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10th Anniversary

For every secret

Detective Lindsay Boxer's long-awaited wedding celebration becomes a distant memory when she is called to investigate a horrendous crime: a badly injured teenage girl is left for dead, and her newborn baby is nowhere to be found. Lindsay discovers that not only is there no trace of the criminals—but that the victim may be keeping secrets as well.

For every lie

At the same time, Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano is prosecuting the biggest case of her life—a woman who has been accused of murdering her husband in front of her two young children. Yuki's career rests on a guilty verdict, so when Lindsay finds evidence that could save the defendant, she is forced to choose. Should she trust her best friend or follow her instinct?

There's a different way to die

Lindsay's every move is watched by her new boss, Lieutenant Jackson Brady, and when the pressure to find the baby begins interfering with her new marriage to Joe, she wonders if she'll ever be able to start a family. With James Patterson's white-hot speed and unquenchable action, 10th Anniversary is the most deliciously chilling Women's Murder Club book ever.

Book One | LITTLE BOY LOST

Chapter 2

RAIN WAS BATTERING the hood and sheeting down the windshield as I pulled my ancient Explorer into the lot next to the Medical Examiner's Office on Harriet Street, right behind the Hall of Justice. I had some anxiety about returning to work after taking time off to get married.

In a few minutes, I was going to have some catching up to do, and then there was a new fact I would have to deal with.

I would be reporting to a new lieutenant.

I was prepared for that—as much as I could be.

I pulled up the collar of my well-used blue blazer and made a wild, wet dash for the back entrance of the Hall, the gray granite building that housed the Justice Department, criminal court, two jails, and the Southern Station of the SFPD.

I badged Kevin at the back door, then took the stairs at a jog. When I got to the third floor, I opened the stairwell door to the Homicide Division and pushed through the double-hinged gate to the squad room.

It was a zoo.

I said, "Hey, there," to Brenda, who stood up and gave me a hug and a paper towel.

"I wish you so much happiness," she said.

I thanked Brenda, promised wedding pictures, and then mopped my face and hair. I took a visual inventory of who was on the job at 7:45 a.m.

The bullpen was packed.

The night shift was straightening up, sinking refuse into trash baskets, and a half-dozen day-shift cops were waiting for their desks. Last time I was here, Jacobi still occupied what we laughingly call the corner office: a ten-foot-square glass cubicle overlooking the James Lick Freeway.

Since then, Jacobi had been bumped upstairs to chief of police, and the new guy, Jackson Brady, had scored the lieutenant's job.

I had a little history with Brady. He had transferred to San Francisco from Miami PD only a month before, and in his first weeks as a floater, he had shown heroism in the field. I worked with him on the explosive multiple homicide case that put him on the short list for Jacobi's old job.

I'd been offered the job, too, thanks very much, but I'd turned it down. I'd already held down the corner office for a few years, until I got sick of the administrative overload: the budgets, payrolls, meetings with everyone, and layers of bureaucratic bull.

Brady could have the job with my blessing.

I just hoped he'd let me do mine.

I saw Brady through the walls of his cube. His white-blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and he wore a shoulder holster over a starched blue cotton shirt that stretched across his massive chest.

He looked up and signaled for me to come to his office. When I got there, he hung up the phone. Reaching across the desk that was once mine, he shook my hand and congratulated me.

"Are you using Boxer or Molinari?" he asked me.

"Boxer."

"Well, have a seat, Sergeant Boxer," he said, waving me toward the chair across from his desk. "I got a call from Major Case Division about ten minutes ago. They're short on manpower and asked for help. I want you and Conklin to check it out."

"The case is a homicide?" I asked.

"Could be. Or maybe not. Right now it's an open case. Your open case."

What kind of bull was this?

Step out of line for a couple of weeks, and the only open case was a spillover from another unit? Or was Brady testing me—alpha-dog management style?

"Conklin has the case file," Brady said. "Keep me in the loop. And welcome back, Boxer."

Welcome back, indeed.

I showed myself out, feeling like all eyes in the squad were on me as I crossed the room to find my partner.

Copyright © 2011 by James Patterson

Read by Carolyn McCormick

Carolyn McCormick has appeared in the films A Simple Twist of Fate and Enemy Mine. She has starred as Dr. Olivet on television's Law & Order for the past twelve years, and as a guest on The Practice and Star Trek. Her Broadway credits include roles in The Dinner Party and Private Lives. She also read The 9th Judgment by James Patterson for Hachette Audio.

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