Dr. Hallie Mara, an attractive young MD, and
her friend Reed Kincaid learn that someone has singled out many
people, men, women, and children to die in ten cities across the
U.S. in just a few days. But because Hallie has no hard proof,
the police refuse to investigate.
When Hallie and Reed attempt to secure
that proof, what they unearth is beyond their worst fears. And
as they start zeroing in on the killer, the killer quickly zeros
in on them. Barely escaping with their lives, they finally convince
the police. But when the police start investigating, there's an
even bigger problem. It may be too late.
Exclusive! Read the first chapter of Dead
Kincaid rearranged his living room furniture for the fourth time,
looked around and slumped down onto the sofa, a defeated man.
Even worse, he realized.
The ivory leather sofas and mauve
chairs worked together, but not sprawled across the reddish Persian
carpet. The striped draperies were stylish, but clashed with the
leopard footstool. And the expensive antique mahogany desk was
distinctive, but seemed defiled by the pink lava lamp glowing
on the corner.
The room needed help.
In fact, he knew, all the rooms
in his new home located in the affluent suburb of Birmingham,
north of Detroit, needed a great deal of help. Since moving in
a week ago, he'd managed to prove only one thing: he had the decorating
flair of a yak. Fortunately, Hallie, the woman who could rescue
him, would be walking through the front door any minute.
He picked up a Runners World and
started quickly thumbing through it when the phone rang. He grabbed
"It's me, Kyle." His brother
sounded very excited and faint, like he was on a cell phone deep
in the mountains.
"Hey, Kyle, what's up?"
"I need to talk to the police
"So why call me?"
"My detective pal in Grand
Blanc is out." Kyle coughed.
"What's Norm's number?"
"I don't know. Norm retired
"Damn. He's the only other
cop who'd believe me."
"Believe what?" Reed asked.
Kyle, who never worried, sounded very worried.
coughed again. "A man I met Friday and this morning. I'll
explain at your house. I'm five minutes away. But I have to talk
to the police fast!" Another cough, then the connection crackled
Reed stared at the phone. Why did
Kyle need the police? He tried to remember the last time his brother
had sounded this frightened and realized it was many years ago,
the day of their parents' accident. He started thinking back to
that horrific day, when he heard a car turn into his driveway.
stood and watched Hallie Mara walk toward the house. Her thick,
dark-brown hair, wind-tossed over her eyes, could not conceal
her beautiful face any more than the bulky green sweater and slacks
could conceal her stunning figure. He loved her creamy complexion,
leggy stride and every other genetic gift her Irish mother and
Japanese father bequeathed her. The fact that Hallie was an M.D.
in molecular genetics, trilingual, and a fun person with no obvious
psychological zits, were also nice touches. He'd never known anyone
like her, and had felt that way about twenty seconds after he
walked in her office two months ago.
Opening the front door, he was once
again lured into her large, emerald eyes. He had to force himself
to look down at a plastic container in her hand.
"Sorry Miss, I have enough
Tupperware." He started to close the door.
"With warm chocolate chip cookies?"
He opened the door. "Mi casa
es su casa."
Smiling, she stepped inside and
looked around at the rooms and furniture. "Hummmm ... very
nice. Great potential."
"I feel the same about you."
Another smile. "You mentioned
a sick room?"
"Rooms." He led her to
the den and gestured toward the two older leather chairs, one
with a faint red wine spot, a coffee table, VCR and his brand-new
large screen television that occupied most of a nine-foot section
"Wow - a drive-in theater!"
she said. "Where do you park cars?"
I need a big screen. See my commercials better. Check details
"Like nasal hair?"
"That, gingivitis, and the
infernal horror of hemorrhoids."
She laughed a nice laugh. "By the way, how are your new Mason
Industries commercials doing?"
"Great. Mason's currently setting
new sales records. But the account director, as usual, wants to
fix the commercials."
"Which aren't broke?"
He nodded, "Not at all."
She walked over to his computer
screen which displayed a television commercial script he'd been
working on, looked at his stacks of work papers, bulging green
file folders and a tower of TV commercial cassettes.
work, work!" she said.
"Guilty as sin," he said,
knowing she thought he worked too hard at times.
She turned, studied the furniture
and high-tech equipment and ran her finger along her lower lip,
focusing like an urban refuse planner at the city dump.
"Maybe," she said, "a
nice entertainment center could enclose all this stereo and audio
She ignored his pun. "And maybe
a nice sofa opposite your drive-in theater."
"I like nice sofas," he
said, picturing them getting real comfortable on one.
"And maybe you could put that
cutesy butter churn with the Daffy Duck sticker somewhere. Perhaps
with your Nehru jacket."
He heard the loud ding of metal
- a car bottoming out in his driveway. Looking up, he saw Kyle's
dark-blue Chevy Tahoe pull in behind Hallie's car.
walked to the door, opened it, and couldn't believe his eyes.
Kyle looked like he'd gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson. Kyle's
ears had no tooth marks, but his face was flushed and damp with
perspiration. Clumps of dark-red hair hung over his bloodshot
eyes and his clothes had more wrinkles than a corrugated roof.
"Nice pajamas," Reed said.
"I belong in pajamas and in
bed," Kyle whispered, coughing and attempting a smile. He
stepped inside and glanced around. "Terrific house."
"Hi, Kyle," Hallie said,
walking from the den.
"Hey, Hallie...." he said,
coughing harshly. "Sorry guys. I've been feeling awful the
last two days."
You look awful too, Reed thought,
wondering what the hell was wrong with his older brother, the
healthiest person he knew.
"How about some water?"
"Please." He cleared his
throat again and swallowed with obvious pain.
As Hallie went to get water, Reed
led him into the living room.
"Call the police quick,"
Kyle whispered, rubbing his throat.
"Sure. But what's this all--"
"This man I met ..." His
brother suddenly stopped, stared ahead as though watching a train
wreck, then clutched his chest. Terrified, he looked at Reed,
stumbled backward and collapsed onto the sofa.
"Hallie!" Reed shouted,
moving to his brother's side.