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By Lisa Gardner

20 years in the past, Melanie Stokes used to be deserted in a Boston health center, then followed via a filthy rich younger couple. proficient with loving mom and dad, a doting brother, and an indulgent uncle, Melanie has consistently thought of herself fortunate. till the 1st cryptic, threatening word arrives: “You Get What You Deserve.”

Melanie has no reminiscence of her existence sooner than the adoption. Now anyone desires her to recollect it all—even the darkest nightmare the Stokes relatives ever confronted: the homicide in their first daughter. As Melanie pursues each lead and chases each shadow looking for her actual identification, possible unrelated occasions from her earlier will come jointly in a perilous explosion of fact.

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Then she disappeared down the corridor, the place the sickly smell of gardenias remained thick. 9 by way of SEVEN P. M. , David and Chenney had cleared out of the Stokes loved ones and headed of their separate instructions. evening had fallen, hot and luxurious, an ideal spring evening in a urban that weathered such lengthy, chilly winters, it knew the way to delight in spring. up to now David was once spending his attractive spring night parked at the east finish of Storrow force, looking forward to petrified travelers to conflict their technique to Faneuil corridor. He’d headed domestic to bathe and alter his outfits. There, he’d consulted Shoeless Joe, who didn’t have any stellar recommendation. Shoeless used to be most sensible at baseball and dry cleansing. Healthcare fraud, cool blondes, and twenty-five-year-old murder instances have been out of his league. David had determined he’d do extra examine at the Stokes case on the place of work. now not that he had colossal plans on a Sunday evening. no longer that he may well get just like Melanie Stokes out of his head. Now his twenty-minute go back and forth was once becoming a sixty-minute Boston marathon. On Storrow force, the out-of-towners have been paralyzed, hunched over their steerage wheels with the frightened appears to be like of scared jackrabbits. The taxi drivers, nevertheless, have been slicing in entrance of each Tom, Dick, and Harry, blaring their horns and turning the four-lane traffic congestion into an excellent better snarl. They didn’t name Boston drivers assholes for not anything. David may still simply get an house downtown. brokers made sturdy funds, and it wasn’t like he had a spouse, element childrens, and a black Lab to aid. He might get a good position on Beacon Hill. store himself a travel that the majority Boston drivers became blood recreation. manage to stroll to paintings at any time when he sought after. turn out within the place of work forever. Oh, yeah, that’s why he stayed within the ’burbs. ’Cause differently he’d be residing in a single middle Plaza. A cab that was once twisted throughout lanes ultimately made up our minds to renounce one they usually all eked ahead. The in-line skaters have been nonetheless out, joggers too. within the pedestrian river park that ran alongside Storrow force, smooth urban lighting fixtures illuminated students in cut-off shorts enjoying evening Frisbee whereas J. Crew-clad yuppies walked overbred golden retrievers. at the back of them flowed the Charles River, which hosted Harvard’s group group in addition to many different pollution. three hundred and sixty five days, former governor Weld dove into that water through the election race to turn out it particularly wasn’t as undesirable because it seemed. They’d be trying out him for melanoma for future years. It took Riggs one other twenty mins to make it the final miles to the workplace. one other gorgeous night spent using Boston-style. The FBI occupied flooring 4 via 8 of 1 middle Plaza in downtown Boston. viewers received to go into on the midpoint—floor six—and the healthcare fraud squad bought to head immediately to the penthouse suite on ground 8. The view wasn’t part undesirable. David walked via a sprawling turquoise area that have been transformed extra occasions than such a lot brokers may well count number. urban lighting fixtures glimmered in the course of the wall of home windows, the single illumination at nighttime, empty house.

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