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Confessions: The Paris Mysteries

The City of Lights sets the stage for romance, drama and intrigue in the latest Confessions novel from the world's bestselling mystery writer!

After investigating multiple homicides and her family's decades-old skeletons in the closet, Tandy Angel is finally reunited with her lost love in Paris. But as he grows increasingly distant, Tandy is confronted with disturbing questions about him, as well as what really happened to her long-dead sister. With no way to tell anymore who in her life she can trust, how will Tandy ever get to the bottom of the countless secrets her parents kept from her? James Patterson leads this brilliant teenage detective through Paris on a trail of lies years in the making, with shocking revelations around every corner.

THE BEST OF TIMES. THE WORST OF TIMES.

1

Hello, friend.

I’m writing to you from Paris on a stunning day that is way beyond anything I could have imagined. I thought I was prepared for this, but I was wrong.

I remembered how I endured months of a forced and hellish separation from my boyfriend, James Rampling, when I didn’t know if he was alive or dead. How my mind was wiped of nearly every memory of our time together, until I doubted his entire existence. So now, as I stood in front of the astounding Musée du Louvre, scanning the elegantly dressed crowds for a sight of him, it felt completely unreal that he would appear.

And then—he called my name.

James darted through the speeding traffic circling the Place du Carrousel. When he finally reached me, and after we’d exchanged a few shy words, he lifted me off the ground and swept me into an amazing kiss that I’d rate ten big blinking stars and another couple for sheer epicness.

I’m not the gushy type. I’m rational and logical, and not exactly prone to girly exaggeration, so when I say that kiss was like two halves of one heart meeting and locking together, you can believe me.

Or believe the cars driving past us with honking horns and people shouting out the windows, “Vive l’amour!”—Long live love!—and “Eh, il ya des hôtels pour ça!”—There are hotels for that!

My long-lost boyfriend and I stood there under the noonday sun in the center of Paris, traffic whizzing by us, ruffling our hair and sending a hot breeze up my skirt.

James’s face was so open, I could see his thoughts.

“I love you,” he said. I already knew.

As I said, “I love you, too,” a defeated look came into his eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, alarmed.

James was looking over my shoulder, and I turned and saw that a black car had braked to a stop a dozen yards from where we stood. Three men leapt out. Two of them were heavily muscled and the third was tall with thick black hair that was pure white at the temples and wearing a black trench coat. He came toward us, and I saw that his face was all twisted up with fury.

He called out sharply, “James. We have to talk, son.”

James turned me away from the car so that I was looking only at him. He grabbed me by my shoulders and gazed at me intensely with both love and desperation in his eyes. He said, “It’s my father, Tandy. You have to run.”

“No. Absolutely not. I’m not leaving you,” I replied, but he begged me to do what he said.

“Please. I’ll find you again. I will. But if he gets his hands on you, he’ll hurt you. He’ll crush you, Tandy. Just run.”

Really? Run and wait another six months or a year or ten in the dark while James tries to escape his father? I think not. Maybe Mr. Rampling could hurt me, but no one had the power to crush me. “I have a better idea.”

I fixed my eyes on the ruthless Royal Rampling and yelled, “We’re not afraid of you!” I pointed an accusing finger at him and screamed, “Ravisseur! Kidnapper!”

James began yelling at him, too. His face was bright red, and cords stood out in his neck. “I’m not your property. I don’t belong to you!”

We attracted attention, that’s for sure. People streamed toward us. Cars jammed on their brakes. Cameras and cell phones were pointed at us, and I guessed we’d hear police sirens any minute.

Mr. Rampling must’ve realized that, too. He scoffed, then called out to James, “Ce n’est pas fini jusqu’à ce que je dis c’est fini.” It’s not over until I say it’s over.

Then he and his goons turned and stomped off to his car.

James and I stood together and watched them go.

This was a triumph, an incomparable victory.

Love had won the day.

Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson

Read by Lauren Fortgang

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