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The 6th Target

A TERRIFYING ATTACKER
A burst of gunfire leaves several people dead–and one woman fighting for her life. That victim is a member of the Women's Murder Club, four friends who join forces on their toughest cases. Detective Lindsay Boxer pursues one lead after another to capture the man who tried to kill her friend.but the clues don't seem to make sense.

CHILDREN ARE VANISHING
While Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano prepares to prosecute a high-profile trial, the city suffers from a chilling crime spree. Children of wealthy families are being abducted–along with their nannies. Yet the kidnappers are silent and do not demand a ransom. Parents everywhere fear the worst. Now with the entire city gripped in fear, Lindsay must frantically work with her new partner to connect these horrific crimes.

WHO WILL THE NEXT TARGET BE?
From James Patterson, "the man who can't miss" (TIME), comes the most shocking and frightening case ever faced by Lindsay Boxer and the Women's Murder Club.

Prologue | DAY-TRIPPER

Chapter 2

BLINDING WHITE SAILS fill Fred's mind as blood spills onto the deck. Trusty Bucky is hot in his hand. Fred's eyes pan across the deck.

The voice in his head roars, Run. Get away. You didn't mean to do it.

Out of the corner of his eye, Fred sees a big man charge him, rage on his face, hell in his eyes. Fred straightens his arm.

BLAM.

Another man, Asian, hard black eyes, a white line for a mouth, makes a grab for Bucky.

BLAM.

A black woman stands nearby, locked in place by the crowd. She turns toward him, round cheeked, wide-eyed. Stares into his face and . . . reads his mind.

"Okay, son," she says, reaching out a trembling hand, "that's enough, now. Give me the gun."

She knows what he did. How does she know?

BLAM.

Fred feels relief flood through him as the mind-reading woman goes down. People in the small forward compartment move in waves, cowering, shifting left, then right as Fred swings his head.

They are afraid of him. Afraid of him.

At his feet, the black woman holds a cell phone in her bloody hands. Breath rasping, she presses numbers with her thumb. No, you don't! Fred steps on the woman's wrist. Then he bends low to look into her eyes.

"You should have stopped me," he says through clenched teeth. "That was your job." Bucky screws his muzzle into her temple.

"Don't!" she begs. "Please."

Someone yells, "Mom!"

A skinny black kid, maybe seventeen, eighteen, comes toward him with a length of pipe over his shoulder. He's holding it like a bat.

Fred pulls the trigger as the ship lurches – BLAM.

The shot goes wide. The metal pipe falls, skitters across the deck, and the kid runs to the woman, throws himself down. Protecting her?

People dive under the benches, and their screams rise up around him like licks of fire.

The noise of the engines is joined by the metallic clanking of the gangway locking into place. Bucky stays trained on the crowd as Fred looks over the railing.

He judges the distance.

It's a drop of four feet to the gangway substructure, then a pretty long leap to the dock.

Fred pockets Bucky and puts both hands on the rail. He vaults over and lands on the flats of his Nikes. A cloud crosses the sun, cloaking him, making him invisible.

Move quickly, sailor. Go.

And he does it - makes the leap to the dock and runs toward the farmer's market, where he dissolves into the throng filling the parking lot.

He walks, almost casually, a half block to Embarcadero.

He's humming when he jogs down the steps to the BART station, still humming as he catches the train home.

You did it, sailor.

Copyright © 2007 by James Patterson

Read by Carolyn McCormick

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 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 read 4th of July and The 5th Horseman by James Patterson for Hachette Audio.

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