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Private: #1 Suspect

Unsolvable cases

Since former Marine Jack Morgan started Private, it has become the world's most effective investigation firm—sought out by the famous and the powerful to discreetly handle their most intimate problems. Private's investigators are the smartest, the fastest, and the most technologically advanced in the world—and they always uncover the truth.

Impossible murders

When his former lover is found murdered in Jack Morgan's bed, he is instantly the number one suspect. While Jack is under police investigation, the mob strong-arms him into recovering $30 million in stolen pharmaceuticals for them. And the beautiful manager of a luxury hotel chain persuades him to quietly investigate a string of murders at her properties.

The #1 suspect is Jack Morgan

While Jack is fighting for his life, one of his most trusted colleagues threatens to leave Private, and Jack realizes he is confronting the cleverest and most powerful enemies ever. With more action, more intrigue, and more twists than ever before, PRIVATE: #1 SUSPECT is James Patterson at his unstoppable best.

Part One | I DIDN'T DO IT

Chapter 4

THE ARRIVAL OF Dr. Sci and Mo-bot improved the odds of figuring out what had happened in my house by 200 percent.

Dr. Sci, real name Seymour Kloppenberg, was Private's chief forensic scientist. He had a long string of degrees behind his name, starting with a PhD in physics from MIT when he was nineteen—and that was only ten years ago.

Mo-bot was Maureen Roth, a fifty-something computer geek and jack-of-all-tech. She specialized in computer crime and was also Private's resident mom.

Mo had brought her camera and her wisdom. Sci had his scene kit packed with evidence-collection equipment of the cutting-edge kind.

We went to my room and the four of us stood around Colleen's dead body as night turned the windows black.

We had all loved Colleen. Every one of us.

"We don't have much time," Justine said, breaking the silence, at work now as an investigator on a homicide. "Jack, I have to ask you, did you have anything to do with this? Because if you did, we can make it all disappear."

"I found Colleen like this when I got home," I said.

"Okay. Just the same," said Justine, "every passing minute makes you more and more the guy who did it. You've got to call it in, Jack. So let's go over everything, fast and carefully. Start from the beginning and don't leave anything out."

As Mo and Sci snapped on latex gloves, Justine turned on a digital recorder and motioned to me to start talking. I told her that after I got off the plane, Aldo had met me at British Airways arrivals, 5:30 sharp.

I told her about showering, then finding Colleen's body. I said that my gun was missing as well as the hard drive from my security system.

I said again that I had no idea why Colleen was here or why she'd been killed. "I didn't do it, Justine."

"I know that, Jack."

We both knew that when the cops got here, I would be suspect number one, and although I had cop friends, I couldn't rely on any of them to find Colleen's killer when I was so darned handy.

I had been intimately involved with the deceased.

There was no forced entry into my house.

The victim was on my bed.

It was what law enforcement liked to call an open-andshut case. Open and shut on me.

Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson

Read by Scott Sowers

Scott Sowers' Broadway credits include Bus Stop, A Streetcar Named Desire, Inherit the Wind and A Few Good Men (LA Dramalogue Award for Performance). Scott is a lifetime member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre. His many TV credits include HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order, Cracker and All My Children. Scott's film credits include True Grit, The Ten, The Village, Dead Man Walking, Erin Brockovich, Magnolia, and My Mother Dreams...(winner, 2000 Academy Award for Short Feature).

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