Authors: Danielle Girard
A Captivating Suspense Novel
By payment of required fees, you have been granted the
-transferable right to access and read the text of this eBook. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented without the express written permission of copyright owner.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
The reverse engineering, uploading, and/or distributing of this eBook via the internet or via any other means without the permission of the copyright owner is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
Copyright © Danielle Girard, 2001, 2012. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
Cover and eBook design by eBook Prep
who makes every day a dream come true
Mom and Dad, thanks for "perseverance of purpose"; it must be in the genes. Nicole, Tom, Steve, and Blake, thanks for putting up with all the hoopla of the last year with grace and humor. Claire, for having your daddy's patience and your mama's rhythm. Bob, Donna, and Sue, for taking me in and pretending all my quirks are normal. To the friends who stuck by, supported, reassured, and put up with a nutty schedule, and especially to Marcie. And to Danell, for making balance a possibility.
As always, this book is a culmination of a lot of great help. It wouldn't be what it is without the following very talented writers: Joanne Barnes, Taylor Chase, Diana Dempsey, Lisa Hughey, Monica McLean, Malia Martin, and Sonia Rossney. In addition, thank you to Dr. Jack Simon, for sharing his psychiatric expertise (for the book, not me, although I may be next). To Inspector Edwin Skeels, for introducing me to the Berkeley Police Department, and to the many officers who answered my bizarre questions, even over the phone. Any errors are mine alone.
Finally, thank you to Helen, who knows how to think big and still focus on the details. And to Genny, for those both torturous and magnificent fifteen-page letters. And to both of you for friendships that continue to amaze me.
March 17, 1971
The wet fabric started to slip and she held her bound hands to her face and tried not to watch. It was too terrible, too terrible. She just wanted her mommy. Where was her mommy? Where were all their mommies?
"Fourteen is just too many," he growled as he lifted the body of Jimmy Rodriguez and set it next to the others.
There were eleven. She had counted. Eleven times she'd heard them scream, eleven times she'd heard them stop. She was last in line, but he was getting closer. Only Billy and Marcus were before her. He'd be to her soon. She shifted against the cold cement floor, the puddle she'd made like wet ice cream against her skin.
She heard Billy sobbing and she started again, too. She couldn't help it. She kept waiting for someone to come and save them, but no one did. He had killed Mrs. Cooney and Mr. Choy. He walked onto the school bus and shot them. And then he forced each of them to drink a cup of punch. He put something in it. She saw him. And she shook her head when he told her to drink it. But he hit her hard and she knew she had to or he'd shoot her like he did Mrs. Cooney.