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Run For Your Life

Move over Alex Cross–Manhattan is Detective Michael Bennett's territory and only he can stop the Teacher's lethal lessons.

A spree killer passes brutal judgment.
A calculating murderer who calls himself the Teacher is taking on New York City, slaughtering the powerful and the arrogant. Everyone is his potential student–from the loudmouthed girl on her cell phone to the city's snooty upper crust. His message to them is clear: remember your manners or suffer the consequences! For some, it seems that the rich are finally getting what they deserve. For New York's elite, it is a call to terror.

No chance for redemption.
There is only one man in the NYPD who can tackle such a high-profile case: Detective Michael Bennett. For anyone else, the pressure would be overwhelming, but Mike is ready to step up–taking care of his ten children has prepared him for the job! As the media frenzy escalates, all of Mike's children fall victim to a virulent flu bug–almost as challenging an assignment for Bennett as tracking down the killer!

One man struggles to save a city.
A secret pattern emerges in the Teacher's lessons, leaving Detective Bennett just a few precious hours to save New York from the greatest disaster in its history. Run for Your Life is the most speed-charged, adrenaline-packed novel ever from "the man who can't miss" (Time magazine).

Chapter 2

I WAS HOPELESS on the domestic front, all right. I couldn’t even find a paper towel. I rinsed off the jelly with water as well as I could, and put the suit coat in a closet with some other clothes that were waiting to be dry-cleaned. My luck started looking better when I poked around inside the fridge. There was a Saran-wrapped plate of baked ziti on a shelf, and I dug up a can of Coors Light buried beneath half a case of Capri Suns in the drink drawer. I set the microwave humming, and I was just crunching open my Silver Bullet when a hair-raising sound emanated from the dark interior of my apartment—a sort of howling moan followed by a long, unholy splatter. Then it happened again, only in a different tone.

As I slowly lowered my untouched brew, I was visited by one of those blink moments I’d read about. Though my conscious mind wasn’t sure what was causing those noises, some deeper instinct warned me that it signaled a danger that any sane person would flee with all his might.

Against my better judgment, I staggered down the hall in that direction. Peering around a corner, I spotted a bar of light under the rear bathroom door. I tiptoed to it and slowly twisted the knob.

I stood rooted there, speechless with visceral horror. My instincts had been all too correct. I should have fled when I had the chance.

Not one, not two, but three of my children were projectile-vomiting into the tub. It was like looking at an outtake from The Exorcist while you were seeing triple. I reared back as Ricky, Bridget, and Chrissy hurled again, each one’s upchuck triggered by the previous one, like they were trying to puke a campfire round. Think Vesuvius, Krakatoa, and Mount Saint Helens all going off in musical succession.

Before I could catch myself, I made the mistake of breathing through my nose. My stomach lurched precariously. I blessed my stars that I hadn’t had a chance to eat during the Harlem siege, or to get started on the ziti. Otherwise, yours truly would have chimed in a fourth eruption of his own.

My Irish nanny, Mary Catherine, was right beside the kids, her golden ringlets bouncing out from beneath a red bandanna as she mopped furiously at the blowback they left. She had wisely put on elbow-length, industrial rubber gloves and covered her face with another bandanna, but I could see from her eyes—usually crisp blue, but now damp and faded—that she was as exhausted as I was.

She gave me a quick wave, then pulled off the bandanna and said, in her lilting brogue, “Mike, remember before you left for work, I told you Chrissy was looking a little green?”

I nodded mutely, still struggling to absorb the enormity of the situation.

“I think that flu that’s been going around school has arrived,” Mary Catherine said. “Repent, for the plague is upon us.”

I crossed myself solemnly, trying to pick up her joke to make us both feel a little better. But a nervous part of me wasn’t entirely kidding. The way things had been going, maybe this was the plague.

“I’ve got it from here, Mary,” I said, taking the mop from her. “You’re officially off duty.”

“That, I most certainly am not,” she said indignantly. “Now, the Tylenol is in the cabinet over the sink, but we’re running out of cough syrup, and?—”

“And enough,” I said, pointing toward the stairs to her upstairs apartment, formerly the maid’s quarters. “I don’t need any more patients to take care of.”

“Oh? What makes you think you won’t get sick?” She folded her arms in stubborn loyalty, which I’d come to know well. “Because you’re a big tough copper?”

I sighed. “-No—because I don’t have time to. Get some sleep and you can take over in the morning, okay? That’s what I’m going to need.”

She wavered, then gave me a weary but sweet smile.

“You’re not fooling anybody,” Mary Catherine said. “But okay.”

Read by Bobby Cannavale–He made his Broadway debut in Mauritius and was nominated for a Tony Award for his perfonrmance. On television, Bobby won an Emmy for his performance in Will & Grace. Bobby's film credits include The Station Agent, Fast Food Nation, Snakes on a Plane, Shall We Dance, Romance and Cigarettes, The Bone Collector, and Washington Heights. Bobby will next be seen in the feature comedy, Mall Cop and next year will star in his own series for ABC, in which he plays the title character Cupid.

Dallas Roberts–He stars in the upcoming films The Factory and Shrink. His films include 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line, Joshua, Flicka, The Notorious Bettie Page, and A Home at the End of the World. Television appearances include The L Word, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order. Dallas is a graduate of the Juillard School and recently starred off-Broadway in the hit production of Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry.

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