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Invisible
Invisible
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316405345
$28.00/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her nightly recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.

Not even Emmy's ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison "Books" Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected. That is, until Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can't afford to ignore. More murders are reported by the day—and they're all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapons, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?

Invisible
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316405345
$28.00/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Chapter 5

TWO YEARS after it opened, the bookstore in downtown Alexandria still looks fresh and new, red brick with wood trim painted powder blue. The name THE BOOK MAN is stenciled across the front sidewalk window, which is filled with the latest releases, fiction and nonfiction, but focusing more these days on children’s and picture books.

I take a breath before I enter the store, debating yet again the wisdom of this decision. But I’ve hardly slept the last two nights and I’m out of other ideas.

I push through the door to the ding! of a cheerful bell, and I see him before he sees me. He is wearing a plaid short-sleeved shirt untucked, blue jeans, and moccasins. It gives me a start to see him not wearing a suit and tie. It smells like new books and coffee in here. Sedate, peaceful.

He’s behind the counter, ringing up a customer, when he sees me. He does a double take, then remembers to smile at the customer and throws a bookmark into a plastic bag. When the customer’s on her way, he comes around. He wipes his hands on his jeans and stops short of me.

“Hello, Books.” Figure I might as well start.

“Emmy.” Just hearing his voice, deep and commanding but somehow gentle, unleashes so many memories from behind the mental dam I’ve erected. The gentle part is a tad more so, I notice, probably because the last time we saw each other, eight months ago, I was burying my sister. He showed up the morning of the visitation to console me. I’m not sure how he even knew about it —maybe my mother called him; I never asked —but there he was, never pushing, just fading into the woodwork, making himself available if I needed him. He always had the capacity to surprise me.

“Thanks for agreeing to see me,” I say.

“I didn’t. You just showed up.”

“Then thanks for not kicking me out.”

“I haven’t had the chance to kick you out. I still might.”

It’s the first time I’ve smiled in weeks. Books looks great. Fit and relaxed. Happy. The jerk. Isn’t he supposed to be miserable after our breakup?

“Are you still a coffee snob?” I ask.

Now he smiles, a little, grudgingly. Lots of memories there. Even on a government employee’s salary, he always sprang for the good stuff, ordering Italian beans over the Internet. “Of course,” he says. “Are you still a neurotic pain in the ass with a big heart?”

That’s a fair assessment. Books knows me better than anybody. Still, the small talk between us is awkward, forced. I might as well cut to the chase.

“I need your help,” I tell him.

Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson

Invisible
Fiction/General
Audiobook (Unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1478900342
$35.00/U.S.
Hachette Audio

Read by January LaVoy and Kevin Collins

Audio Excerpts (MP3)
Invisible
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316405345
$28.00/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company
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