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12th of Never

It's finally time! Detective Lindsay Boxer is in labor—while two killers are on the loose.

Lindsay Boxer's beautiful baby is born! But after only a week at home with her new daughter, Lindsay is forced to return to work to face two of the biggest cases of her career.

A rising star football player for the San Francisco 49ers is the prime suspect in a grisly murder. At the same time, Lindsay is confronted with the strangest story she's ever heard: An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a violent murder and he's convinced is real. Lindsay doesn't believe him, but then a shooting is called in—and it fits the professor's description to the last detail.

Lindsay doesn't have much time to stop a terrifying future from unfolding. But all the crimes in the world seem like nothing when Lindsay is suddenly faced with the possibility of the most devastating loss of her life.

Book One | THREE WEEKS LATER

Chapter 1

YUKI CASTELLANO PARKED her car on Brannan Street, a block or so away from the Hall of Justice. She was lucky to have gotten this parking spot, and she took it as a good sign. Today she was glad for any good sign.

She got out of her car, then reached into the backseat for her briefcase and jacket. Then she set off toward the gray granite building on Bryant Street, where she worked as an assistant district attorney and where, in about an hour, she would prosecute a piece-of-crap wife and child killer named Keith Herman.

Keith Herman was a disbarred attorney who had made his living by defending the most heinous of slime-bucket clients and had often won his cases by letting prosecution witnesses know that if they testified, they would be killed.

Accordingly, witnesses sometimes fled California rather than appear against Herman’s clients.

He’d been charged with witness tampering, but never convicted. That’s how scary he was. He was also a registered sex offender, so that made two juicy bits of information Yuki couldn’t tell the jury because the law said that she couldn’t prejudice the jury by citing his prior misdeeds.

So Yuki had been building the case against Herman based on evidence that he’d killed his wife, dismembered her body, and somehow made his young daughter disappear, arguably a harder charge to prove because the girl’s body had not been found.

Yuki had been doing nothing but work on the Herman case for the last five months and now, as the first day of the trial arrived, she was stoked and nervous at the same time. Her case was solid, but she’d been surprised by verdicts that had gone against her in cases as airtight as this one.

As she turned the corner onto Bryant, Yuki located the cause of her worry. It was Keith Herman’s defense attorney, John Kinsela, who, right after Keith Herman, was probably the sleaziest lawyer in the country. He had defended legendary high-profile killers and had rarely lost a case.

And he usually destroyed the reputations of opposing counsel with innuendo and rumors, which he leaked as truth to the press.

Yuki had never gone up against Kinsela before, but Kinsela had shredded her boss, Leonard “Red Dog” Parisi, in a murder trial about two years ago. Parisi still hadn’t gotten over it. He was pulling for Yuki, giving her his full support, but it wasn’t lost on Yuki that he wasn’t trying the case himself.

Red Dog had a bad heart.

Yuki was young, fit, and up for the challenge of her life.

Yuki walked quickly toward the Hall, head bent as she mentally rehearsed her opener. She was startled out of her thoughts by someone calling her name. She looked up, saw the good-looking young guy with the blond cowlick and the start of a mustache.

Nicky Gaines was her associate and second chair in this trial. He was carrying a paper bag.

“Damn, you look good, Yuki.”

Gaines was five years younger than she was, and Yuki didn’t care whether he really did have a crush on her or if he was just flattering her. She was in love. And not with Nicky Gaines.

“You have coffee in there?” Yuki asked.

“Hot, with cream, one sugar. And then I’ve got the double espresso for you.”

“Let’s go straight to the courtroom,” Yuki said.

“How are you feeling about this?” Gaines said, walking up the steps along with her.

“Like if I don’t get a double-barreled conviction, I may kill Keith Herman myself.”

Copyright © 2013 by James Patterson

Read by January LaVoy

January LaVoy is a New York-based voice, stage, and television actress. She has performed on and Off-Broadway, and appeared extensively in regional theatres across the country. She is best known for her role as Noelle Ortiz on the long-running ABC daytime drama One Life to Live.

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