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Harlan Coben, author of the coast-to-coast bestseller No Second Chance, delivers an emotionally powerful thrill-ride of a novel that asks the question: How far would you go to protect your family?An ordinary snapshot causes a mother’s world to unravel in an instant. After picking up her two young children from school, Grace Lawson looks through a newly developed set of photographs. She finds an odd one in the pack: a mysterious picture from perhaps twenty years ago, showing four strangers she can’t identify. But there is one face she recognizes—that of her husband, from before she knew him.When her husband sees the photo that night, he leaves their home and drives off without explanation. She doesn’t know where he’s going, or why he’s leaving. Or if he’s ever coming back. Nor does she realize how dangerous the search for him will be. Because there are others interested in both her husband’s past and that photo, including Eric Wu: a fierce, silent killer who will not be stopped from finding his quarry, no matter who or what stands in his way.Her world turned upside-down, filled with doubts about her herself and marriage, Grace must confront the dark corners of her own tragic past she struggles to learn the truth, find her husband, and save her family.
Winner of the Edgar Award, the Shamus Award, and the Anthony Award, Harlan Coben is the author of ten previous novels, including the New York Times bestsellers No Second Chance (Dutton 2003), Gone for Good, and Tell No One, and his highly popular Myron Bolitar series.
Scott Duncan sat across from the killer.The windowless room of thundercloud gray was awkward and still, stuck in that the lull when the music first starts and neither stranger is sure how to begin the dance. Scott tried a noncommittal nod. The killer, decked out in prison-issue orange, simply stared. Scott folded his hands and put them on the metal table. The killer—his file said he was Monte Scanlon, but there was no way that was his real name—might have done likewise had his hands not been cuffed. Why, Scott wondered yet again, am I here?His specialty was prosecuting corrupt politicians—something of a vigorous cottage industry in his home state of New Jersey—but three hours ago, Monte Scanlon, a mass executioner by any standards, had finally broken his silence to make a demand.That demand?A private meeting with Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Duncan.This was strange for a large variety of reasons, but here were two: one, a killer should not be in a position to make demands; two, Scott had never met or even heard of Monte Scanlon.Scott broke the silence. You asked to see me?”Yes.”Scott nodded, waited for him to say more. He didn’t. So what can I do for you?”Monte Scanlon maintained the stare. Do you know why I’m here?”Scott glanced around the room. Besides Scanlon and himself, four people were present. Linda Morgan, the United States attorney, leaned against the back wall trying to give off the ease of Sinatra against a lamppost. Standing behind the prisoner were two beefy, nearly identical prison guards with tree-stump arms and chests like antique armoires. Scott had met the two cocky agents before, had seen them go about their task with the sereneness of yoga instructors. But today, with this well-shackled prisoner, even these guys were on edge. Scanlon’s lawyer, a ferret reeking of checkout-counter cologne, rounded out the group. All eyes were on Scott.You killed people,” Scott answered. Lots of them.”I was what is commonly called a hit man. I was”—Scanlon paused—an assassin for hire.”On cases that don’t involve me.”True.”Scott’s morning had started off normal enough. He’d been drafting a subpoena on a waste- disposal executive who was paying off a small-town mayor. Routine matter. Everyday graft in the Garden State of New Jersey. That had been, what, an hour, an hour and a half ago? Now he sat across the bolted-down table from a man who had murdered—according to Linda Morgan’s rough estimate—one hundred people.So why did you ask for me?”Scanlon looked like an aging playboy who might have squired a Gabor sister in the fifties. He was small, wizened even. His graying hair was slicked back, his teeth cigarette-yellow, his skin leathery from midday sun and too many long nights in too many dark clubs. No one in the room knew his real name. When captured, his passport read Monte Scanlon, an Argentinean national, age fifty-one. The age seemed about right, but that would be about it. His fingerprints had not popped up in the NCIC computer banks. Facial recognition software had come up with a big goose egg.We need to speak alone.”This is not my case,” Scott said again. There’s a U.S. attorney assigned to you.”This has nothing to do with her.”And it does with me?”Scanlon leaned forward. What I’m about to tell you,” he said, will change your entire life.”Part of Scott wanted to wiggle his fingers in Scanlon’s face and say, Ooooo.” He was used to the captured criminal mindset—their serpentine maneuverings, their quest for an edge, their search for a way out, their overblown sense of importance. Linda Morgan, perhaps sensing his thoughts, shot a warning glare across his bow. Monte Scanlon, she’d told him, had worked for various connected families for the better part of thirty years. RICO hungered for his cooperation in a starving-man-near-a-buffet way. Since h