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Authors: John Lutz

Switch

BOOK: Switch
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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
 
 
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
 
“Mister X
has everything: a dangerous killer, a pulse-pounding mystery, a shocking solution, and an ending that will resonate with the reader long after the final sentence is read.”
 
“A page-turner to the nail-biting end ... twisty, creepy whodunit.”
—
Publishers Weekly
(starred review)
 
 
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.”
 
 
Night Kills
 
“Lutz's skill will keep you glued to this thick thriller.”
—
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“Superb suspense ... The kind of book that makes you check to see if all the doors and windows are locked.”
—
Affaire de Coeur
 
 
In for the Kill
 
“Brilliant ... a very scary and suspenseful read.”
—
Booklist
 
“Shamus and Edgar award–winner Lutz gives us further proof of his enormous talent ... an enthralling page turner.”
—
Publishers Weekly
 
 
Chill of Night
 
“Since Lutz can deliver a hard-boiled P.I. novel or a bloody thriller with equal ease, it's not a surprise to find him applying his skills to a police procedural in
Chill of Night
. But the ingenuity of the plot shows that Lutz is in rare form.”
—
The New York Times Book Review
 
“Lutz keeps the suspense high and populating his story with a collection of unique characters that resonate with the reader, making this one an ideal beach read.”
—
Publishers Weekly
 
“A dazzling tour de force ... compelling, absorbing.”
—
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“A great read! Lutz kept me in suspense right up to the end.”
—
Midwest Book Review
 
 
Fear the Night
 
“A twisted cat-and-mouse game ... a fast-moving crime thriller ... Lutz skillfully brings to life the sniper's various victims.”
—
Publishers Weekly
 
“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
ALSO BY JOHN LUTZ
*Pulse
 
Single White Female
 
*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
 
*featuring Frank Quinn
 
 
Available from Kensington Publishing Corp. and Pinnacle Books
SWITCH
JOHN LUTZ
PINNACLE BOOKS
Kensington Publishing Corp.
www.kensingtonbooks.com
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
PROLOGUE
May 9, 10:40 a.m.
 
“There's a finger in her,” Nift said, watching Pearl Kasner's face for a reaction.
She didn't show much of one.
Quinn and Pearl watched Medical Examiner Dr. Julius Nift, crouched low near the woman's body, move his shoulders and arms, probe with what looked like long, thin tweezers, then stare and shake his head. Before him, lying between the corpse's widely spread legs, was a small, bloody object.
“What do you mean,” Pearl asked, “a finger?”
Nift held up his rubber-gloved left hand, fingers spread. “One of these.” He made a fist except for his extended forefinger. “This one, to be exact. Or one like it.” He grinned. “It was lodged in her vaginal tract. Wanna take a look?”
Pearl did. So did Quinn.
Quinn said, “Man's finger?”
“Almost certainly. Right size for a man's. Nail's trimmed close. No polish. Lots of stuff under it. Maybe rich with DNA.”
“Fingerprint?”
“Should be discernible. Once we get it cleaned up.”
Quinn nodded, standing with his fists propped on his hips, and glanced around Alexis Hoffermuth's luxurious penthouse apartment, amazed anew by the vastness of the room they were in and the obvious wealth that showed in every facet of the place.
He had met Alexis Hoffermuth here just two days earlier, when she was alive.
Her body had been discovered scarcely an hour ago after she didn't show up for an eight o'clock appointment (so unlike her), and failed to answer either her cell or land line phone.
The doorman had admitted the woman she was scheduled to meet in regard to a political fund-raiser, and there Alexis Hoffermuth was, in her altered state.
Pearl and Quinn looked at each other, each knowing what the other was thinking: money and murder were such close friends.
“Strange calling card,” said Nift, who liked to play detective, “a forefinger in her twat.” He glanced at Pearl to see if he'd gotten a rise out of her. “Whaddya make of it, Pearl?”
“If he's a serial killer, he's limited to nine more victims.”
“Unless—” Nift began.
“Shut up,” Pearl said, and he did.
“She was over fifty,” Quinn said, nodding toward the victim. “You'd never know it, even like this.”
The dead woman stared wide-eyed back at him, flecks of blood visible in the white around her pupils, the way eyes were after someone's been strangled. In this instance, strangulation appeared to have been caused by the Burberry scarf around her neck. Yet the expression of pain and bewilderment frozen on her face wasn't quite like that of a strangulation victim.
“There are a lot of imitation scarves like that floating around New York,” Nift said. “You think that one's real?”
“It's real,” Pearl said.
“The boobs aren't,” Nift said.
“You would notice that.”
“Expensive job, though. But then, it would be.”
“No need to wonder about cause of death,” Quinn said, changing the subject before Nift and Pearl clashed. They often played this game. Nift seemed to regard making Pearl lose her temper a challenge. Not that she was his only target.
“Don't be too sure,” Nift said. “Cause of death can be tricky.” Squatted down as he was, he craned his neck and glanced around, as if seeing the upper half of his surroundings clearly for the first time. “Place is big enough to be a museum. Looks kinda like one, the way it's furnished.”
“What about time of death?” Pearl asked. She didn't want to talk about décor.
“The victim sometime between midnight and three o'clock this morning. The finger sometime before then.”
“How do you know that?” Quinn asked.
“That the finger died before she did?” Nift grinned. “Putrefaction, discoloration, suggest several days, depending on ambient temperature. Also, I gave it the sniff test.” He grinned wickedly at Pearl. “Wanna smell?”
“That finger's not the worst smelling thing in this room,” Pearl said angrily.
Nift ignored her. He'd gotten a rise out of Pearl again. He was temporarily ahead on points in the game he insisted they play.
Like Quinn, Pearl was a former NYPD homicide detective. Now they were part of Quinn and Associates Investigations—Q&A, as it was commonly called. The agency was formed when Quinn decided to extend his avocation beyond hunting down serial killers, which was his area of expertise. Q&A was more of a traditional detective agency now, and its employees were part owners and had a stake in its success.
Because of Quinn's legendary and well-earned reputation for tracking and apprehending serial killers, the agency sometimes still did work for hire for the city. That work wasn't exclusively serial killer cases; now it included almost any kind of criminal case that was high profile, sensitive, or for any other reason important to the city, or to the political well-being of its police commissioner. These contracts were mainly because the police commissioner, Harley Renz, and Quinn went back a long way.
Not that they liked each other. Quinn lived by his code, and Renz was without a code and enthusiastically corrupt. Still, the two men got along. Frequently they could help each other obtain what they wanted, however different those wants might be.
The techs from the crime scene unit were still going over the vast apartment with their lights and chemicals, cameras and print powder.
“Maybe they'll find something,” Nift said, motioning with his arm to take in the activity around him.
“I know what they won't find,” Quinn said.
Nift straightened up beside his black bag and looked at him. “You know something about what went on here?”
“Maybe,” Quinn said.
BOOK: Switch
4.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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