The scariest and most satisfying James Patterson novel since Kiss the Girls
A breathtakingly beautiful supermodel disappears from a swimsuit photo shoot at the most glamorous hotel in Hawaii. Only hours after she goes missing, Kim McDaniels's parents receive a terrifying phone call. Fearing the worst, they board the first flight to Maui and begin the hunt for their daughter.
...WILL NEVER BE...
Ex-cop Ben Hawkins, now a reporter for the L.A. Times, gets the McDaniels assignment. The ineptitude of the local police force defies belief—Ben has to start his own investigation for Kim McDaniels to have a prayer. And for Ben to have the story of his life.
...THE SAME FOR YOU AGAIN.
All the while, the killer sets the stage for his next production. His audience expects the best—and they won't be disappointed. Swimsuit is a heart-pounding story of fear and desire, transporting you to a place where beauty and murder collide and unspeakable horrors are hidden within paradise.
Part One | THE CAMERA LOVES HER
A NEW KIND of fear swept through Kim like a cold fire, and she started to pass out. But she got a grip on herself, squeezed her knees together hard, bit her hand, and kept herself awake. And she replayed the voice in her head again.
"It is kind of funny, and it's kind of wonderfully romantic, too."
She didn't know that voice, didn't know it at all.
Everything she'd envisioned a moment ago, Doug's face, his weakness for her, her learning how to win him over when he got out of control—that was all gone.
Here was the new truth.
A complete stranger had tied her up and thrown her into the trunk of his car. She'd been kidnapped—but why? Her parents weren't rich! What was he going to do to her? How was she going to escape? She was—but how?
Kim listened in silence before asking, "Who is this?"
The voice was mellow and calm when he spoke again.
"Sorry to be so rude, Kim. I'll introduce myself in a minute or two. It won't be very long now. And don't worry. Everything's going to be fine."
The line went dead.
Kim blanked when the phone call cut off. It was as if her mind had been disconnected, too. Then the thoughts tumbled in. She found hope in the stranger's reassurance. So she clung to it. He was acting...nice. He'd said, "Everything's going to be fine."
The car took a hard left, and Kim rolled against the side of the trunk, braced her feet against the wall of the compartment. And she realized that she was still gripping the phone!
She held the keypad close to her face. She could barely read the numbers by the pale light of the faceplate, but she still managed to punch in 911.
She listened to the three rings, then four, and then the operator's voice. " Nine-one-one. What's your emergency?"
"My name is Kim McDaniels. I've been—"
"I didn't get that. Please spell your name."
Kim rolled forward as the car come to a stop. Then the driver's side door slammed—and she heard the key turning in the trunk lock.
Kim gripped the phone tighter, scared that the operator's voice would be loud enough to give her away, but more scared that if she hung up she'd lose the GPS connection between herself and the police, her best hope of rescue.
The phone call could be traced. That was correct, wasn't it?
"I've been kidnapped," she spat.
The key was turned, left and right, the lock not quite unlatching, and in that fraction of a minute Kim desperately revisited her plan. It was still good. Say her kidnapper wanted to have sex with her. She could survive that, obviously, but she had to be smart, make him her friend, remember everything so she could tell the police.
The trunk lid lifted, and moonlight spilled over her feet.
And Kim's plan to seduce her abductor flew out of her mind. She hauled back her knees and kicked hard at the man's thighs. He jumped back, avoiding her feet, and before she could see his face, the blanket was thrown over hers, the cell phone ripped from her hands.
Then—there was the prick of a needle in her thigh.
Kim heard his voice as her head rolled back and the light faded.
"Fighting me is pointless, Kim. This isn't about you and me. It's a whole lot bigger than that, trust me. But, then, why should you trust me?"
Copyright © 2009 by James Patterson
Christian Rummelhas appeared in several episodes of Law & Order and has done a great deal of acting on stage, including his recent work with Theatre for a New Audience. Christian is also an accomplished audiobook narrator who has recorded a number of titles for Hachette Audio.
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