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Private: #1 Suspect

Unsolvable cases

Since former Marine Jack Morgan started Private, it has become the world's most effective investigation firm—sought out by the famous and the powerful to discreetly handle their most intimate problems. Private's investigators are the smartest, the fastest, and the most technologically advanced in the world—and they always uncover the truth.

Impossible murders

When his former lover is found murdered in Jack Morgan's bed, he is instantly the number one suspect. While Jack is under police investigation, the mob strong-arms him into recovering $30 million in stolen pharmaceuticals for them. And the beautiful manager of a luxury hotel chain persuades him to quietly investigate a string of murders at her properties.

The #1 suspect is Jack Morgan

While Jack is fighting for his life, one of his most trusted colleagues threatens to leave Private, and Jack realizes he is confronting the cleverest and most powerful enemies ever. With more action, more intrigue, and more twists than ever before, PRIVATE: #1 SUSPECT is James Patterson at his unstoppable best.

Part One | I DIDN'T DO IT

Chapter 3

I OPENED THE front door and Justine swept in like a soft breeze. She was a first-class psychologist, a profiler, smart—hell, brilliant. Thank God she was here.

She put her hand on my cheek, searched my eyes, said, "Jack. Where is she?"

I pointed to the bedroom. Justine went in and I followed her, standing numb in the doorway as she walked to the bed. She moaned, "Oh, no," and clasped her hands under her chin.

Even as I stood witness to this heartbreaking tableau, Colleen was still alive in my mind.

I pictured her in the little house she had rented in Los Feliz, a love nest you could almost hold in cupped hands. I thought about her twitching her hips in skimpy lingerie, big fuzzy slippers on her feet, sprinkling her thick brogue with her granny's auld Irish sayings: "There'll be caps on the green and no one to fetch 'em."

"What does that mean, Molloy?" I'd asked her.

"Trouble."

And now here she was on my bed. Well beyond trouble.

Justine was pale when she came back to me. She put her arms around me and held me. "I'm so sorry, Jack. So very sorry."

I held her tight—and then, abruptly, Justine jerked away. She pinned me with her dark eyes and said, "Why is your hair wet?"

"My hair?"

"Did you take a shower?"

"Yes, I did. When I came home, I went straight to the bathroom. I was trying to wake myself up."

"Well, this is no dream, Jack. This is as real as real can be.

When you showered, had you seen Colleen?" "I had no idea she was here." "You hadn't told her to come over?" "No, Justine, I didn't. No." The doorbell rang again.

Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson

Read by Scott Sowers

Scott Sowers' Broadway credits include Bus Stop, A Streetcar Named Desire, Inherit the Wind and A Few Good Men (LA Dramalogue Award for Performance). Scott is a lifetime member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre. His many TV credits include HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order, Cracker and All My Children. Scott's film credits include True Grit, The Ten, The Village, Dead Man Walking, Erin Brockovich, Magnolia, and My Mother Dreams...(winner, 2000 Academy Award for Short Feature).

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