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By Dean Koontz

Past middle of the night, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, not able to sleep on her first evening within the Napa Valley domestic of her most sensible friend’s relatives. intuition proves trustworthy. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Foreman Vess, has entered the home, purpose on killing every body inside of. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventurer,” Vess lives in simple terms to meet all appetites as they come up, to immerse himself in sensation, to dwell with out worry, regret, or limits, to dwell with intensity. Chyna is trapped in his lethal orbit.
Chyna is a survivor, toughened via a lifelong fight for defense and self-respect. Now she is going to be established as by no means prior to. firstly her sole objective is to get out alive—until, by accident, she learns the identification of Vess’s subsequent meant sufferer, a far flung blameless basically she will be able to shop. pushed through a newly chanced on thirst for which means past mere self-preservation, Chyna musters each internal source she has to avoid wasting an endangered woman . . . as second by way of second, the terrifying risk of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

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Desperately she sought after this and with no unmarried extra minute of hold up, prior to he might kill back. Her personal survival wasn’t at the moment at stake yet that of a teenage lady whom she had by no means met, and she or he used to be surprised—and made uneasy—to detect that she may care so ferociously a few stranger. probably she had regularly possessed that skill and easily had by no means been in a state of affairs that required popularity of it. yet no. That used to be self-deception. Ten years in the past, she might by no means have the motor domestic. Nor 5 years in the past. Nor final 12 months. possibly now not even the day prior to this. whatever had profoundly replaced her, and it hadn’t been the brutality that she’d noticeable a couple of hours past on the Templeton condominium. Viscerally she used to be acutely aware that this unsettling metamorphosis have been many years coming, just like the sluggish alteration in a river’s course—by imperceptible fractions of a level, every day. Then by surprise mere survival was once now not sufficient for her any more; the ultimate palisade of soil crumbled, the final stone shifted, and the vacation spot of the river replaced. She fearful herself. This reckless worrying. extra lightning, extra ferocious than earlier than, printed redwood timber so huge that they reminded her of cathedral spires. The steeple-shattering mild was once via quakes of thunder as violent as any shift within the San Andreas. The sky fissured, and rain fell. within the first quick, the drops have been fats and milky white within the headlights, as though the evening have been an extinguished chandelier within which have been suspended an enormous variety of rock-crystal pendants. They shattered into the windshield, opposed to the hood, around the blacktop. at the street forward, the motor domestic started to disappear into the downpour. In seconds the drops diminished significantly in measurement at the same time they elevated in quantity. They turned silver grey within the headlamps, and fell now not directly down as sooner than yet at an perspective within the punishing wind. Chyna switched the windshield wipers to their optimum atmosphere, however the motor domestic persisted to slide swiftly away into the hurricane as visibility declined. The killer was once now not decreasing his velocity in appreciate of the worsening climate; he was once accelerating. Afraid to enable him out of her sight for up to a moment, Chyna closed the distance among them to approximately 200 ft. She was once fearful that he might connect the right kind importance to her maneuver and become aware of that by some means she was once onto him. Southbound site visitors have been sparse first of all, yet now it declined in direct share to the ability of the escalating typhoon, as if so much motorists have been washed off the road. No headlights seemed within the rearview reflect both. The psychotic within the motor domestic had set a speed that not anyone yet Chyna was once prone to fit. She felt virtually as on my own with him the following within the open as she have been inside of his abattoir on wheels. Then, as adequate time handed to make the lonely lanes of blacktop and the dreary cataracts of rain much less threatening than monotonous, the killer without warning shocked her. With a short contact of his brakes, with out bothering to take advantage of a flip sign, he angled to the correct onto an go out lane.

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