he would have locked eyes with Dryden, no more than eighteen inches away. Dryden dared not even turn his head upward again; the slightest movement could give him up.
He hoped the shuddering of his muscles didn't show as intensely as it felt. Of Clay's features, Dryden could see almost nothing. The man was barely a silhouette against the black ocean and sky. Only the backscatter glow from the flashlight beam offered any detail: medium-length hair, dark clothing, a weapon hanging at his side by a shoulder strap.
A submachine gun—something like an MP-5 with a heavy sound suppressor. Above, on the boardwalk, the leader said, "This is out of hand already. Go back to the van, set up coverage of police channels in a twenty-mile radius. Call Chernin, get him working on personal cell phones of officers and whatever federal agents are based in the area.
Gold-pan the audio for keywords like girl and lost. Try psych ward while you're at it. Dryden suddenly felt his fingertips slipping from their hold on the fog-dampened wood. No amount of exertion could stop it; he was going to lose his grip in a matter of seconds. Dryden's fingertips held by a quarter inch. He felt that margin shrink by half in the span of a breath.
For a second the leader didn't answer. Then he said, "Either she gets buried in the gravel pits, or we do. Dryden tensed for the fall, trying to imagine any way he could get on his feet and escape with the girl. At that instant he felt her move. Without a sound, she took her arms from around his chest, reached past his head to the beam, and clamped her hands as tightly as she could over his fingertips.
The minor force she could apply was enough to make the difference; his grip held. Above the clamor of thoughts demanding Dryden's attention, one briefly took precedence: How the hell had she known?
A second later Clay pocketed his flashlight, climbed onto the boardwalk, and ran off in the direction the group had come from.