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
WE SAT IN A CIRCLE around the fire pit behind our rental cottage near the spectacular Point Reyes National Seashore, an hour north of San Francisco.
"Lindsay, hold out your glass," Cindy said.
I tasted the margarita – it was good. Yuki stirred the oysters on the grill. My border collie, Sweet Martha, sighed and crossed her paws in front of her, and firelight made flickering patterns on our faces as the sun set over the Pacific.
"It was one of my first cases in the ME's office," Claire was saying. "And so I was 'it.' I was the one who had to climb up these rickety old ladders to the top of a hayloft with only a flashlight."
Yuki coughed as the tequila went down her windpipe, gasping for breath as Cindy and I yelled at her in unison, "Sip it!"
Claire thumped Yuki's back and continued.
"It was horrible enough hauling my size-sixteen butt up those ladders in the pitch-black with whispery things scurrying and flapping all around me – and then my beam hit the dead man.
"His feet were hovering above the hay, and when I lit him up, I swear to God he looked like he was levitating. Eyes and tongue bugged out, like a freakin' ghoul."
"No way." Yuki laughed. She was wearing pajama bottoms and a Boalt Law sweatshirt, her hair in a ponytail, already drunk on her one margarita, looking more like a college kid than a woman nearing thirty.
"I yelled down into the dark well of that barn," Claire said, "got two big old boys to come up and cut the body down from the rafters and put Mr. Levitation into a body bag."
Claire paused for dramatic effect - and right then my cell phone rang.
" Lind-say, no," Cindy begged me. "Don't take that call."
I glanced at the caller ID, expecting it to be my boyfriend, Joe, thinking he'd just gotten home and was checking in, but it was Lieutenant Warren Jacobi. My former partner and current boss.
Yuki shouted, "Don't stop, Claire. She could be on the phone all night!"
"Lindsay? Okay, fine," Claire said, and then she went on. "I unzipped the body bag . . . and a bat flew out of the dead man's clothes. I peed my pants," Claire squealed behind me. "I really did!"
"Boxer? You there?" said Jacobi, gruff in my ear.
"I'm on my own time," I growled into my cell phone. "It's Saturday, don't you know that?"
"You're going to want this. If not, tell me and I'll give it to Cappy and Chi."
"What is it?"
"The biggest deal in the world, Boxer. It's about the Campion kid. Michael."
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.