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Authors: James Patterson

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Hide and Seek

BOOK: Hide and Seek
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The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Copyright © 1996 by James Patterson.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

Warner Books

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Visit our Web site at
www.HachetteBookGroup.com

The Warner Books name and logo are registered trademarks of Hachette Book Group.

First eBook Edition: December 1996

ISBN: 978-0-446-40929-2

Contents

Prologue: Hide & Seek

I

CHAPTER II

Book One: Star-Crossed

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

Book Two: Calm Before the Storm

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

CHAPTER 30

CHAPTER 31

CHAPTER 32

CHAPTER 33

CHAPTER 34

CHAPTER 35

CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 37

CHAPTER 38

CHAPTER 39

CHAPTER 40

CHAPTER 41

CHAPTER 42

CHAPTER 43

Book Three: Will

CHAPTER 44

CHAPTER 45

CHAPTER 46

CHAPTER 47

CHAPTER 48

CHAPTER 49

CHAPTER 50

CHAPTER 51

CHAPTER 52

CHAPTER 53

CHAPTER 54

CHAPTER 55

CHAPTER 56

CHAPTER 57

CHAPTER 58

CHAPTER 59

CHAPTER 60

CHAPTER 61

CHAPTER 62

CHAPTER 63

CHAPTER 64

BOOK FOUR: Dark Side of the Moon

CHAPTER 65

CHAPTER 66

CHAPTER 67

CHAPTER 68

CHAPTER 69

CHAPTER 70

CHAPTER 71

CHAPTER 72

CHAPTER 73

CHAPTER 74

CHAPTER 75

CHAPTER 76

CHAPTER 77

CHAPTER 78

CHAPTER 79

CHAPTER 80

CHAPTER 81

CHAPTER 82

CHAPTER 83

CHAPTER 84

CHAPTER 85

CHAPTER 86

BOOK FIVE: Trial & Error

CHAPTER 87

CHAPTER 88

CHAPTER 89

CHAPTER 90

CHAPTER 91

CHAPTER 92

CHAPTER 93

CHAPTER 94

CHAPTER 95

CHAPTER 96

CHAPTER 97

CHAPTER 98

CHAPTER 99

CHAPTER 100

CHAPTER 101

CHAPTER 102

CHAPTER 103

CHAPTER 104

CHAPTER 105

CHAPTER 106

CHAPTER 107

CHAPTER 108

CHAPTER 109

CHAPTER 110

CHAPTER 111

CHAPTER 112

CHAPTER 113

BOOK SIX: Hide & Seek—Again

CHAPTER 114

CHAPTER 115

CHAPTER 116

CHAPTER 117

CHAPTER 118

CHAPTER 119

CHAPTER 120

EPILOGUE Night Songs

CHAPTER 121

CHAPTER 122

CHAPTER 123

A Preview of "Jack & Jill"

MORE RAVES FOR JAMES PATTERSON AND HIS COMPELLING
NEW YORK TIMES
BESTSELLER

HIDE AND SEEK

“A twisty narrative that barrels along swiftly … a hair-raising ride.”


People

“A novel built for speed.”


Boston Globe

“James Patterson does everything but stick our fingers in a light socket to give us a buzz.”


New York Times

“Masterful. … A riveting psychological thriller. … Patterson gives his admirers a roller-coaster ride through a vivid, emotional tale that leads inexorably to a truly shattering climax.”


Naples Daily News

“Alex Cross is to the 90s what Mike Hammer was to the 50s.”


Denver Post

“Gripping.”


Publishers Weekly

“Alex Cross is the fictional detective of the 90s.”

—Ann Rule

“James Patterson is to suspense what Danielle Steel is to romance.”


New York Daily News

“Patterson develops characters with broad strokes and fine lines. Even the villains are multilayered and believable.”


Nashville Banner

“Patterson's skill at building suspense is enviable, and it's impossible to read the book slowly.”


Kansas City Star

“Patterson is an excellent writer.”


Lexington Herald-Leader

“Patterson hit the ball out of the park with his last go-round, the bestselling
Along Came a Spider. Kiss the Girls
is even better.”


Dallas Morning News

“As good as a thriller can get. … With
Kiss the Girls
, Patterson joins the elite company of Thomas Harris and John Sanford.”


San Francisco Examiner

“Warning: Do not read
Kiss the Girls
on a dark winter night if you are home alone. This is another Patterson scare.”


Oakland Press


Kiss the Girls
is impossible to put down.”


Detroit News and Free Press


Along Came a Spider
is a first-rate thriller—fasten your seatbelts and keep the lights on.”

—Sidney Sheldon


Along Came a Spider
is written simply, powerfully, with shifting points of view. The book will satisfy mystery and thriller fans, as well as students of the human condition.”


Washington Post Book World


Along Came a Spider
deserves to be this season's #1 bestseller and should instantly make James Patterson a household name.”

—Nelson DeMille

T
HE NOVELS OF JAMES PATTERSON

Featuring Alex Cross

Mary, Mary

London Bridges

The Big Bad Wolf

Four Blind Mice

Violets Are Blue

Roses Are Red

Pop Goes the Weasel

Cat & Mouse

Jack & Jill

Kiss the Girls

Along Came a Spider

The Women's Murder Club

4
TH
of July
(and Maxine Paetro)

3
RD
Degree
(and Andrew Gross)

2
ND
Chance
(and Andrew Gross)

1
ST
to Die

Other Books

The Lifeguard
(
and Andrew Gross
)

Maximum Ride

Honeymoon
(and Howard Roughan)

santaKid

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

The Lake House

The Jester
(and Andrew Gross)

The Beach House
(and Peter de Jonge)

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

Cradle and All

Black Friday

When the Wind Blows

See How They Run

Miracle on the 17
th
Green
(and Peter de Jonge)

Hide & Seek

The Midnight Club

Season of the Machete

The Thomas Berryman Number

For more information about James Patterson's novels, visit
www.jamespatterson.com

For Carole Anne, Isabelle Anne, and Mary Ellen: the mothers of invention

Prologue

Hide & Seek

I

I
LAY WITHOUT moving in the low, narrow crawl space under the front porch of our home near West Point. My face was pressed tightly against the brutally cold, frozen ground littered with dry leaves and scratchy brambles. I knew I was going to die soon, and so was my baby girl. The words from a song, Crosby, Stills, and Nash—
“Our house is a very, very, very fine house”
— played in my mind.

“Don't cry … oh please don't cry,” I whispered into my baby's ear.

There was
no way out
—no escape from here, at least not carrying the baby. I was smart, and I'd thought of every possible escape route.
None of them would work
.

Phillip was going to kill us when he found our hiding place. I couldn't let him. I just didn't know how I could stop it. I kept my hand lightly over Jennie's mouth. “You mustn't make a sound, sweetheart. I love you. You mustn't make a sound.”

I could hear Phillip raging above us inside the house.
Our house
. He was rampaging from floor to floor, ransacking rooms, overturning furniture. Angry. Relentless. Absolutely crazy. Worse than he'd ever been. It was cocaine this time, but really it was life that Phillip couldn't handle very well.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are, Maggie … come out, Maggie and Jennie …
it's only Daddy
. Daddy's going to find you anyway,” Phillip screamed over and over until he was hoarse. “Come out, come out, Maggie … game's over.

“Maggie,
I command you
to come out wherever the hell you're hiding, you disobedient little bitch.”

I lay shivering under the old sagging porch. My teeth were chattering again.
This couldn't be happening. It was unthinkable
. I gently held my little girl, who had wet her pants. “You mustn't cry, Jennie. Please don't cry. Don't cry. You're such a good little girl. I love you so much.”

Jennie nodded, and stared into my eyes. I wished that this were a nightmare. That it would go away. But it wasn't a bad dream. This was as real as my mother's fatal heart attack when I was thirteen years old and the only one home. This was even worse.

I could hear my husband,
my husband
, stomping up and down the stairs of the house. He was still screaming … hadn't stopped screaming for over an hour. Pounding his fist against the walls.
Captain Phillip Bradford. Math instructor at the Academy. Officer and gentleman
. That was what everyone believed, what they wanted to believe, what I had believed myself.

The hour stretched to two hours
.

Then to three hours
in the pitch-black, freezing-cold crawl space—in this living hell.

Mercifully, Jennie had finally fallen asleep. I held her to my chest, tried to keep her warm. I wanted to sleep myself, give up the fight, but I knew I mustn't do that. It was very early in the morning. One of Phillip's witching hours—maybe three
A.M.?
Maybe four?

I heard the front door slam like a clap of thunder in the night. Loud footsteps exploded on the porch just over my head.

Jennie woke up.
“Shhh,”
I whispered.
“Shhh.”

“Maggie! I know you're here.
I know it!
I'm not a stupid man. There's nowhere to run to.”

“Daddy … Daddy!”
Jennie cried out, the way she had so many times in the safety of her crib.

A flashlight suddenly shone under the porch. Bright, terrifying light blinded me. A thousand sharp splinters in my eyes.

“Peekaboo! There you are!
There's Jennie and Maggie. There's my two girls,” Phillip shouted in triumph. His voice was so hoarse and raw, it was nearly unrecognizable. I could almost make myself believe that this insane man
wasn't
my husband. How could he be?

BOOK: Hide and Seek
6.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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