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Now You See Her
Now You See Her

Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036218
$27.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446574708
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Mass Market
ISBN: 1455515515
$10.00/U.S.
384 pages
Grand Central Publishing

The perfect life

A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she's built in New York—including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past. But when an innocent man is framed for murder, she knows that she can't let him pay for the real killer's crimes.

The perfect lie

Nina's secret life began 18 years ago. She had looks to die for, a handsome police-officer husband, and a carefree life in Key West. When she learned she was pregnant with their first child, her happiness was almost overwhelming. But Nina's world is shattered when she unearths a terrible secret that causes her to run for her life and change her identity.

The perfect way to die

Now, years later, Nina risks everything she's earned to return to Florida and confront the murderous evil she fled. In a story of wrenching suspense, James Patterson gives us his most head-spinning, action-filled story yet—a Hitchcock-like blend of unquenchable drama and pleasure.

Now You See Her

Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036218
$27.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446574708
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Mass Market
ISBN: 1455515515
$10.00/U.S.
384 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Book One | THE LAST SUNSET

Chapter 1

MARCH 12, 1992

Party till you drop, man!

Every time I think back to everything that happened, it's that expression, that silly early-eighties cliché, that first comes to mind.

It was actually the first thing we heard when we arrived in Key West to start the last spring break of our college careers. As we were checking into our hotel, a very hairy and even drunker middle-aged man wearing goggles and an orange Speedo screamed, "Party till you drop, man!" as he ran, soaking wet, through the lobby.

From that hilariously random moment on, for the rest of our vacation it was our mantra, our boast, our dare to one another. My boyfriend at one point seriously suggested we should all get "Party till you drop, man!" tattoos.

Because we thought it was a joke.

It turned out to be a prophecy.

It actually happened.

First we partied.

Then someone dropped.

It happened on the last day. Our last afternoon found us just as the previous afternoons had, giddily hungover, lazily finishing up burgers under one of our hotel beach bar's umbrellas.

Under the table, my boyfriend Alex's bare foot was hooked around mine as his finger played with the string of my yellow bikini top. The Cars' classic song "Touch and Go" was playing softly from the outdoor speakers as we watched an aging biker with a black leather vest and braided gray hair play catch with his dog off the bar's sun-bleached dock. We laughed every time the collie in the red bandanna head-butted the wet tennis ball before belly flopping into the shallow blue waves.

As the huffing, drenched collie paddled back to shore, a stiff breeze off the water began jingling the bar's hanging glasses like wind chimes. Listening to the unexpected musical sound, I sighed as a long, steady hit of vacation nirvana swept through me. For a tingling moment, everything—the coolness under the Jägermeister umbrella, the almost pulsating white sand of the beach, the blue-green water of the Gulf—became sharper, brighter, more vivid.

When Alex slipped his hand into mine, all the wonderful memories of how we fell in love freshman year played through my mind. The first nervous eye contact across the cavernous Geology classroom. The first time he haltingly asked me out. The first time we kissed.

As I squeezed his hand back, I thought how lucky we were to have found each other, how good we were together, how bright our future looked.

Then it happened.

The beginning of the end of my life.

Our wiry Australian waitress, Maggie, who was clearing the table, smiled as she raised an eyebrow. Then she casually asked what would turn out to be the most important yes-or-no question of my life.

"You motley mob need anything else?" she said in her terrific Aussie accent.

Alex, who was leaning so far back in his plastic deck chair that he was practically lying down, suddenly sat up with a wide, strangely infectious smile on his face. He was average-sized, slim, dark, almost delicate, so you wouldn't guess that he was the place kicker for the nationally ranked University of Florida Gators football team.

I sat up myself when I realized that he was sporting the same slightly touched, let's-get-fired-up smile that he wore before he took the field in front of seventy thousand people to drill a fifty-yarder.

Or to get us into a bar fight.

Our vacation had been everything the travel brochure headline—"Five days, Four nights in Key West!"—had promised. No school. No rules. Nothing but me and my friends, the beach, cold beer, Coppertone, loud music, and louder laughs. We'd all even managed to stay in one piece over the previous, hard-partying four days.

Uh-oh. What now? I thought.

Alex looked around the table at the four of us slowly, one by one, before he threw down the gauntlet.

"Since it's our last whole day here, who's in the mood for some dessert?" he said. "I was thinking Jell-O. The kind Bill Cosby never talks about. The kind served in a shot glass."

The Cars song broke into a frolicking guitar riff as an expression of piqued interest crossed my best friend Maureen's face. My pretty roommate and fellow co-captain of the Gators women's varsity softball team was apparently game. So was her boyfriend, Big Mike, judging by his enthusiastic nod. Even our studious, usually pessimistic, sunburned pal Cathy looked up from her paperback at the interesting suggestion.

"Jeanine?" Alex said as my friends turned to me in silent deference.

The questionable decision was all mine.

I pursed my lips in worry as I looked down at the sand-covered bar floor between my sun-browned toes.

Then my face broke into my own mischievous grin as I rolled my eyes. "Uh...definitely!" I said.

All around the bar, people turned as my friends whooped and high-fived and pounded playfully on the sandy table.

"Shot, shots, shots," Mike and Alex started to chant as our waitress quickly turned to get them.

As a responsible 3.9 GPA English major and student athlete, I was well aware that vodka and gelatin was a highly hazardous afternoon snack. But then again, I had an excuse. Actually four of them.

I was a college kid. I was in Key West. And not only was spring break '92 quickly coming to a close, but it was three days after my twenty-first birthday.

Yet as I sat smiling, looking through the happy, crowded bar out over the endless Tiffany blue Gulf, I still had the slightest moment's doubt, the slightest moment's wonder if maybe I was pushing my luck.

The feeling was gone by the time Maggie returned with our drinks.

Then we proceeded to do what we always did. We raised our paper cups, tapped them together, and screamed, "Party till you drop, man!" as loud as we could.

Copyright © 2011 by James Patterson

Now You See Her
Fiction/General
Audiobook (Unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1607886855
$34.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by Elaina Erika Davis

Elaina has appeared in many Off Broadway and regional theater productions, on numerous televisions programs, and in films. Her favorite narration credits include Memoirs Of A Geisha, When The Emperor Was Divine, and the Newbery Medal winner Kira-Kira. She lives in New York City.

Now You See Her

Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036218
$27.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446574708
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Mass Market
ISBN: 1455515515
$10.00/U.S.
384 pages
Grand Central Publishing

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