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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 5

JOHN KINSELA BUTTONED his jacket and ran his hand across the lower half of his face. He achieved a look of contrition, as though he was sorry for the interruption.

It was all theatrics.

Yuki hoped the jury could read him as the drama whore he was.

“Folks, again, I’m sorry to have made light of the state’s opening statement. It was rude, but unintentional. The prosecutor is doing her job, a very difficult one, I assure you, because there is no evidence linking my client to any crime.”

Kinsela put his hands into his pockets, sauntered out into the well, and continued his conversation with the jury.

“As the prosecutor said, there is no blood, no DNA, no gun in Mr. Herman’s hand. There is no direct evidence against Mr. Herman, because my client didn’t kill anyone, and the circumstantial evidence, such as it is, does not tie him to the death of his wife.

“Mr. Herman is one of the victims here. He loved his family and is devastated by their loss. And yet, as Ms. Castellano told you, he was having an affair with Ms. Lagrande.

“For a married man to have an affair may be bad behavior, but it’s not a crime. If it were a crime, about sixty-five percent of married men in the United States would be in the slammer.”

There was a riffle of laughter in the courtroom, which Judge Nussbaum banged into silence with his gavel. He admonished the audience, and told them that he could have individuals removed or the entire courtroom emptied.

“You are here at my discretion,” Nussbaum warned. “Go on, Mr. Kinsela.”

And Kinsela did.

“Ms. Lagrande has a little cottage in the woods a few hours up the coast. She and Mr. Herman drove up there in her car on the afternoon of February twenty-eighth. My client was spending the night with Ms. Lagrande when the crimes presumably took place. They didn’t see anyone and no one saw them. That is often the nature of a clandestine affair.

“Now, Ms. Lagrande is going to tell you that she was not with Mr. Herman the day that Jennifer Herman’s body was found, the day Lily Herman tragically disappeared. She’ll say Mr. Herman is making that up to give himself an alibi.

“Why is she going to betray Mr. Herman? Because they fought that weekend and Mr. Herman ended the affair.

“Ms. Lagrande is a woman scorned, and she’s not just my client’s alibi, she is the prosecution’s entire case.

“The neighbor misidentified Mr. Herman and a car that is the same model as the one Mr. Herman owns. Lily Herman did have bruises, but she had them because she had a temper tantrum. Her father wouldn’t buy her a dress she wanted and she flailed and kicked at Mr. Herman and he tried to restrain her. There was no beating, no call to the police, nothing like that.

“If he could, he would buy her a million dresses now.

“Mr. Herman did not report that his wife and daughter were missing on March first because he didn’t know it. He was occupied with Ms. Lagrande at the time of this tragedy, which has unquestionably destroyed his life.

“That’s it, folks. That is our case. Mr. Herman didn’t kill anyone. This trial is about whether or not you believe Ms. Lagrande beyond a reasonable doubt.”

John Kinsela thanked the jury and sat down. For a second, Yuki couldn’t quite believe that Kinsela had singled out her star witness, shot a cannonball at her, then took a bow.

Yuki had hoped he would do exactly that. It was now in Kinsela’s best interest to strip Lynnette Lagrande’s testimony bare, break her, and throw her bones under the bus. He could only do that if she testified.

Her witness would appear.

Lynnette Lagrande, a woman with an exotic dancer’s name, was in fact a grade-school teacher, twenty years younger than the defendant, and possessed of a spotless reputation. She’d never gotten so much as a parking ticket in her life.

Gaines showed Yuki the cartoon he had doodled on his iPad. It was a Yuki character dunking a basketball into a net. Yuki never liked to say that a case was a slam dunk.

But the battle was shaping up and Yuki liked the look of the field.

“We’re good,” she whispered to Gaines as the judge called the court into recess. “We’re looking good.”

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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