By Jeffery Deaver

Invoice Corde appears down on the face of the murdered lady and sees the horror of unexpected loss of life. He can't understand, as he stands there on the trampled, muddy scene beside the school girl’s corpse, that his personal existence is set to slide into terror. He can't comprehend that every little thing he holds necessary is ready to shatter sooner than his eyes. He can't understand that his career–and his family–are approximately to go into a brand new measurement of probability. For invoice Corde, the killer is every thing he fears so much. For Sarah, Bill’s wild, learning-impaired daughter, trapped in an international of frustration and mock, he will be simply the individual she’s been expecting. an individual who knows her concerns and loneliness. anyone who indicators his notes “The Sunshine Man.” an individual she will be able to run away with–even an ideal stranger.

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A squat mass of black crinkly hair used to be tied in a ponytail. His face was once very slender and he had excessive ridges of cheekbones, lower than which used to be a depressing beard. He wore blue denims and a black T-shirt. “You Detective Corde? ” “That’s me. Come on in. ” “I received a message that you just desired to see me. ” “What’s your identify? the following, take a seat. ” “Brian Okun. is that this approximately Jennie Gebben? ” “That’s correct. ” Corde used to be flipping via his index playing cards. Slowly, card through card, reviewing his boxy hand-writing. It took decades. He appeared up. “Now, how precisely do you know her? ” “She used to be in Professor Gilchrist’s category. Psychology and Literature. He lectures. I educate the dialogue part she was once in. ” “You’re at the school? ” “I’m a graduate scholar. Ph. D. candidate. ” “And what did you do on your part? ” “They’re chat groups, as I acknowledged. ” “What do you speak about? ” Okun laughed, questioned. “Do you actually care? ” “I’m curious. ” “The query final week used to be: ‘How could John Crowe Ransom and the varsity of recent feedback technique the poetry written through an individual clinically determined with bipolar melancholy? ’ are you aware what the recent feedback circulation was once all approximately, Officer? ” “No, I don’t. ” Corde spoke back. “Do you recognize if Jennie was once going with anyone? ” “‘Going with. ’ What does that suggest? That’s a imprecise time period. ” “Was she seeing a person? ” Okun requested in a voice crisp with irony, “‘Seeing anyone’? Do you suggest courting? ” It appeared to Corde that the boy wasn’t antagonistic. He seemed surely perplexed—as if the detective have been asking questions which could no longer be replied in simple English. “I’d prefer to find out about someone Jennie could have had greater than a passing friendship with. ” Okun’s eyes ricocheted off Corde’s playing cards. “I feel you recognize I took her out once or twice. ” Corde, who didn't be aware of this, replied, “I was once going to invite you approximately that—do you always date scholars? ” “This’s a faculty city. Who else is there to invite out? ” Okun’s eyes met Corde’s. “Isn’t it strange for a professor to invite out his scholars? ” “I’m no longer a professor. I instructed you that. I’m a doctoral candidate. for that reason we have been either scholars. ” Corde rubbed his finger throughout a Styrofoam cup of chilly espresso. He shuddered on the squeaky sound. “I’d have fun with you answering my questions in a simple means. this can be a beautiful severe topic. How lengthy have been you seeing her? ” “We broke up numerous months in the past. We’d dated for 3 months on and off. ” “Why did you get a divorce? ” “It’s now not your quandary. ” “It could be, son. ” “Look, Sheriff, we went out 5 - 6 instances. I by no means spent the evening together with her. She used to be candy yet she wasn’t my kind. ” Corde started to ask a query. Okun stated, “I don’t believe like telling you what my variety is. ” “What have been the situations of you breaking apart? ” Okun twitched a shoulder. “You can’t quite name it breaking apart. there has been not anything among us, not anything critical. And neither people observed any element in happening with it. ” “Do you recognize who Jennie all started seeing when you? ” “I comprehend she went out. I don’t comprehend with whom. ” Corde fanned via his three-by-fives.

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