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Authors: John Lutz

Frenzy

BOOK: Frenzy
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Highest Praise for
John Lutz
 
 
“John Lutz knows how to make you shiver.”
—Harlan Coben
 
“Lutz offers up a heart-pounding roller coaster of a tale.”
—Jeffery Deaver
 
“John Lutz is one of the masters of the police novel.”
—Ridley Pearson
 
“John Lutz is a major talent.”
—John Lescroart
 
“I've been a fan for years.”
—T. Jefferson Parker
 
“John Lutz just keeps getting better and better.”
—Tony Hillerman
 
“Lutz ranks with such vintage masters
of big-city murder
as Lawrence Block and Ed McBain.”
—
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“Lutz is among the best.”
—
San Diego Union
 
“Lutz knows how to seize and hold the
reader's imagination.”
—
Cleveland Plain Dealer
 
“It's easy to see why he's won an Edgar
and two Shamuses.”
—
Publishers Weekly
 
 
Twist
 
“One of the top ten mystery novels of 2013.”
—
The Strand Magazine
 
 
Pulse
 
“Grisly murders seen through the eyes of killer
and victim; crime scenes from which clues slowly
accumulate; a determined killer . . . compelling.”
—
Booklist
 
“One of the ten best books of the year.”
—
The Strand Magazine
 
 
Serial
 
“Wow, oh wow, oh wow . . . that's as simple as I can
put it. You gotta read this one.”
—
True Crime Book Reviews
 
 
Mister X
 
“A page-turner to the nail-biting end . . . twisty,
creepy whodunit.”
—
Publishers Weekly
(starred review)
 
 
Night Kills
 
“Lutz's skill will keep you glued to this thick thriller.”
—
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
 
Urge to Kill
 
“A solid and compelling winner . . . sharp
characterization, compelling dialogue and graphic
depictions of evil.... Lutz knows how to keep
the pages turning.”
—
BookReporter.com
 
 
In for the Kill
 
“Shamus and Edgar award – winner Lutz gives us
further proof of his enormous talent . . . an
enthralling page-turner.”
—
Publishers Weekly
 
 
Chill of Night
 
“The ingenuity of the plot shows that Lutz
is in rare form.”
—
The New York Times Book Review
 
“A dazzling tour de force . . . compelling, absorbing.”
—
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
 
Fear the Night
 
 
“A tense, fast-moving novel, a plot-driven page-turner
of the first order . . . a great read!”
—
Book Page
Darker Than Night
 
“Readers will believe that they just stepped off a Tilt-A-Whirl
after reading this action-packed police
procedural.”
—
The Midwest Book Review
 
 
Night Victims
 
“John Lutz knows how to ratchet up the terror.... He
propels the story with effective twists and a fast pace.”
—
Sun-Sentinel
 
 
The Night Watcher
 
“Compelling . . . a gritty psychological
thriller.... Lutz draws the reader deep into the
killer's troubled psyche.”
—
Publishers Weekly
 
 
Final Seconds
 
“Lutz always delivers the goods, and this is
no exception.”
—
Booklist
A
LSO BY
J
OHN
L
UTZ
*Carnage: The Prequel to “Frenzy”
(e-short)
*Twist
*Pulse
*Switch
(e-short)
*Serial
*Mister X
*Urge to Kill
*Night Kills
*In for the Kill
Chill of Night
Fear the Night
*Darker Than Night
Night Victims
The Night Watcher
The Night Caller
Final Seconds
(with David August)
The Ex
Single White Female
 
 
*featuring Frank Quinn
 
 
Available from Kensington Publishing Corp. and
Pinnacle Books
JOHN LUTZ
FRENZY
PINNACLE BOOKS
Kensington Publishing Corp.
www.kensingtonbooks.com
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
For Wendy
Love always
PART ONE
These be
Three silent things:
The falling snow . . . the hour
Before the dawn . . . the mouth of one
Just dead.
 
—A
DELAIDE
C
RAPSEY
, “Triad”
1
Creighton, Maine, two years ago
 
G
asping for air, Quinn tried to lengthen his stride but couldn't. He swallowed, accepted the pain. Kept running.
The killer was far enough ahead of him that he couldn't be seen through the trees, but occasionally Quinn could hear him crashing through the brush in his flight for freedom. The noise of the killer's desperate dash seemed to be getting louder.
Quinn was gaining. Some of the others were, too, he was sure. But he had laid out everything he had in the beginning, putting every fiber and muscle he had into the chase. Now he was paying for it, but he was closest.
Quinn was closest, and closing.
 
 
It was like a fox hunt, and he was the fox.
The killer, whose grisly calling card read simply D.O.A., pressed on through the rustle and crackle of last year's dead leaves, listening to the barking dogs, the occasional human shouts. His pursuers were gaining on him. It was as if they were actually having fun with him. With
him!
He was out of breath, and almost out of options. But
almost
could be the most important word in the English language.
The ground was gradually falling away. He could see it beginning to slope, and he could feel it in the fronts of his thighs. He knew from the grade that he was approaching water.
Almost there!
The hectic barking of the dogs was getting louder. More frantic. He wondered what kind of dogs they were. The animals sounded as if they were in a frenzy, as if they wanted to kill him.
And maybe that was the game.
The killer glimpsed a blue-green plane of water through the foliage ahead, and his hope surged.
The lake!
The question was, where along the shoreline was he going to emerge from the woods? Where would his sudden appearance
not
draw attention and bullets?
This can still work! It can still work!
He put on what in his mind was a burst of speed, but was in reality simply a great deal of thrashing around, like an exhausted long distance runner approaching the tape.
Almost there!
Almost!
2
Sarasota, Florida, 1992
 
“D
wayney!”
The house where it happened was at the edge of the water. The green lawn sloped gently away from the house, to an Olympic-sized swimming pool that appeared to merge with the bay. It made for an interesting illusion.
“Dwayney, honey?”
Maude Evans was lying posed on a webbed lounger at the edge of the rectangular pool, looking oddly as if she were floating on an invisible horizon. Every half minute or so she stretched her lithe, tanned body so she could reach her whiskey sour, take a sip, then replace the glass on a small white table. Towels were folded carefully beneath her so the lounger's webbing wouldn't make temporary ugly marks on her sleek body.
“Dwayney, fetch me another drink!” Maude called.
Dwayne's body jerked. He'd been half dozing in the late-morning Florida sun. He peered over at Maude above the dark frames of his sunglasses. Looking back at him, Maude held up her drink and swished around what was left in the bottom of the glass. A clear signal and command.
He obediently went inside to the kitchen and carefully made a whiskey sour the way he'd been taught. Dwayne personally didn't like whiskey sours. For that matter, what limited experience he'd had suggested to him that he'd never like alcoholic drinks. But after building Maude's drink he sipped it to make sure it tasted the way she wanted it to taste.
More like demanded.
When he went back outside and handed the glass to Maude, she seemed to notice him only barely. Dwayne thought she smelled wonderful, of mingled scents of lotion and perspiration that gleamed on her smooth tan skin.
He left poolside and stood on the rear deck of the house, where he could observe his soon-to-be stepmother. He'd just turned fourteen, and he couldn't help but be enthralled by Maude. Not that she minded. She would secretly urge him on, smiling and winking at him behind his father's back.
Well, not so secretly. They were both amused by Dwayne's discomfort, by his inability to conceal the erection he would often get in Maude's presence. This embarrassed Dwayne so that he blushed a vivid pink, provoking their laughter. Sometimes, to tame and reduce the erection, Dwayne would think about his late mother. About how he'd hated her.
She and Dwayne's father had used him in ways he hadn't imagined possible. Ways he despised, and that made him despise them and himself.
When Dwayne's mother died nine months ago, Dwayne hadn't known how to feel. He did know the nighttime visits would stop, the gin breath and the giggling, his pain that his parents so enjoyed. His father had objected to hurting him that way at first, then his mother had convinced him that it didn't matter. That Dwayne actually enjoyed what they were doing. She had figured out various ways to prove it.
When she died from heart failure that was somehow connected with the white powder she and her husband used, Dwayne had to pretend to mourn convincingly enough to fool the phony friends and business associates who came to pay their respects. He got pretty good at it.
What was life but playing a series of roles?
There had never been mention of where his father had obtained Maude Evans. She'd simply shown up a few weeks after his mother's death. His mother's life.
Maude smoothly replaced the life part with her own version.
Dwayne's own life slipped into a routine. He was supposedly being homeschooled. A strict tutor, Mrs. Jacoby, would arrive at nine o'clock every weekday and stay until one o'clock. She was a broad, middle-aged woman with a perpetual scowl. There was no need for him to know her first name, as long as he learned his prime numbers and Latin roots. She took no crap from Dwayne.
Mrs. Jacoby and Maude seemed barely to notice each other. Or maybe that was just in Dwayne's presence.
At precisely nine o'clock, when Mrs. Jacoby arrived, was when his father would go to work at his property procurement and management office. The company owned prime beach front property all over Florida, and some in the Carolinas. Money was no problem. Money allowed for the regular, sun-drenched routine. It was something taken for granted.
After the conversation Dwayne overheard between Maude and Bill Phoenix, the man who came every other day to service the pool, Dwayne knew that money was all that had attracted Maude to his father. Phoenix was a tall, rangy guy with friendly brown eyes, muscles that rippled, and curly black hair on his head and chest. He looked like he'd make a great James Bond in the movies. Maude and money had attracted Bill Phoenix.
Dwayne knew that Maude and the swimming pool guy had plans.
BOOK: Frenzy
13.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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