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12th of Never

It's finally time! Detective Lindsay Boxer is in labor—while two killers are on the loose.

Lindsay Boxer's beautiful baby is born! But after only a week at home with her new daughter, Lindsay is forced to return to work to face two of the biggest cases of her career.

A rising star football player for the San Francisco 49ers is the prime suspect in a grisly murder. At the same time, Lindsay is confronted with the strangest story she's ever heard: An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a violent murder and he's convinced is real. Lindsay doesn't believe him, but then a shooting is called in—and it fits the professor's description to the last detail.

Lindsay doesn't have much time to stop a terrifying future from unfolding. But all the crimes in the world seem like nothing when Lindsay is suddenly faced with the possibility of the most devastating loss of her life.

Book One | THREE WEEKS LATER

Chapter 2

WHEN JENNIFER HERMAN’S dismembered body turned up in eight separate garbage bags, and when seven-year-old Lily Herman hadn’t been found despite the exhaustive police search conducted over a six-month period, Keith Herman was tried in the press and found guilty of murdering them both.

The intense media attention had whipped up a lot of hatred toward Keith Herman. It made it nearly impossible to find a jury who hadn’t watched the network specials, hadn’t seen the rewards offered for information about the missing child, and hadn’t formed an opinion as to the guilt of the accused.

And so jury selection had taken almost three weeks.

Now the press filled half the gallery in courtroom 202, Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco. The other half of the room was filled with citizens who had lined up early enough that morning to have scored one of the precious seats.

At 8:23 a.m. Yuki was at the prosecution table in the blond-wood-paneled courtroom. Her laptop was open and as she went through a long e-mail from Red Dog, she hoped all her witnesses would show up to testify—that they hadn’t been silenced or intimidated (or worse) by the opposition.

Across the aisle, at the defense table, sat two ordinary-looking men who were actually two of the scariest people Yuki had ever met. Keith Herman was paunchy, bald, and had black eyes that looked like bullet holes in his unlined, babyish face. Not all psychopaths look homicidal, but Keith Herman did. Herman had never shown any remorse, not while identifying the sections of meat that had once been his wife, not while discussing his missing daughter.

Herman’s attorney, John Kinsela, was tall with thinning gray hair and a bloodless complexion that made him look as though he climbed out of a coffin at night. Unlike his client, Kinsela was smooth. He expressed sadness and regret. He listened thoughtfully and spoke well and persuasively on camera. He passed as a reasonable facsimile of a person. A little digging into his past had turned up five divorces and the ownership of a Glock semiautomatic, which he carried at all times.

Yuki had been with these ghouls through countless hours of depositions and felt that she knew them too well.

She had dressed this morning in a bright red suit because she had a slight build, could look younger than her years, and because of the fact that red made her look and feel more powerful.

You couldn’t hang back in red. You couldn’t hesitate. You really had to live up to red.

She also wore a gold star on a chain around her neck, a graduation-from-law-school gift from her mother, who had been murdered several years earlier.

Wearing the star kept Keiko Castellano present in Yuki’s mind and might even help her to win.

She had to win.

This was a tremendous opportunity to get justice for the victims, to become a hero to female victims everywhere. It was also an opportunity to be humiliated by a savage attorney and his perverted, murdering client.

It was her job to make sure that Keith Herman didn’t get out of jail—ever.

The buzz in the gallery intensified, then cut off suddenly as the door leading from the judge’s chambers opened behind the bench and Judge Arthur R. Nussbaum entered the courtroom.

Copyright © 2013 by James Patterson

Read by January LaVoy

January LaVoy is a New York-based voice, stage, and television actress. She has performed on and Off-Broadway, and appeared extensively in regional theatres across the country. She is best known for her role as Noelle Ortiz on the long-running ABC daytime drama One Life to Live.

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