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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 4

WHEN SHE STOOD behind the lectern, Yuki felt like a little kid peering up over the edge of a table. So she stayed close to the jury box and spoke loudly enough for everyone in the courtroom to hear.

“We can’t know what was in the defendant’s mind when he took the lives of his wife and daughter, and the victims can’t tell us,” she said.

“We don’t have to know or prove motive, but we do have a witness, Ms. Lynnette Lagrande, who will testify that the defendant wanted to ditch his family. She will testify that she was in love with Keith Herman, that Mr. Herman said that he loved her and wanted to marry her. And so Ms. Lynnette Lagrande, a model citizen, patiently waited for Mr. Herman to make good on that promise for the last three years.”

There had been no coughing in the gallery, no shuffling in the jury box, and even when the defense team attempted to distract the jurors and the audience, Yuki had kept all the attention on herself.

But when she said that Lynnette Lagrande would give evidence proving that the defendant wanted to leave his family, John Kinsela snorted—what passed for laughter in his corner of the underworld. Yuki’s cheeks burned, but she didn’t even flick her eyes in opposing counsel’s direction. She had to bring her opening home.

She moved her glossy black hair away from her face, hooked it around her ears, and said to the jury, “The defense will tell you that there is no evidence connecting the death of Jennifer Herman to Keith Herman. They will say that Keith Herman’s fingerprints and DNA were not on the garbage bags—that in fact, Mr. Herman never saw his wife or daughter the day our witness saw him leave his house and put his daughter into his car.

“The defense will impugn the character and the veracity of Mr. Herman’s lover.

“They will tell you that the defendant was misidentified by his neighbor and will maintain that since the body of Lily Herman has never been recovered, there is no evidence that she is even dead.

“So I ask you and I ask them,” Yuki said, pivoting so that she was staring the defendant and his counsel down. “Where is Lily Herman? Where is that little girl?

“The defense will tell you that the people’s case is all based on circumstantial evidence. We have nothing to hide. We cannot put a gun in Mr. Herman’s hand. But circumstantial evidence is real evidence.

“If you go to bed one night and in the morning you see snow in your front yard and there are footprints in that snow, that is circumstantial evidence that snow fell during the night and that someone walked across your yard. You don’t have to actually see the snow falling to conclude that there was snowfall.

“So why are we all here today, ladies and gentlemen?

“We submit to you that Keith Herman did brutally kill Jennifer and Lily Herman so that he could, for once and for all, be free to pursue his life as a wealthy widower and come to the party with no baggage and no financial overhead.

“We cannot let him get away with it. At the conclusion of this trial, you will have evidentiary proof that the defendant did callously commit two premeditated murders.”

The words were just out of Yuki’s mouth when John Kinsela laughed noisily again and once more drew the eyes of the jury to himself.

Yuki sharply objected.

Judge Nussbaum sustained her objection and Kinsela apologized for the interruption. But he had stolen her moment, broken the mood. And he had the jury’s rapt attention as he stood to make his opening statement.

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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