BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Missing acting students Dylan and Michaela are found in the remote mountains of Malibu, battered and terrified after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a sadistic abductor. But forensic evidence soon exposes the incident as a hoax, and the kids are charged as criminals themselves.
“Kellerman shows why he is called the ‘master of the psychological thriller.’”— Orlando Sentinel
After examining Michaela, psychologist Alex Delaware is certain that there’s more to this sordid psychodrama, and his instincts prove dead-on when she is savagely murdered. Casting their dragnet into the murkiest corners of L.A., Delaware and homicide cop Milo Sturgis unearth more questions than answers—and a host of eerily identical killings. What bizarre and brutal epidemic is infecting the city with terror, madness, and sudden, twisted death?
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|Title of Mystery & Detective eBook: Gone||Series: Alex Delaware, , #21|
|Release Date: 03-28-2006|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Chapter OneShe nearly killed an innocent man.
Creighton "Charley" Bondurant drove carefully because his life depended on it. Latigo Canyon was mile after mile of neck-wrenching, hairpin twists. Charley had no use for government meddlers but the 15 mph signs posted along the road were smart.
He lived ten miles up from Kanan Dume Road, on a four-acre remnant of the ranch his grandfather had owned during Coolidge's time. All those Arabians and Tennessee walkers and the mules Grandpa kept around because he liked the creatures' spirit. Charley had grown up with families like his. No-nonsense ranchers, a few rich folk who were still okay when they came up to ride on weekends. Now all you had were rich pretenders.
Diabetic and rheumatoid and depressed, Charley lived in a two-room cabin with a view of oak-covered crests and the ocean beyond. Sixty-eight, never married. Poor excuse for a man, he'd scold himself on nights when the medicines mixed with the beer and his mood sank low.
On happier days, he pretended to be an old cowboy.
This morning, he was somewhere between those extremes. His bunions hurt like hell. Two horses had died last winter and he was down to three skinny white mares and a half-blind sheepdog. Feed and hay bills ate up most of his Social Security. But the nights had been warm for October, and he hadn't dreamed bad and his bones felt okay.
It was hay that got him up at seven that morning, rolling out of bed, gulping coffee, chewing on a stale sweet roll, to hell with his blood sugar. A little time-out to get the internal plumbing going and by eight he was dressed and starting up the pickup.