Secret Sacrifices



Approximately 66,524 words

By Cynthia L. Hall



Maggie Brown takes her ten-year-old daughter Tracey to St. John U.S. Virgin Island on vacation to tell her the truth about her father, Matt Sanford. Tracey is abducted during a Fourth of July celebration by a man in a clown costume before Maggie has the chance. Frustrated with the FBI’s progress, Maggie calls Matt (ex-cop turned PI) for help. They meet privately with Chief Juan Otiga of the St. John P.D. He has located an eyewitness, but the chief is murdered before he can reveal the name. Maggie and Matt go undercover as the Watkins in an attempt to find new leads.

The kidnapper, Mister Killbane, works for a man known as the Cuban who sends the children to Egypt where they are killed for the sale of body parts. Tracey becomes one of nine lucky children who have been abducted to create a family for Killbane’s barren wife. The children live with the abusive Killbanes on Culebra Island.

Maggie and Matt locate the chief’s assassins, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and report this anonymously to Sgt. Raymond Bradley of SJPD. Bradley, who is secretly working for the Cuban, ushers the Smiths off the island. Questioning why the Watkins are nosing around about the case, Bradley follows Maggie to the vacation house and learns Roberta Watkins is really Maggie Brown. He reports to the Cuban who blames Bradley for the problems. He orders Bradley to kill Maggie and Matt then meet with his men and the Smiths on Culebra. The Cuban plans to eliminate Bradley and take Killbane’s children to Egypt. Bradley runs Maggie off the road, leaving her for dead. Matt finds the clown costume in Killbane’s truck and follows him to Culebra in hopes of finding Tracey. Bradley finds Matt at Killbane’s where a fight ensues. Matt is overpowered and Bradley ties him to an outhouse on the farm property.

The children plan and execute their own escape and make their way to the ocean and find Bradley’s boat. They take the boat out onto the ocean where it capsizes during a storm and leaves the children to fight for their lives. A Rastafarian Shepherd finds Maggie and helps her to safety. After hearing her story, he takes her to a

worship service where she discovers Tracey’s location on the farm. Maggie asks the Coast Guard to take her to the island. When they refuse to go in the storm she steals a boat and goes alone.

Once on Culebra, she finds Matt and they learn about the Cuban and Bradley. They are forced into a shoot-out between the Smiths, two of the Cuban’s men, the Killbanes, and Bradley. Maggie, Matt and Bradley are the only survivors. Bradley escapes and heads for the bay where Cuban’s other men wait aboard his thirty-eight foot Hatteras. He sees his co-worker Officer Wells and Coastguardsman Lefler, who search for Maggie and the stolen boat. Bradley cons them to believe he is helping the FBI look for the children and asks them to help. Once the children are found he plans to kill Wells and Lefler and take the children to the Cuban to get back in his good graces. They find the children and take them on board.

Maggie and Matt return to the sea to hunt for the children and run upon the Hatteras. Bradley holds the children and the officers at gunpoint below deck. While asking the crew for help, Maggie sees the hostages’ reflection in a brass lantern. When the crew offers no help, Matt pulls away. Maggie tells Matt what she saw. They sneak back to the Hatteras and climb on board. Bradley shoots Wells and Lefler trying to avoid being shot by Matt. The children escape with Maggie and swim to the small boat. Matt makes his way off the Hatteras and swims to meet with Maggie and the kids. The Hatteras follows. Maggie and Matt double back, run alongside the Hatteras and shoot a hole in one of the large gas cans sitting on the flybridge. They send a follow-up shot from the flare gun that causes an explosion. Sparks ignite the boat and it goes up in flames.

In the end Maggie reveals her secret to Tracey and Matt. She and Matt are still in love and Matt asks her to marry him. She answers, “We probably should.”

Additional information

Weight 10 oz
Dimensions 6 × 9 × 1 in


July 2024