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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 2

A BLAST OF the hot desert air nearly burned my face as we hit the road, or at least what passed for the road in this godforsaken part of the world. There was no pavement, only a beaten track of dirt that was now flying off our tires as we fishtailed back and forth with Alan doing his damnedest to avoid the occasional citrus tree that had managed to survive the wretched heat and droughtlike conditions here.

Did I mention we had our headlights off? Welcome to the Ray Charles Grand Prix.

“How we doing?” Alan shouted at the top of his voice. “Do they see us? Can you see them?

He and I were a mere foot apart from each other, but we still had to shout to be heard. I swear, a fighter jet breaking the sound barrier was quieter than this Jeep’s engine.

“See us? How can they not hear us?” I shouted back. “I don’t see anybody yet.”

I’d done a good bit of homework on the Janjaweed before arriving from the States. They were the proxy militia of the Arab Muslims in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, and had long been fighting and killing the African Muslims in the countryside over, among other things, land allocation. The bloodshed had been relentless and mainly one-sided. Hence, the genocide we keep hearing about.

But reading articles and a few books on the Janjaweed from the comfort of my couch in Manhattan was one thing. This was entirely another affair.

I turned to look over my shoulder, the cloud of dirt and dust flying in our wake making it hard to see anything. That’s when I felt the air split open around me as a bullet whizzed by my ear. Jesus Christ, that was close.

“Faster, Alan!” I said. “We’ve got to go faster! You can go faster, can’t you?”

Alan gave me a quick nod, his eyes squinting as he struggled to see through the darkness and flying dirt.

As for me, I contemplated my premature death at thirty-three by counting the unchecked boxes on my life’s to-do list. Winning a Pulitzer. Learning how to play the saxophone. Driving an Enzo Ferrari along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Oh yeah, and finally having the balls to tell a certain woman back home that I loved her more than I had previously cared to admit—even to myself.

What could I say that one of my half-dozen favorite authors, John Steinbeck, hadn’t already figured out? Something about the best-laid plans of mice and men often going awry?

But hold on!

Speaking of plans, the doctor at the wheel apparently had one of his own. “We need something heavy!” declared Alan.

Heavy? “Like what?” I asked him.

“I don’t know. Check in the back—the cargo area,” he said, handing me his flashlight. “And stay low! I don’t want losing you on my conscience.”

“No, I don’t want that either, Alan!”

Like an added exclamation point, a bullet ricocheted off the metal roll bar. Ping!

“Make that real low!” Alan added.

I grabbed the thick rubber handle of the flashlight, quickly snaking my way into the cramped quarters of the backseat. Peering into the cargo area I spotted nothing but a few empty water bottles bouncing around like jumping beans.

I was about to tell Alan the bad news when I caught the reflection of something shiny strapped to the side, near the spare tire. It was a lug wrench. Yes!

But was it heavy enough? I had no idea, since I didn’t know what it was needed for.

I handed it up to Alan, who gave it a shake as if weighing it in his hands. “Good enough,” he said. Then he flipped on the Jeep’s headlights. “Now hold the wheel steady for me, all right? Very steady, Nick!”

I climbed back into the shotgun seat, reaching over for the steering wheel as Alan lifted his left foot and yanked off his running shoe. I could just make out the swoosh of the Nike label.

“I’ll be right back,” he said.

Right back? Where the hell are you going, doc?

What are you doing now?

Don’t leave me, buddy.

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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