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The 6th Target

A TERRIFYING ATTACKER
A burst of gunfire leaves several people dead–and one woman fighting for her life. That victim is a member of the Women's Murder Club, four friends who join forces on their toughest cases. Detective Lindsay Boxer pursues one lead after another to capture the man who tried to kill her friend.but the clues don't seem to make sense.

CHILDREN ARE VANISHING
While Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano prepares to prosecute a high-profile trial, the city suffers from a chilling crime spree. Children of wealthy families are being abducted–along with their nannies. Yet the kidnappers are silent and do not demand a ransom. Parents everywhere fear the worst. Now with the entire city gripped in fear, Lindsay must frantically work with her new partner to connect these horrific crimes.

WHO WILL THE NEXT TARGET BE?
From James Patterson, "the man who can't miss" (TIME), comes the most shocking and frightening case ever faced by Lindsay Boxer and the Women's Murder Club.

Chapter 5

CLAIRE’S EYES ROLLED UP, and she slipped away from me. The knees of the gurney buckled, and the paramedics slid the stretcher out of my grasp and into the ambulance.

The doors slammed. The siren started up its blaring whoop, and the ambulance carrying my dearest friend headed into traffic toward San Francisco General.

Time was working against us.

The shooter was gone, and Willie had gone after him.

Tracchio put his hand on my shoulder. “We’re getting descriptions of the doer, Boxer —”

“I have to find Claire’s son,” I said.

I broke away from Tracchio and ran toward the farmer’s market, scanning faces as I pushed past the slow-moving crowd. It was like walking through a herd of cattle.

I looked into every fricking produce stall and in between them, raked the aisles with my eyes, searching desperately for Willie — but it was Willie who found me.

He shoved his way toward me, calling my name. “Lindsay! Lindsay!”

The front of his T-shirt was soaked with blood. He was panting, and his face was rigid with fear.

I grabbed his shoulders with both hands, tears welling up again.

Willie, where are you hurt?”

He shook his head. “This isn’t my blood. My mom’s been shot.

I pulled him to me, hugged him to my chest, felt some of my terrible fear leaving me. At least Willie was okay.

“She’s on her way to the hospital,” I said, wishing I could add, She’ll be fine. “You saw the shooter? What does he look like?”

“He’s a skinny white man,” Willie said as we bumped through the mob. “Has a beard, long brown hair. He kept his eyes down, Lindsay. I never saw his eyes.

“How old is he?”

“Like, maybe a few years younger than you.”

“Early thirties?”

“Yeah. And he’s taller than me. Maybe six foot one, wearing cargo pants and a blue Windbreaker. Lindsay, I heard him say to my mom that she was supposed to stop the shooting. That it was her job. What’s that supposed to mean?”

Claire is chief medical examiner of San Francisco. She’s a forensic pathologist, not a cop.

“You think it was personal? That he targeted your mom? Knew her?”

Willie shook his head. “I was helping to tie up the boat when the screaming started,” he told me. “He shot some other people first. My mom was the last one. He had a gun right up to her head. I grabbed an iron pipe,” he said. “I was going to brain him with it, but he shot at me. Then he jumped overboard. I went after him — but I lost him.”

It really hit me then.

What Willie had done. My voice was loud, and I grabbed his shoulders.

“What if you’d caught up with him? Willie, did you think about that? That ‘skinny white man’ was armed. He would have killed you.”

Tears jumped out of Willie’s eyes, rolled down his sweet, young face. I relaxed my grip on his shoulders, took him into my arms.

“But you were very brave, Willie,” I said. “You were very brave to stand up to a killer to protect your mom.

“I think you saved her life.”

Copyright © 2007 by James Patterson

Read by Carolyn McCormick

Carolyn McCormick has appeared in the films A Simple Twist of Fate and Enemy Mine. She has appeared on television as Dr. Olivit on Law & Order for the past twelve years, and as a guest on The Practice and Star Trek. Her Broadway credits include roles in The Dinner Party and Private Lives. She read 4th of July and The 5th Horseman by James Patterson for Hachette Audio.

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