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Mistress
Mistress
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316211079
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 1455515892
$16.00/U.S.
448 pages
Grand Central Publishing

James Patterson's scariest, sexiest stand-alone thriller since The Quickie.

Ben isn't like most people. Unable to control his racing thoughts, he's a man consumed by his obsessions: movies, motorcycles, presidential trivia-and Diana Hotchkiss, a beautiful woman Ben knows he can never have.

When Diana is found dead outside her apartment, Ben's infatuation drives him on a hunt to find out what happened to the love of his life.

Ben soon discovers that the woman he pined for was hiding a shocking double life. And now someone is out to stop Ben from uncovering the truth about Diana's illicit affairs.

In his most heart-pumping thriller yet, James Patterson plunges us into the depths of a mind tortured by paranoia and obsession, on an action-packed chase through a world of danger and deceit.

Mistress
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316211079
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 1455515892
$16.00/U.S.
448 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Chapter 4

I avoid the highway and take Independence home because I don’t trust myself to drive my bike at a high speed right now. I keep my motorcycle steady and don’t try to pass anybody. I’m looking through cloudy, tear-soaked eyes, and my hands are trembling so feverishly I can hardly keep my grip.

Independence is a slightly more direct route—4.44 miles door-to-door, to be precise, compared to 4.8 miles on the highway—but it’s slightly longer, 15.8 minutes compared to 13.2. This time of night, with traffic more sparse, the gap should narrow. Over the last nine months, the Independence route has varied from twenty-two minutes and eighteen seconds to eleven minutes and five seconds, but I’ve never been able to compare the routes during rush hour because Constitution and Independence have turn restrictions those times of day, so I have to adjust the route, and that obviously throws the comparisons out the window. Like apples to oranges. Oranges to apples.

Apple geraniums.

Fiona Apple should be a bigger star. She should be as popular as Amy Winehouse was. They remind me of each other, those throaty, soulful voices, but Fiona never seemed to take off after “Criminal.” Not that Amy fared much better, ultimately.

Yeah, the way my mind wanders? It gets worse when I get stressed. Dr. Vance had a fancy phrase for it—adrenaline-induced emotional sanctuary—but I always thought he was just trying to justify all the money my father was paying him to “fix” me. It took me a long time before I figured out that I suffered from “Pater Crudelis” disorder.

I take Pennsylvania within a block of the White House and, like everything, like a song or a tree or oxygen, it makes me think of Diana. He’s so talented, she’d said of the president. He understands what we’re trying to do like nobody before him.

Oh, Diana. Intelligent, caring, idealistic Diana. Did you do this to yourself? Did somebody kill you? Neither possibility makes sense.

But I’m going to figure it out. It’s what I do for a living, right?

An oncoming SUV honks at me as it passes me in the other direction on Constitution. Only two presidents signed the Constitution, Washington and Madison. Madison was also the shortest president. And the first to have previously served in the United States Cong—

I swerve to avoid the Mazda RX-7 in front of me, gripping the brakes with all the strength my hands can muster. I end up sideways, perpendicular to the cars at my front and rear. Red light means stop, Ben. Focus! You can do this.

Benjamin, the sooner you learn your limitations, the better.

You’re not like everyone else, Benjamin. You never were. Even before—well, even before everything happened with your mother.

You’ll have plenty of time to make friends when you grow up.

Diana was my friend. And she could have been much more. She would have been.

I can do this. I just need to take some medicine. I just need to get home.

Light turns green. I right the bike and move forward.

Diana Marie Hotchkiss. Marie was her aunt’s name; Diana was her grandmother’s name. Born January 11, 1978, in Madison, Wisconsin, played volleyball and softball, won the award for outstanding Spanish student from Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart, from which she graduated in 1995—

Honking; someone’s honking at me for something I did; what did I do?

“Shut up and leave me alone!” I yell, not that I expect a response from the car behind me—or that they’ll even hear me.

“Pull your motorcycle over and kill the engine!” booms a voice through a loudspeaker.

I look in my rearview mirror and notice for the first time the flashing lights. It’s not an angry motorist.

It’s a cop.

This should be interesting.

Copyright © 2013 by James Patterson

Mistress
Fiction/General
Audiobook (Unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1611130425
$34.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by Kevin T. Collins

Audio Excerpts (MP3)
Mistress
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316211079
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 1455515892
$16.00/U.S.
448 pages
Grand Central Publishing

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