The Women's Murder Club pursues two cases in an electrifying new thriller–chasing a deranged killer and searching for a murderer with a taste for fire.
Part One | BLUE MOON
A YOUNG MAN in his twenties with spiky blond hair and a black sport coat whistled through his teeth as he left Junie Moon's front door. Conklin and I watched from our squad car, saw the john lope across Leavenworth, heard the tootle as he disarmed his late model BMW.
As his taillights disappeared around the corner, Conklin and I walked up the path to the front door of what's called a Painted Lady: a pastel-colored, gingerbread-decorated Victorian house, this one flaking and in need of repair. I pressed the doorbell, waited a minute, pressed it again.
Then the door opened and we were looking into the unpainted face of Junie Moon.
From the first moment, I saw that Junie was no ordinary hooker.
There was a dewy freshness about her that I'd never seen before in a working girl. Her hair was damp from the shower, a cap of blond curls that trailed into a wisp of a braid that had been dyed blue. Her eyes were a deep, smoky gray, and a thin white scar cut through the top lip of her cupid's-bow mouth.
She was a beauty, but what grabbed me the most was Junie Moon's disarming, childlike appearance. Junie pulled the sash of her gold silk dressing gown tightly around her narrow waist as my partner showed her his shield, said our names and "Homicide. Mind if we come in?"
"Homicide? You're here to see me?" she asked. Her voice matched her appearance, not just young, but sweetened with innocence.
"We have some questions about a missing person," Rich said, launching his amazing, babe-catcher smile.
Junie Moon invited us in.
The room smelled sweet, floral, like lavender and jasmine, and the light was soft, coming from low-watt bulbs under silk-draped lampshades. Conklin and I sat on a velvet upholstered loveseat while Junie took a seat on an ottoman, clasped her hands around her knees. She was barefoot, her nail polish the pale coral color of the inside of seashells.
"Nice place," Conklin said.
"Thank you. I rent it. Furnished," she said.
"Have you ever seen this man?" I asked Junie Moon, showing her a photo of Michael Campion.
"You mean for real? That's Michael Campion, isn't it?"
Junie Moon's gray eyes grew even more huge. "I've never seen Michael Campion in my entire life."
"Okay, Ms. Moon," I said. "We have some questions we'd like to ask you at the police station."
Copyright © 2008 by James Patterson
Carolyn McCormick has appeared in the films A Simple Twist of Fate and Enemy Mine. She has appeared on television as Dr. Olivit on Law & Order, and as a guest on The Practice and Star Trek. Her Broadway credits include roles in The Dinner Party and Private Lives. She read 4th of July, The 5th Horseman, and 6th Target by James Patterson for Hachette Audio.
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