Read Nightrise Online

Authors: Anthony Horowitz

Tags: #Family, #Action & Adventure, #Juvenile Fiction, #Fantasy & Magic, #General, #Fiction, #People & Places, #Horror & Ghost Stories, #Brothers, #United States, #Supernatural, #Siblings, #Telepathy, #Nevada, #Twins, #Juvenile Detention Homes

Nightrise (38 page)

BOOK: Nightrise
6.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Yesterday, just before lunch, the headmistress had asked to see her in her study. As Scarlett had climbed the stairs to the waiting area that everyone called the graveyard because there were so many portraits of dead teachers, she had wondered what sort of trouble she might be in. Was it that argument with Miss Wilson, the geography teacher? Or the physics homework she had "left on the bus"? Or the fight in the computer room — even if it hadn't been her who'd started it?

But when at last she was shown in to the cozy room with its gas fire and view over the front drive, it was the last thing she had expected to hear.

"Scarlett, I'm afraid you're going to be leaving us for a few weeks." The headmistress didn't look at all pleased. "I've just had a phone call from your father. He was very mysterious, if you want the truth. But it seems some sort of crisis has arisen. He's well — but he needs you to be with him. He's already arranged the flight."

"When am I leaving?"

"Tomorrow. I have to say, it's very inconvenient. You've got your exams to consider and we're going to have to recast the Christmas play. But he was insistent. He said he'd talk to you tonight."

Scarlett had spoken to her father when she got home but he didn't add much more to what the headmistress had already said. He needed her to come out for a week or two. He would explain why when she got there. The housekeeper — a dark and rather sour-looking Scottish woman — was already packing. It seemed that there was nothing to discuss. Scarlett had spent the rest of the evening e-mailing and texting her friends and went to bed in a bad mood.

And she wasn't feeling much better now, waiting for her flight to be called. She looked around her.

There was the usual collection of business people, some of them hitting the free alcohol, others catching up with the day's news. A plasma TV stood in one corner of the lounge and she glanced at the screen.

"Today, the new president-elect of the United States issued a statement…"

They were going on about the election again. For the past week, the news had been full of little else.

Scarlett watched as Charles Baker appeared behind the rostrum, facing the press corps.

"The defeat of Senator John Trelawny sent shock waves among his friends and supporters," the report continued. "The final vote, with Baker taking just over fifty percent of the nationwide ballot and the electoral college, took everyone by surprise and has led to increasingly bitter accusations of electoral fraud."

Now Baker was speaking. He was smartly dressed and looked relaxed. He would have been handsome except that there was something wrong with his eyes. It was as if they weren't quite able to focus.

"I hate to accuse Senator Trelawny of sour grapes," he said. "But these accusations are completely ridiculous and I see no reason for an official inquiry."

The image changed. There were shots of people protesting outside the White House. They were carrying banners, walking in angry silence.

"At issue are the computer systems used to count the votes," the report went on. "Almost seventy percent of votes in a U.S. election are counted by machines, and critics point out that no fewer than three of the main vote-counting companies have strong links with the Nightrise Corporation — which backed Charles Baker throughout the campaign."

Scarlett had been about to stop watching. She had no interest in politics. But one word had caught her attention.


How strange.

That was the company her father worked for in Hong Kong and that was exactly where she was heading now. Could they really have been involved in some sort of fraud? It seemed very unlikely. Her father was a lawyer and she couldn't imagine him ever doing anything wrong.

A young woman in a British Airways uniform had come into the lounge. She walked over to Scarlett.

"Are you ready?" she asked. "We need to go back through departures. They've begun boarding."

Scarlett gathered her things and stood up. The report on the television had finished. She smiled and the two of them left together, on their way to the waiting plane.

To be continued…


There are some books I just couldn't write without help — and this was one of them. So let me start with Crystal Main, Social Services Chief in Carson City, Nevada, who opened so many doors for me. She arranged for me to visit the Jan Evans Juvenile Hall in Reno and the Summit View Youth Correctional Center outside Las Vegas. I have borrowed elements from both in writing this, but Silent Creek is entirely my own invention. I'd also like to thank Audrey Fetters, the superintendent at Summit View. I was very fortunate to meet Lynda Shoshone and Keith Daniel Wyatt, both elders of the Washoe Indian tribe; they told me much about their culture and history. I also owe a debt of thanks to Robert Wilkins, who first suggested Auburn to me as a location. The town — right down to the statue of Claude Chana

— is exactly as I describe it in the book. My assistant, Cat Taylor, arranged the research trip for me, and my editors, Chris Kloet and David Levi than, have helped knock the book into shape. Finally, my son —

Cassian — read the manuscript and gave me some great ideas.

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BOOK: Nightrise
6.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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