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Don't Blink
Don't Blink
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036234
$27.99/U.S.
384 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446568848
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

The good

New York's Lombardo's Steak House is famous for three reasons—the menu, the clientele, and now, the gruesome murder of an infamous mob lawyer. Effortlessly, the assassin slips through the police's fingers, and his absence sparks a blaze of accusations about who ordered the hit.

The bad

Seated at a nearby table, reporter Nick Daniels is conducting a once-in-a-lifetime interview with a legendary baseball bad boy. In the chaos, he accidentally captures a key piece of evidence that lands him in the middle of an all-out war between Italian and Russian mafia forces. NYPD captains, district attorneys, mayoral candidates, media kingpins, and one shockingly beautiful magazine editor are all pushing their own agendas—on both sides of the law.

And the dead

Back off—or die—is the clear message Nick receives as he investigates for a story of his own. Heedless, and perhaps in love with his beautiful editor, Nick endures humiliation, threats, violence, and worse in a thriller that overturns every expectation and finishes with the kind of flourish only James Patterson knows.

Don't Blink
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036234
$27.99/U.S.
384 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446568848
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Part One | A JOB TO DIE FOR

Chapter 1

THE WORDS I will never be able to forget were “Hold on tight, because this is going to be one hairy ride.” In point of fact, those words not only described the next several minutes, but the next several days of my life.

I had been lying fast asleep under nothing but the high, bright stars of an African night sky with only a frayed, moth-eaten mat separating me from some of the poorest dirt on the planet when suddenly my eyes popped open and my heart immediately skipped a beat. Make that a couple of beats.

Holy shit! Is that what I think it is?

Gunfire?

The answer to my question came the very next second as Dr. Alan Cole raced over to me in the darkness and grabbed my arm, shaking me hard. We’d been sleeping outside because our pup tents were like saunas.

“Wake up, Nick. Get up! Now!” he said. “We’re being attacked. I’m serious, man.”

I shot straight up and turned to him as the sound of more gunfire echoed in the air. Pop! Pop! Pop!

It was getting closer. Whoever was shooting—they were getting closer. And moving quickly.

“Janjaweed—that’s who it is, right?” I asked.

“Yeah,” said Alan. “I was afraid this could happen. Word got around that we’re here.”

“So what do we do now?”

“Follow me,” he said with a wave of his flashlight. “Quickly, Nick. Keep moving.”

I grabbed my pillow—otherwise known as my knapsack. From the corner of my eye I spotted one of my notepads over by the stack of crates that had been functioning as my desk. I took one step toward it when Alan grabbed my arm again, this time to hold me back.

“There’s no time, Nick. We’ve got to get the hell out of here,” he warned. “Otherwise, we’re both dead. And that’s after they torture us.”

Well, when you put it like that…

Lickety-split, I fell in line behind Alan as we raced past the few shanties of plywood and corrugated metal that were used as operating rooms at this makeshift hospital on the outskirts of the Zalingei district of Sudan. It dawned on me how in control the doctor seemed, even now. He wasn’t screaming or shouting.

Meanwhile, that’s all I wanted to do.

For crying out loud, Nick, what’s with you and the death wish? Did you really have to take this assignment? You knew this part of Darfur was still too dangerous for journalists! Even Courtney said so when she offered you the assignment.

But that was the whole point of the article I was writing—the reason I knew I had to be here and see it with my own eyes. This part of Darfur was still too dangerous for doctors as well. Obviously. But that didn’t stop Dr. Alan Cole from coming here, did it? No. The acclaimed thoracic surgeon had left his wife and two beautiful kids back in Maryland to be here for four months with the Humanitarian Relief Corps to save the lives of Sudanese civilians who would otherwise suffer and die without medical care.

Now I was relying on Alan Cole to save my life, too.

Pop! Pop-pop-pop-pop! Pop-pop-pop-pop!

I kept running behind him and the hazy glow of his flashlight, ignoring the sting against my bare feet as I stepped on the sharp rocks and spiny twigs that littered the ground.

Up ahead I could see some movement: the two female Sudanese nurses who worked full-time in the hospital. One was starting up a rickety old Jeep that Alan had pointed out to me when I’d first arrived days earlier.

He’d called it the “getaway car.” I thought he was joking.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Think again, Nick.

“Get in!” Alan told me as we reached the Jeep. The nurse in the driver’s seat jumped out to let him take over the wheel.

As I practically hurled myself into the shotgun seat I waited for the two nurses to climb in the back. They didn’t.

Instead they both whispered the same thing to us. “Salaam alaikum.”

I’d already learned what that meant. Peace be with you. But I was confused. “Aren’t they coming with us?” I asked Alan.

“No,” he said, jerking the creaky gearshift out of park. “The Janjaweed don’t want them. They want us. Americans. Foreigners. We’re interfering here.”

With that, he quickly thanked the nurses, telling the two he hoped to see them soon. “Wa alaikum salaam,” he added. And peace upon you.

Then Alan hit the gas like a sledgehammer, plastering me against the back of my seat.

“Hold on tight,” he told me over the rattle and roar of the engine, “because this is going to be one hairy ride.”

Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson

Don't Blink
Fiction/General
Audiobook (unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1607882345
$34.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by David Patrick Kelly

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Don't Blink
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036234
$27.99/U.S.
384 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446568848
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

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