Read Color Blind Online

Authors: Colby Marshall

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #United States, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Women Sleuths, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Psychological Thrillers, #Suspense, #Thrillers, #Psychological

Color Blind

PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF COLBY MARSHALL

“Colby Marshall has written a book that deserves to be called
thriller
.”

—R. L. Stine,
New York Times
bestselling author of the Goosebumps series

“An intricate puzzle that will keep you guessing until the very end!”

—C. J. Lyons,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Chasing Shadows

“Colby Marshall’s sterling debut may transpire over more than six or seven days, but like me you’ll probably finish it in a single night, racing the dawn to flip the last page. A classic concept updated to fit our politics-wary world.”

—Jon Land, bestselling author of
Strong Rain Falling

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

penguin.com

A Penguin Random House Company

This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.

Copyright © 2014 by Colby Marshall.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

BERKLEY® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-17052-0

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Marshall, Colby.

Color blind / Colby Marshall. — Berkley trade paperback edition.

pages cm. — (A Dr. Jenna Ramey novel)

ISBN 978-0-425-27651-8 (paperback)

1. Synesthesia—Fiction. 2. Serial murderers—Fiction. 3. Suspense fiction. 4. Psychological fiction. I. Title.

PS3613.A7726C65 2014

813'.6—dc23

2014025979

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley trade paperback edition / November 2014

Cover design by Jason Gill.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

Version_1

For David,
a deep, rich navy blue

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

As an author, I have the special opportunity to let the world know about the people whose help I simply couldn’t do without. With the honor of thanking those who have given me so much comes the very real, terrifying possibility that I might leave out someone important. So if by my mistake this happens to you, I ask you to forgive my scatterbrained, last-minute writing of these acknowledgments and accept my heartfelt thanks for your role in this book’s “birth.”

To the wonderful people at Penguin/Berkley: First and foremost, a huge thank-you to my fantastic editor, Faith Black, for believing in Dr. Jenna Ramey and
Color Blind
enough to take on this new series. I am grateful not only for the confidence you’ve shown in me as a writer, but for the way you’ve infused the publication process with such enthusiasm. Thank you for your steady, fervent leadership and for the natural sapphire blue hue you bring to the table for me. To Jason Gill and the cover design team for bringing
Color Blind
to life visually. A million thanks to my publicist, Loren Jaggers, for your guidance and gusto in launching this book into the world. To all of the many wonderful hands at Penguin/Berkley that have touched and shaped this book in the production process, I appreciate everything you’ve done to take
Color Blind
from a story in my head to a tangible work for many to see. And of course, to my publisher and editor in chief of Berkley, Leslie Gelbman, for making this book possible, I am forever thankful.

To my agent, Rachel Ekstrom: nothing I can say can adequately thank you for your guidance, patience, wisdom, and passion for my work. More than anything, I’m thankful for the way you’ve renewed my faith that synergetic author/agent partnerships can exist and flourish (which no doubt plays into why I see you as the bright yellow color of daffodils). In addition to Rachel, a huge thank-you to everyone at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency for the hard work you put in every day to make sure books like mine make it into the world. I also owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Danny Baror and Heather Baror-Shapiro of Baror International. I’m humbled and thankful that because of your hard work and tenacity,
Color Blind
will be read in several languages throughout the world.

Research will perpetually be a favorite part of the book-writing process for me, but without the colorful array of willing victims—erm,
sources
—in my life, my interviews would be a lot more boring and my work, much less accurate. In all of my writing, I owe many of my baddest of the bad and craziest of the crazy characters to Dr. Richard Elliot. But for this series in particular, for your expertise and insight into the job of a forensic psychiatrist, I thank you, Richard. To Ashley and Jared Carson, thank you for your theme park wisdom as well as for allowing me to make my “niece cat” into a character. With any luck, your actual little princess will remain nothing like this character for which I’ve borrowed her name. Massive thanks to my +2 Friends of Nerd-dom—Ashley Carson (again), Herbie Hatlee, Amy Etheridge, and Chris Etheridge—without whom I would have embarrassed myself profoundly with my lack of knowledge regarding online role playing games. You guys are speced for awesomeness. Thank you to Laura Voss for your classic film knowledge and how it helped bring to life a vital piece of this book’s puzzle. Dad, thank you for your “expertise” in that—
*cough*
—one “little” thing. And to The Possum, the mysterious benefactor responsible for helping me with weapon information that I may have later bastardized in the name of fiction and with the hope of suspension of disbelief, I thank you.

To Matt Stine and 27Sound Entertainment, I continue to be thankful for your web design brilliance and for making my crazy ideas like SWAT into a reality. And to Ken and Stacey, I will forever be grateful to you for your support of my writing career. You will always be my first “family.”

Many people both cheered on this manuscript as well as tore it a new one in order to make it worth a look. A huge thank-you to George Berger, Rick Campbell, and Lisa Brackmann for taking the time to read it, give suggestions, and encourage me to press on. And to Pat Shaw, who I’m now lucky enough to consider my friend, for nurturing me as a writer. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me—not only about writing and editing, but about perseverance and staying true to my voice. For the record, you do—and always will—appear as a vivid hot pink.

I’m lucky to have friends and family to whom I can vent frustrations, brainstorm with, and turn to for gentle words of encouragement—or occasionally, for a kick in the pants when the gentler coaxing doesn’t work. To my Purgies and Pitizens, I can’t thank you enough for your support throughout the years, even when I disappear for months on end. To my Ynots, what can I say? The good, the bad, the vandalism, and the CDs . . . you all deserve keys to a beach house for weeks for how many times you’ve been there for me as a writer and as a person. Many thanks to my theatre and dance families at Theatre Macon, Macon Little Theatre, and Hayiya Dance Theatre, as well as to my friends at the Central Georgia Alzheimer’s Association for cheering me on, inspiring me, and helping to spread the word about my books.

To Will, Danielle, and Nikki: thank you for your selfless contributions to both my writing and my life. I’m so grateful to know I can count on each of you at any moment—for
anything
—without question, no matter how inconvenient or strange. To Courtney: not only do I appreciate your expertise in all things nursing, but it means so much to me that you love my books and spread the word to others. Compliments from you are truly some of the highest praise I feel, and the spirit of your words boosts my confidence.

And to Meg: I love knowing you’re always there to pick up right where we left off. I couldn’t handle any meltdown without the knowledge that you would keep up a sense of humor even when I lost mine. Thank you for your covert recon operations and for just plain being you. You’re so loved.

To Ashlee: I could write a whole book of acknowledgments about all the ways you build me up and keep me together (and put up with my rambling when I need to talk about writing to re-ignite my excitement about a manuscript). Thank you for being the nine to my three, and for always reading along with everything I write. We always say we’re twins, but the truth is, real twins don’t get to choose each other. I’d pick you for my twin every day of every week.

To Mom and Dad: if there are more wonderful parents that exist in the world, I certainly don’t know where they are or how they could do anything better than you. You’ve believed in me through trials and cheered on my achievements. You’ve never let me give up or give in. If I can be even half the parent you both are to me and teach my own children to follow their hearts and dreams the way you did me, then I will be sure I’ve done my job as a parent in a way I can be proud of.

For the littlest members of my family, you’ll never know how much you inspire me, keep me going, and bring light and love to my life every day. One day when you’re old enough to read this book, I want you to know that I loved you when I penned these acknowledgments, and my love for you has done nothing but grow since the night I wrote these words.

And to David: I have no idea what I did to deserve someone like you to champion my every effort, to push me to be my best, and to comfort me when I’m at my worst. You’re my pillar of strength and my perfect companion. You make me bold and brave, but most of all, you bring out the best in me. Thank you for the long nights, the pep talks, the midnight runs for goldfish crackers, and for duct taping the sheets. But most of all, thank you for everything you are . . . and for everything you are to me.

Finally, to the readers of this book as well as those who’ve been with me since
Chain of Command
and
The Trade
: In today’s busy world, finding the time to read a book can be hard to come by, so I thank you for putting your faith into this story and in me. Whether it was the back cover copy that drew your interest, that you enjoyed a previous tale of mine, that I have blackmail information on you, or just that one character happens to be a dachshund, I’m thrilled you’ve chosen to spend time with the characters in my head. I wish you happy reading, many surprises, and a heart-pounding ride. And as always, I hope this story keeps you reading late into the night.

CONTENTS

Praise for the novels of Colby Marshall

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Other books

The Clone Apocalypse by Kent, Steven L.
Fall for Me by Sydney Landon
My Dearest by Sizemore, Susan
London by Carina Axelsson
The Stone Witch by Benjamin Hulme-Cross, Nelson Evergreen