Wealthy young women are being murdered, and the police aren't looking for answers in the right places. Enter Tandy Angel. Her first case was the mystery of her parents' deaths. Now she's working to exonerate her brother of his girlfriend's homicide. And danger just got closer.
One of the recent victims was a student at Tandy's own elite school. She has a hunch it may be the work of a serial killer... and Tandy perfectly fits the profile of the killer's targets. Can she untangle the mysteries in time? Or will she be the next victim?
James Patterson keeps the confessions coming as Tandy delves deeper into her own tumultuous history and the skeletons in the Angel family closet.
Book One | DEAD RECKONING
The cabdriver used both of his big fat feet when he drove, jamming on the brakes and the gas at the same time, making me sick. As the cab bucked to a stop at the light at Columbus Circle, my iPhone rang. I grabbed it from my bag.
C.P. Thank God.
After a lifetime of other kids thinking I was all robotic and weird, I actually had a friend at school. Claudia Portman, known as C.P., was a tarnished Queen Bee who was dethroned last year when she cheated on her finals and was ratted out by her clique-mates. Because of a massive donation by her parents to our school, she got to stay for our junior year, but she’d dumped her friends and become a self-defined loner until the day I was cleared of my parents’ murders and she’d sat down with me at lunch. “Move over,” she’d said. “We criminals gotta stick together.”
And even though I wasn’t a criminal, I laughed.
“Hey, T!” she said now by way of greeting. “Did you read it?”
“Read what?” I asked, still distracted after my conversation with Matthew. Hordes of people streamed out of the subway and crossed in front of my taxi.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about,” she semiwhined. “Come on, Tandy, get with the program. I need to discuss this atrocity against the written word with someone!”
Right. The novel was another super-sexy purple-prose page-turner that was sweeping the planet in dozens of languages (some of which I’d already mastered). C.P. had downloaded the ebook to my tablet, but I had immediately deleted it, hoping she’d forget to ask what I thought. It wasn’t exactly the kind of thing I enjoyed reading.
Suddenly, the driver stomped on the gas and the cab lurched forward, sending my stomach into my mouth.
“I’ll get to it soon,” I told C.P., “but you know it’s not really my thing.” We took a turn at roughly Mach 20, and I was glad I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. “I’m almost home. Can I call you later?”
“Sure! But only if you’ve read at least fifty pages!” she replied.
I rolled my eyes and hung up.
Twelve nauseating blocks later, I paid the driver through the transom and disembarked on the corner of Seventy-Second and Central Park West, where the Dakota reigned. We lived at the top of the infamous co-op—infamous for housing the social elite and for being the site of a few high-profile murders over the last half century or so. Our apartment was nestled right under the intricate Victorian peaks and gables.
Our parents had been anything but Victorian in their decorating choices, though. They’d filled our home with everything from a winged piano to a UFO-shaped chandelier to a coffee table full of pygmy sharks (since freed), and dozens of other priceless—and strange—contemporary art items.
I huddled into my coat with the collar up, my face down, trying to evade the many photographers lined up near the gate so I could slip right through, but I never even got there. Harry blocked my way, his dark curls tossed by the frigid wind.
“Tandy, you’re not going to believe this.” He grabbed my arm and steered me down the sidewalk, holding me close to his side as we automatically matched our strides. “Adele Church. She’s dead.”
I turned to look at him. There wasn’t a trace of mirth on his boyishly handsome face. Not that I was surprised. Harry wasn’t a jokester or a liar. He wasn’t even much of a storyteller.
“She can’t be,” I finally said. “I saw her this morning.”
“She was shot about five minutes ago, Tandy. She’s in the park. Her body, I mean. It’s still there.”
The whole world went fuzzy.
This was not happening. Not again.
Copyright © 2013 by James Patterson