James Patterson returns to the genre that made him famous with a thrilling teen detective series about the mysterious and magnificently wealthy Angel family...and the dark secrets they're keeping from one another.
On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, Tandy Angel knows just three things: 1) She was the last person to see her parents alive. 2) The police have no suspects besides Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can't trust anyone—maybe not even herself. Having grown up under Malcolm and Maud's intense perfectionist demands, no child comes away undamaged. Tandy decides that she will have to clear the family name, but digging deeper into her powerful parents' affairs is a dangerous-and revealing-game. Who knows what the Angels are truly capable of?
I have some really bad secrets to share with someone, and it might as well be you—a stranger, a reader of books, but most of all, a person who can’t hurt me. So here goes nothing, or maybe everything. I’m not sure if I can even tell the difference anymore.
The night my parents died—after they’d been carried out in slick black body bags through the service elevator—my brother Matthew shouted at the top of his powerful lungs, “My parents were vile, but they didn’t deserve to be taken out with the trash!”
He was right about the last part—and, as things turned out, the first part as well.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? Please forgive me…. I do that a lot.
I’d been asleep downstairs, directly under my parents’ bedroom, when it happened. So I never heard a thing—no frantic thumping, no terrified shouting, no fracas at all. I woke up to the scream of sirens speeding up Central Park West, maybe one of the most common sounds in New York City.
But that night it was different.
The sirens stopped right downstairs. That was what caused me to wake up with a hundred-miles-an-hour heartbeat. Was the building on fire? Did some old neighbor have a stroke?
I threw off my double layer of blankets, went to my window, and looked down to the street, nine dizzying floors below. I saw three police cruisers and what could have been an unmarked police car parked on Seventy-second Street, right at the front gates of our apartment building, the exclusive and infamous Dakota.
A moment later our intercom buzzed, a jarring blat-blat that punched right through my flesh and bones.
Why was the doorman paging us? This was crazy.
My bedroom was the one closest to the front door, so I bolted through the living room, hooked a right at the sharks in the aquarium coffee table, and passed between Robert and his nonstop TV.
When I reached the foyer, I stabbed at the intercom button to stop the irritating blare before it woke up the whole house.
I spoke in a loud whisper to the doorman through the speaker: “Sal? What’s happening?”
“Miss Tandy? Two policemen are on the way up to your apartment right now. I couldn’t stop them. They got a nine-one-one call. It’s an emergency. That’s what they said.”
“There’s been a mistake, Sal. Everyone is asleep here. It’s after midnight. How could you let them up?”
Before Sal could answer, the doorbell rang, and then fists pounded the door. A harsh masculine voice called out, “This is the police.”
I made sure the chain was in place and then opened the door—but just a crack.
I peered out through the opening and saw two men in the hallway. The older one was as big as a bear but kind of soft-looking and spongy. The younger one was wiry and had a sharp, expressionless face, something like a hatchet blade, or… no, a hatchet blade is exactly right.
The younger one flashed his badge and said, “Sergeant Capricorn Caputo and Detective Ryan Hayes, NYPD. Please open the door.”
Capricorn Caputo? I thought. Seriously? “You’ve got the wrong apartment,” I said. “No one here called the police.”
“Open the door, miss. And I mean right now.”
“I’ll get my parents,” I said through the crack. I had no idea that my parents were dead and that we would be the only serious suspects in a double homicide. I was in my last moment of innocence.
But who am I kidding? No one in the Angel family was ever innocent.
Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson
Emma Galvin is a recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Her films include My Suicidal Sweetheart, A Perfect Fit, and The Big Bad Swim. She has performed in several regional theatre productions including Love Punky, The Power of Birds, and The Realm.