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Don't Blink
Don't Blink
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036234
$27.99/U.S.
384 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446568848
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

The good

New York's Lombardo's Steak House is famous for three reasons—the menu, the clientele, and now, the gruesome murder of an infamous mob lawyer. Effortlessly, the assassin slips through the police's fingers, and his absence sparks a blaze of accusations about who ordered the hit.

The bad

Seated at a nearby table, reporter Nick Daniels is conducting a once-in-a-lifetime interview with a legendary baseball bad boy. In the chaos, he accidentally captures a key piece of evidence that lands him in the middle of an all-out war between Italian and Russian mafia forces. NYPD captains, district attorneys, mayoral candidates, media kingpins, and one shockingly beautiful magazine editor are all pushing their own agendas—on both sides of the law.

And the dead

Back off—or die—is the clear message Nick receives as he investigates for a story of his own. Heedless, and perhaps in love with his beautiful editor, Nick endures humiliation, threats, violence, and worse in a thriller that overturns every expectation and finishes with the kind of flourish only James Patterson knows.

Don't Blink
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036234
$27.99/U.S.
384 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446568848
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Part One | A JOB TO DIE FOR

Chapter 3

ALAN DOVE BENEATH the steering wheel, the lug wrench held like a baton in one hand, his running shoe in the other.

I tried to see what he was doing. Of course, what I should’ve been doing was paying attention to what he asked me to do—hold the wheel steady.

Oh, shit! Look out! Look out!

The Jeep suddenly swerved, the two left tires leaping a foot off the ground and nearly flipping us over. I could hear Alan’s head slam against the driver’s-side door as I struggled to straighten the wheel. Ouch!

“Sorry, Alan!” I shouted. “You okay?”

“Yeah, but throw me some light down here. I dropped the damn wrench.”

“Sorry, man.”

“No, you’re doing fine. Just hold that steering wheel steady!”

I flipped the flashlight back on for him. The wrench had fallen behind the brake pedal. With his right foot still on the gas, Alan scooped up the tool and shoved it into his shoe. I still had no idea what he was doing.

Then it hit me.

Alan was weighing down the gas pedal, wasn’t he?

Sure enough, as I traded glances between him and the road, I saw Alan replace his foot with his weighted-down shoe. Using the laces like stitches, he looped them around the pedal, quickly tying them tight as he could under the circumstances.

Just as fast he came back up and yanked the belt from his pants, securing the steering wheel to a steel rod beneath his seat.

We were officially on cruise control.

Now what?

Only I didn’t really need to ask that question and get an answer. I just didn’t want to believe what was happening.

“Are you ready?” Alan asked. “You better be. We’re out of here!”

“You’re kidding me!”

“No, I’m dead serious. You see that boulder up ahead on the right? There’s an embankment right after it,” he said.

“How do you know that?”

“I was a Boy Scout, Nick. Always prepared. All we have to do is tuck and roll and they’ll never see us! Trust me.”

I aimed the flashlight at the speedometer. We were pushing the needle at eighty miles an hour. What’s that, doc? Tuck and roll?

But there was no time to discuss or argue; that boulder and the embankment were a few seconds away. With another bullet whizzing by us, I took a deep breath and told Alan all he needed to hear.

“Fuckin’ A, let’s do it!”

I grabbed my knapsack and turned to grab the roll bar. Ping! went another bullet. And another: Ping! And then dozens of pops and pings.

Gnashing my teeth to build my nerve, I could taste the swirling dirt deep in my mouth. In my four years at Northwestern as a journalism major, not once did I take a class called Tuck and Roll. Wish I had. Would have been much more useful than some of the things I learned about grammar and ethics.

Geronimo!

I jumped into the darkness, then slammed into the soil. Only it didn’t feel like soil. It felt like concrete, the pain shooting through my body like an exploding bomb.

I wanted to scream. Don’t scream, Nick! They’ll hear you!

So much for my tucking skills. As for the rolling, I immediately had that down pat—as in, down and down and down the embankment. When I finally stopped, dizzy to the point of vomiting, I turned and looked up.

Continuing in hot pursuit of our Jeep was another Jeep of trigger-happy Janjaweed, surely thinking that they were closer than ever to killing a couple of troublemaking Americans. They’d catch on soon enough—maybe another mile or two—but by then Alan and I would be like two needles in a haystack in the dead of night. They’d never find us. At least I hoped that was the case.

“You okay?” came Alan’s voice. He was maybe ten feet away from me.

“Yeah,” I said. “You?”

“Never better, man.”

I saw a familiar glow coming from Alan’s hand. It was an iridium satellite phone. I had the same one somewhere on me.

“Who are you calling?” I asked.

“Domino’s Pizza,” he joked. “You like pepperoni?”

I laughed. Never did a laugh feel so good.

“No, I’m calling for backup,” he said. “It’s time you and I got the hell out of Dodge. A dead surgeon and reporter won’t do much for world peace and all that good stuff we care so much about, huh, Nick?”

Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson

Don't Blink
Fiction/General
Audiobook (unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1607882345
$34.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by David Patrick Kelly

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Don't Blink
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316036234
$27.99/U.S.
384 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446568848
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

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