Welcome to Beach Road
Tom Dunleavy has a one-man law firm in legendary East Hampton. But his job barely keeps him in paper clips. His principal clients make a living serving the rich. The billionaires and megacelebrities swarming the beaches already have lawyers on their payroll.
Then a friend of Tom's is arrested for a triple murder near a movie star's mansion. Tom knows in his gut that Dante Halleyville is innocent. Dante asks him to represent him in what could be the Trial of the Century.
Tom recruits Manhattan superlawyer Kate Costello to help. She's a tough hire, because Kate is his ex-girlfriend-but she agrees. In their search to find who really executed three locals, Tom orchestrates a series of revelations to expose the killer-and what emerges is staggering.
The final scenes of Beach Road unveil a truth that will leave readers gasping in shock. Written with the precision that has made James Patterson America's #1 suspense writer, Beach Road is his most thrilling novel ever.
POISED ON THE BED with a long, curved fishing knife in his hand, and wearing nothing but boxers and a twisted grin, is a skinny white guy who looks as though he just got out of prison. His hair is bleached white, and his ghostly pale skin is covered with piercings and tattoos.
But the scariest part, maybe even scarier than the knife, is his eyes. “I know you, Nikki Robinson,” he says. “I know where you live. I even know where you work.”
For a couple seconds that feel much longer, those flat, horror-movie eyes freeze Nikki in the doorway and seem to nail her Reeboks to the floor.
Her lungs are useless now too. She can’t even get enough air to scream again.
Somehow she breaks the paralyzing spell enough to lift one foot, then the other, and now she’s moving, and screaming, running for her life toward the bathroom door at the far end of the hall.
Nikki is fast, a hurdler on the Bridgehampton High School varsity team, faster than all but a handful of the boys, and faster than this snaky, beady-eyed intruder too.
She reaches the bathroom door before him, and even though her hands shake, she manages to slam and lock it behind her.
Her chest heaving so hard she can barely hear his footsteps, she leans her head against the door, her terrified reflection looking back at her in the full-length mirror.
Then turning and pressing her back against the door, she desperately scans the room for a way out.
The window leads to a roof. If she can get on the roof, she can find a way down or, if she has to, jump.
And then she sees it. But she sees it too late.
The brass doorknob twists in the light.
Not the doorknob that’s pressing into her back, either. A second doorknob on the other side of the sink, attached to another door, a door she didn’t know was there because she’s never been to this house until now, a door that leads directly from the bedroom.
As she stares in horror, the doorknob stops turning and the door slowly pushes open, and he’s in the tiny bathroom with her. The white devil.
There is nowhere to go, nowhere to go, nowhere to go, she thinks, her terror bouncing back at her from every mirror.
And now the devil is pressed up against her, breathing in her ear, the razor-sharp blade tracing a line into her neck. When she looks down he pulls her hair back until their eyes meet in the mirror.
“Don’t cut me!” she begs in a weak whisper. “I’ll do whatever you want.”
But nothing she says means a thing, and those pitiless eyes laugh at her as he pushes her shoulders and stomach down over the sink and roughly pulls her bikini bottom to her knees.
“I know you’ll do whatever. Don’t stop looking.”
Nikki looks at him in the glass just as she’s been told to and takes a shallow breath. But when he pushes himself inside her, he shoves so hard her head hits the mirror, and it falls into a million pieces. And even though the blade is pressed against her throat, and she knows it’s against the rules, she can’t keep herself from moaning and begging him to never stop. But it’s not till he’s finished that Nikki leans into the mirror and says, “Feif, I love it when you come up with this freaky romantic role-play shit. You are the devil.”
It’s not until twenty minutes after that, when they’re both lounging around on one of the stripped-down beds, that he tells her the smell in the room isn’t reefer, it’s crack.
And that’s how the story begins—with Feif and Nikki, and the crack they smoke that lazy afternoon at somebody else’s summerhouse in the Hamptons.
Copyright © 2006 by James Patterson
Read by Billy Baldwin featuring Orlagh Cassidy, Erick Bergmann, Todney Gardiner, Rayme Cornell, Charles Turner, and Richard Ferrone
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