Two Nights by Kathy ReichsTwo Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights

byKathy Reichs

Hardcover | July 11, 2017

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller—featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct….

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing.

But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found?

It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons—because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.
Kathleen Joan "Kathy" Reichs was born in 1950 and is a native of Chicago. In 1971 she graduated from American University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology, and in 1972 she earned a Master of Arts in physical anthropology from Northwestern University. Reichs received her Ph.D. in physical anthropology from Northwestern Univ...
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Title:Two NightsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.4 inPublished:July 11, 2017Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476726450

ISBN - 13:9781476726458

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Customer Reviews of Two Nights

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from I'm liking it I seriously am enjoying this. Not the best read but something I can easily come back to every night. It will be a fast read. Not sure about the 1st person writing and I wish there was more interesting characters...I'm still only at chapter 5.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A solid read Interesting new character, well-paced and a quick read. I would read the second book if the author turns this into a series.
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different Huge fan, enjoyed it very much. Very different from the Temperance Brennan yet very interesting.
Date published: 2017-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Really enjoyed the plot and characters
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Okay A good story from KR, not her best ,but good.
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Latest novel by Kathy Reichs! Two Nights is the newest novel by author Kathy Reichs. For the past six years, Sunday “Sunnie” Night has been living on remote Goat’s Island (off Charleston, South Carolina). Sunday receives an unexpected visit from her former foster father, Beau Beaumonde. Beau has a case that needs someone with Sunday’s skill set. One year and a week ago, Opaline Drucker lost her daughter and grandson to a bombing at a Hebrew girls’ school in Chicago. Her granddaughter, Stella was not found. Opaline wants Sunday to get answers and she is willing to pay handsomely for Sunday’s services. It will be a challenging task and it brings long buried memories to the surface. What happened to Stella? Can Sunday get answers for Opaline? What will happen to Sunday along the way? Two Nights was a hard book for me to read. I was hoping for a fast-paced suspense novel. Two Nights is a slow starter. I was never able to get into the story. I ended up skimming through some of it (i.e. speed reading). I was not a fan of Sunday Night. She is intelligent, tough, stubborn, inventive, sarcastic, distant, does not trust easily, and does not let people get close to her. I think it was hard to connect with Sunday because readers are given few details on her past. We get little bits during the story with the main details revealed at the end of the book (too late). The one thing I liked about Sunday was her pet squirrel, Bob. My rating for Two Nights is 3 out of 5 stars. Two Nights is supposed to be a suspense novel, but I did not feel it. I particularly disliked the alternating chapters (which do not make sense until the end). Add to that every single detail of Sunday’s day (what she did, where she went, what she ate, flopping on the bed, etc.). The story needed something more. I think it would have helped if the book had been written in the third person (instead of first person). The mystery seemed complicated, but I accurately guessed the outcome early in the story. There are some parts that are a little implausible. The case has gone cold (despite the Chicago PD’s best efforts), but Sunday can get a lead right away and solve it within a short period of time. Two Nights does not have the same appeal as Ms. Reichs other creations. Two Nights does contain violence (quite a bit) and foul language.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very different from the Temperance Brennan books, but still a great read! I really enjoyed this book and, in particular, the realistic plot/ending. Mystery/thriller books often feel just a little bit too far fetched to me - often because the ending is too easy and/or tidy - but this felt almost like reading a non-fiction story (which made it all the more chilling). I liked that I was often confused while reading. We'd get a little nugget of information but it would take a few pages - or chapters - to actually understand the significance; Sunnie would react to something in a way that was odd or unexpected and it wasn't until much later that you'd find the puzzle piece to complete the picture. The storytelling was fantastic. Sunnie was a great protagonist and I loved that her sass, wit, and snark was balanced by regret, anxiety, and empathy. She was a genuinely well-rounded character and I loved that her experiences in this book didn't change her or her core values, they just expanded her vision and tweaked her outlook on certain things in a very believable way. I also just loved that the book was primarily set in Chicago. I love the city and go every chance I get so it was fun to be able to visualize everything accurately in my mind and to see that I've often walked in Sunnie's footsteps. 10 extra points for repeated use of the word "moustachioed ." I didn't love this book quite as much as I love the Temperance Brennan books, but Kathy Reichs has definitely proved (proven? I'm too tired for grammar) she's a versatile writer and more than capable of writing outside of Brennan's world. (Not that I ever doubted her in the first place.)
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A big let down. I wish I hadn’t read this book. The main character has a silly name and the storyline is out in left field. It is so unbelievable that I could not enjoy it. The style is clipped with very short sentences and attempts to be very macho. Not an enjoyable read at all. I have read all the Temperance Brennan books and thoroughly enjoyed them all. The stories make sense and are a good read. This one has spoiled it all for me. I gave it one star because the site will not let me give none.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great read Another great read from a great author.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A stand alone from Reichs I'm always up for a new read from Kathy Reichs. Her newest book, Two Nights, is a stand alone that introduces us to a great female lead named Sunday Night. Sunday is ex-military and a former cop turned walking wounded private investigator in South Carolina. She's carrying a lot of baggage from her own past, both psychological and physical. She's smart, tough and tenacious with the attitude to match. When she's asked to look for a young girl who has been missing for more than a year, she takes the job - there are aspects to the case that strike a personal chord. Two Nights? Sunny has a brother named August - Gus for short. And he too has a wide and varied skill set. I enjoyed his laid back, smooth style. The two have worked together before and team up again for this latest. The banter between the two is quick and the dialogue is staccato and sharp. This is true of the whole book. The plot borrows from current news headlines, but Reichs puts an inventive spin on her plotting. She keeps us guessing about Sunnie's past with memories and asides. As the book progresses, more and more is revealed until we discover the truth in the last few chapters. (And she caught me off guard....) Cut between chapters are italicized chapters from a woman being held in captivity that count down from two weeks ago to the present. Time seems to be of the essence in both plot lines. Yes, Two Nights is a departure from the tone and tenor of the Tempe Brennan novels. It's definitely action oriented and almost read like movie. And yes, some of the plotting is a bit far fetched. But you know - I enjoyed seeing something new and different from an author I follow. I thought Sunday was a great new lead character - and you can never have enough female kick butt leads. I found Two Nights to be an entertaining read. I wonder if there will be another Night novel? If so, this reader would pick it up.
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good book I enjoy the series bones based on her books as well.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Two Nights is an okay read that kept me somewhat entertained. Two Nights is the story about Sunny Night, a reclusive ex-cop who is pulled into a missing persons case and is forced to face a past that forever changed her. This was my first time reading Kathy Reichs. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I liked a lot of things in Two Nights, mainly the actual mystery and main character, but the writing style left me unsatisfied. The mystery is full of twist and turns that kept me guessing from the first page to the last. It was engaging and intriguing and kept me reading while I was reading. I make that distinction because when I took a break from reading, I had to convince myself to pick it back up again. This is due to my dislike of the writing style. I couldn't connect with it. It felt like there was a barrier between the story because of the writing and I. Reichs' style is abrupt yet descriptive throughout the entire novel. This may be a reflection of the main character's mental state or the author's style (as I have previously mentioned I haven't read anything else by the author). Either way, I didn't enjoy it. On the other hand, Sunny Night as a character intrigued me. Sunny has suffered some sort of trauma as a child that isn't fully explained until the end of the novel. Sunny is resourceful, patient, intelligent, and badass. There were a few moments that I was stunned by Sunny’s badassery and resourcefulness. I thoroughly enjoyed her perspective on the mystery despite my dislike for the writing. Overall, Two Nights is an okay read that kept me somewhat entertained. The mystery is satisfying and interesting, but is ultimately done a disservice by the writing. Despite my more negative review, I will be picking up more Reichs in the future!
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Two Nights is an okay read that kept me somewhat entertained. Two Nights is the story about Sunny Night, a reclusive ex-cop who is pulled into a missing persons case and is forced to face a past that forever changed her. This was my first time reading Kathy Reichs. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I liked a lot of things in Two Nights, mainly the actual mystery and main character, but the writing style left me unsatisfied. The mystery is full of twist and turns that kept me guessing from the first page to the last. It was engaging and intriguing and kept me reading while I was reading. I make that distinction because when I took a break from reading, I had to convince myself to pick it back up again. This is due to my dislike of the writing style. I couldn't connect with it. It felt like there was a barrier between the story because of the writing and I. Reichs' style is abrupt yet descriptive throughout the entire novel. This may be a reflection of the main character's mental state or the author's style (as I have previously mentioned I haven't read anything else by the author). Either way, I didn't enjoy it. On the other hand, Sunny Night as a character intrigued me. Sunny has suffered some sort of trauma as a child that isn't fully explained until the end of the novel. Sunny is resourceful, patient, intelligent, and badass. There were a few moments that I was stunned by Sunny’s badassery and resourcefulness. I thoroughly enjoyed her perspective on the mystery despite my dislike for the writing. Overall, Two Nights is an okay read that kept me somewhat entertained. The mystery is satisfying and interesting, but is ultimately done a disservice by the writing. Despite my more negative review, I will be picking up more Reichs in the future!
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Two Nights is an okay read that kept me somewhat entertained. Two Nights is the story about Sunny Night, a reclusive ex-cop who is pulled into a missing persons case and is forced to face a past that forever changed her. This was my first time reading Kathy Reichs. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I liked a lot of things in Two Nights, mainly the actual mystery and main character, but the writing style left me unsatisfied. The mystery is full of twist and turns that kept me guessing from the first page to the last. It was engaging and intriguing and kept me reading while I was reading. I make that distinction because when I took a break from reading, I had to convince myself to pick it back up again. This is due to my dislike of the writing style. I couldn't connect with it. It felt like there was a barrier between the story because of the writing and I. Reichs' style is abrupt yet descriptive throughout the entire novel. This may be a reflection of the main character's mental state or the author's style (as I have previously mentioned I haven't read anything else by the author). Either way, I didn't enjoy it. On the other hand, Sunny Night as a character intrigued me. Sunny has suffered some sort of trauma as a child that isn't fully explained until the end of the novel. Sunny is resourceful, patient, intelligent, and badass. There were a few moments that I was stunned by Sunny’s badassery and resourcefulness. I thoroughly enjoyed her perspective on the mystery despite my dislike for the writing. Overall, Two Nights is an okay read that kept me somewhat entertained. The mystery is satisfying and interesting, but is ultimately done a disservice by the writing. Despite my more negative review, I will be picking up more Reichs in the future!
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 3.5 Stars! Good start to a new series! Fast-paced, mysterious, and entertaining! This is a suspenseful thriller that reminds us that terrorism can often be homegrown and emphasizes just how dangerous anger, hatred, and religious fanaticism can truly be. The writing is clear and precise. The main character, Sunday Night, is tough, intelligent, and determined, and the supporting characters are an intriguing mix of ruthless, persistent zealots, and a charming, dependable brother. I have to say that die-hard fans of the Temperance Brennan series may be a little disappointed in this latest outing by Reichs which doesn’t have the scientific jargon and forensic analysis we typically associate with her novels, but there’s no question that Reichs is a great writer and if you read this new novel with an open mind you will recognize her trademark strong, flawed, female protagonist and straightforward style of writing that could definitely lead to another bestselling series for her.
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Read! As a fan of Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan books (as well as that of the books-inspired, "Bones" television show). Even though when I heard that she was trying something new instead of starting another "Tempe" story, I was still very interested in her new character, "Sunday Night." I was not disappointed. I loved this book. It hooked me from the start and I read it at every opportunity, hungry to know more. Now that I've finished it, I find myself at a loss, wishing there was more. I would definitely read more books with these new characters. Sunday Night is raw and edgy with secrets, fears and an unconventional pet named Bob. Kathy Reichs has brought to life another strong, yet vulnerable female lead to entice not only her loyal following, but bring new ones to the fold.
Date published: 2017-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from really good this was a good book. Don't usually read Kathy Reichs but I am glad I read this one
Date published: 2017-04-27

Read from the Book

Two Nights CHAPTER 2 Opaline Drucker’s home occupied one side of a small spur shooting east from Legare Street. The stolid two-story brick Georgian faced off across the cobbles with the only other occupant of Poesie Court, another stolid two-story brick Georgian. Both addresses were South of Broad, a location befitting Opaline’s social status. Which I’d discovered via a quick Internet search. Neither house gave a rat’s ass about curb appeal. Two windows up, two down, each with shutters to the sides and a flower box below. Both ran narrow and deep, away from the street, and both had double-decker terraces spanning one side. Though mirror-image walls hid what lay behind, I knew each upper terrace overlooked a garden. I parked and got out of Beau’s Audi. At the thunk of the door, a squirrel hotfooted up the trunk of a magnolia. A tail-twitching pause, then it shot to the ground, cut right, and disappeared into a bed of peonies the size of Rhode Island. The day was humid and far too warm for April. The air smelled of sun on moss-covered earth and stone. Of grass cut by workers speaking languages other than English. Somewhere out of sight, a sprinkler spit out a rhythmic tic-tic-tic. A church bell rang. No other sound broke the stillness. Poesie Court dozed as though traffic and tourists hadn’t yet been invented. But it went beyond quiet. The little enclave felt like a time warp. Like a place whose inhabitants had for centuries shunned the scrutiny of strangers. A quick scan of number five, then I headed up the flagstones toward number seven. I could picture the grande dame’s interior, all wainscoting and cornices and carved balustrades. Not my style. But what the hell. I never hold a good balustrade against anyone. A thumb to the bell triggered a trill worthy of a Vatican chapel. I wondered about the nature of the minion who would answer the door. The woman who greeted me was black and probably in her sixties. She wore a short-sleeved gray dress with white collar and apron, all starched stiffer than a British upper lip. I gave her my name. She listened, expressionless, eyes never meeting mine. “Mrs. Drucker is expecting you. Please follow me.” I did. Across gleaming marble, beneath a convoluted crystal chandelier, past an elaborately designed staircase swirling with great drama toward a second story. Beyond the foyer, we continued down a wood-paneled hall to a set of glass doors at the back of the house. “Please wait here.” The maid disappeared to announce my presence. I looked around. More polished marble underfoot. More twisting crystal overhead. Through a partially open door to my right I could see a sliver of grand piano, above it the top half of an oil portrait, a man posing with one hand on his chest. Not a smiley guy. I checked my image in a full-length mirror to my left. Jeans slim enough to fit my ass with legs long enough to reach my feet. With my height and lack of poundage, finding pants that fit takes serious searching. Not that I care much. White blouse roomy enough to hide the bulge at the small of my back. Hair doing unruly. I was adjusting my ponytail clip when the maid returned and held the door wide with one fleshy arm. I followed her through to the outside. A woman sat on a dark wicker sofa at the far end of the terrace, hair a wavery white beacon in shadows cast by flora hanging above her and potted palms flanking her sides. Despite the sticky weather, a patchwork quilt covered the woman’s lap and legs. A small dog, maybe a Pomeranian, slept curled on the quilt. The woman was stroking its back. The maid crossed to the woman and said, “She here, ma’am.” The woman showed no indication of having heard. The maid gestured me forward and spoke more loudly. “Mrs. Drucker?” “There is no need to shout.” Without raising her eyes from the dog. “Yes, ma’am. Ms. Night—” “I heard you, Miranda. Lord in heaven, I think my dear dead mama heard you.” The vowels were broad, the voice cool as honey on ice. “Yes, ma’am. Will y’all be needing something?” “Have you asked our guest what refreshment she wishes?” Miranda reoriented one shoulder toward me. “Water, please,” I said. Drucker flapped a blue-veined hand, as though swatting a fly. “Bring sweet tea.” Miranda withdrew, eyes still on her shoes. “Sit.” The hand indicated a chair, then resumed stroking the Pomeranian. Which, like the maid, didn’t grace me with a glance. I sat. Seconds passed. A full minute. The dog was a snorer. “Mrs. Drucker?” Nothing but stroking and snoring. “You contacted Beau Beaumonde about a problem you have.” A tiny breeze toyed with the overhead baskets, tickling the petunia tendrils curling over their rims. I waited what seemed a very long time. Silence. “Mrs. Drucker?” More silence. I didn’t need this. I stood. Drucker dragged her gaze from the dog to look up at me. I braced for the predictable. Some were shocked by the scar. Some repulsed. Most, uncomfortable, pretended it wasn’t there. A few stared, kids mostly. Drucker’s face remained placid. It was what I expected, the flesh pooling below the orbits and sagging along the jawline, the wrinkles far too gentle to fit with the rings on her neck. A plastic surgeon had clearly been working the scene. It was Drucker’s eyes that startled—red-rimmed near the ducts and lids, with irises so faintly tinted they appeared almost transparent. But it wasn’t the absence of color that chilled me. It was the absence of reaction. Or emotion. Or something I couldn’t identify then. Something I would later come to understand. “I know who you are,” she said. Finding the statement odd, I waited. “Making contact does require diligence. No email. No phone. Really, sweetheart. It is the age of instant communication.” “You managed.” “I am a woman not easily deterred.” “Congratulations.” “Please sit.” I did. Immediately regretted it. “Sunday Night. Such an odd name.” I felt a prick of annoyance. Not because the comment was untrue. Because I’d heard it so often. I said nothing. The dog slept. The rheumy eyes looked me over. “I don’t understand your appearance. No makeup, black nails. Is that what’s meant by Goth?” “OPI Black Onyx.” Knowing that wasn’t her question. “You’re very tall, young lady. Bless your heart, in today’s world you are considered young. In my day, an unmarried woman of your age was called a spinster.” “You wished to discuss a problem?” “I know its origin. Your name, that is. It must have been difficult growing up in such circumstances. No forenames or surnames? Born on a Sunday so that’s what you’re called?” Drucker sniffed in disdain. “Truly inexplicable.” The annoyance edged up. I drew the prescribed breath. Let it out slowly. Drucker rolled on. “So very sad. I fear it is the children who suffer most.” The gnarled hand continued caressing. The dog continued snoring. I continued saying nothing. “How unbearable to have everyone you know die all in one swoop. To be left alone at a most delicate point in your life.” “This is clearly a mistake.” I reached for my purse. “Please, Miss Night. Spare me the drama. Given sufficient resources, anyone’s past is knowable.” “Then use those resources to find someone else.” I started to rise. Which this time woke the dog. Drucker shushed it. The dog resettled, chin on its paws, sleepy eyes on me. “Given your history, I believe you are most suitable for my purposes. But I’ve heard that you have a temper. That you are impetuous, impatient, and very poor at taking direction.” “Is that so?” It was. “My dear Miss Night. I’ve known Perry Beaumonde a very long time. Beau.” Drucker’s forehead creased. It was the first I’d noticed her eyebrows, which were scraggly white and now tight with disapproval. “I don’t like nicknames, but the world is what it is. Perry’s a fine man, was a fine officer. It’s not surprising he took you to raise.” “For high school.” “Which didn’t go well. Dropout. GED diploma. Arrest at age eighteen, record expunged. Administrative discharge from the military. Although, frankly, I’m not certain what that means. And, of course, there is the matter of not killing yourself on command.” I stared, face a mask, heat prickling the back of my sternum. No way I’d do any favors for this bitch. “How good are you at discretion?” Drucker asked. “I’d give myself five stars out of five.” Terse. “At survival?” “Ten out of five.” “If I hire you, will you see the job through to completion?” “Hire me?” “I wouldn’t ask anyone to work without pay.” “I don’t think I want to work for you.” “I’m offering one hundred forty thousand dollars plus expenses.” “What is it you want done?” Not querying the large and somewhat odd figure. “Twenty thousand dollars up front.” “To do what?” “The rest as the job is completed.” “I find it tiresome to have to repeat my question.” “Some people will do anything for that sum.” “I’m not one of them.” “You don’t care about money?” “Not much.” “Yes.” Drucker nodded once, as though mentally correcting herself. “I’ve heard that, too.” Again, I fought the desire to get up and walk out. Wasn’t sure why I stayed. “Should you not wish to sully your hands, the money can go to a charity of your choosing.” Thick with genteel sarcasm. “Anonymously, should your morals demand.” Behind me a door opened, then footsteps crossed the terrace. Miranda placed two glasses on a low table between us, withdrew. Neither Drucker nor I went for the tea. Instead she reached for an envelope to her right. Displeased with the jostling, the dog hopped from her lap, padded a few feet, and curled up on the far end of the sofa. Drucker held the envelope out to me. I leaned forward and took it. She circled one gnarled finger, indicating that I should examine the contents. Inside was a single photograph. Good-looking woman, maybe mid-forties, two kids, one of each gender. The boy was all sunshine blond, smiling, unashamed of a mouth full of metal. His turquoise eyes gazed confidently into the lens. The girl had copper hair and freckled skin, and carried more weight than she probably liked. Her chin was up, her arms crossed defiantly on her chest. The boy wore a pink designer polo and tan chinos. Mother and daughter wore pink linen sundresses and gardenia blossoms behind their left ears. The three were standing on a boardwalk, a beach at their backs. I looked at Drucker, brows lifted in question. “My daughter, Mary Gray Bright, and her children, Stella and Bowen. The picture is several years old.” Again the scornful sniff. “Taken long after her loser husband was finally gone. Alex. No loss.” “You must be very proud of your family.” “I was. Until a pack of vermin wiped them off the map.” Like the window-glass eyes, Drucker’s voice was devoid of emotion. “Excuse me?” Shocked reflex. “Mary Gray and Bowen were slaughtered in cold blood. God knows what they did with poor Stella.” “I am sorry for your loss.” Lame. But all I could manage. “I was able to hold a funeral at First Baptist. Closed casket, of course. Mary Gray had only half of her face. Bowen had no head at all. I bought them new outfits. Waste of money. No one could see.” “When did this happen?” “One year ago last week. No arrests were ever made.” “The task you want done has to do with their deaths?” “I want those responsible found.” “I’m not a PI.” “You were a cop. In the military you did investigative work.” Drucker handed me a second envelope. “You saw my grandson.” Another finger. “Now look at him.” I lifted the flap. The envelope held six three-by-five color prints. I slid them out, winged the stack like a deck of cards. Included in each photo was an identifier. Slightly different from the format I knew, but familiar. I skimmed the data. The photos were part of a series taken by a Chicago PD crime scene unit. Knowing the images would be grim, I braced myself. Tipped my head to accommodate my good eye. Looked at the first shot. Grim. But dear God. I drew a breath to fight slippage from the vault in my brain. Not quick enough. A montage detonated, headlight bright, cruel. A white disk moon. Blackened bodies arranged like radiating spokes. Talons of red on clapboard siding. I swallowed against the curdling in my belly. Clamped my teeth. Continued my walk through the photos. The images captured the remains of the horror that had taken Drucker’s family. A headless torso, the child shoulders a starburst of shredded flesh. A severed foot, sneaker still laced tight. A small, pale hand beside a boulder spray-painted with names. A woman faceup on grass, one eye wide and fixed, the other a raw crater, foamy red spittle flowing upward from what had once been her mouth. Tissue blasted onto a stone façade, dark and white and shiny and red. I stared at the carnage. At the graffiti-covered rock. Something was wrong. What? I glanced at Drucker. She was watching me, eyes silent crystals of ice. “What did you mean about Stella?” “She vanished in the melee.” “You think she’s being held by those who did this?” A little memory bell was pinging. A bombing. A missing kid. Out on the island, I don’t follow news. But I’d caught snippets during supply trips to town. “I do.” “Her body wasn’t recovered at the scene?” Nervous, a dumb question. “Would I be asking you to search for Stella if I had her remains?” “Tell me about her,” I said. “Ah, dear Stella. Always the sarcasm, the wisecrack, the witty retort.” “A happy kid?” “Far from it. Resentful, rebellious. I believe my granddaughter was deeply troubled. That there was a darkness inside her she worked hard to keep hidden. I’m not putting this well. Do you gather my meaning?” Drucker’s description had cut right to my soul. I nodded. “You’ve heard the saying ‘sad clown’? Well, that was my Stella.” Sad clown. Mad clown. Bluster and sarcasm to hide the fear. The bright ginger hair. The pull to this kid felt visceral. Placing the images facedown, I pushed myself up from the table and crossed the terrace. Back to Drucker, I spread my fingers and leaned into the house. The brick felt warm on my palms. It was red-brown and chipped, the mortar mushroom and flecked with black. My vision blurred. I blinked it clear and returned to my chair. “Do you know the names of the people who did this?” “I do not.” “Do you know why your family was targeted?” “I’m not certain they were. Others died in the incident. My poor lambs may have been collateral damage. Such an inadequate term for human death, don’t you agree?” “Please explain.” “These butchers had their agenda. They cared not a toot for the people I loved.” “Surely there was an investigation.” She nodded, tight. “The police thought the bombers were terrorists targeting Jews.” “Are you Jewish?” First Baptist? “Good lord, no. The attack happened at some sort of Hebrew school.” “What else do you know?” “I know there were four of them, three men and a woman. Surveillance footage survived. The faces are unclear, but enhancements were done.” Drucker handed me a third envelope, this one brown and larger than the ones lying on the table between us. In it was another series of prints, each a blowup of a frame taken at some distance from the subject. I flipped through them. The images were grainy, the features barely recognizable. The four were in a vehicle, the woman riding shotgun. She was caught turning to her left, hair winging, mouth a dark circle in her face. One arm was outstretched. Reaching toward the driver? The others were looking straight ahead. I returned the photos to their envelope, lifted the other two from the table, and started to hand all three back. Drucker stopped me with a raised palm. “You keep them. They are not the originals.” “You want me to find Stella. You think finding the bombers will lead me to her.” Again the quick nod. “I’ll pay twenty-five thousand a head, an additional forty thousand to learn the fate of my granddaughter.” “I’m to do what if I locate these people?” “Such evil doesn’t deserve to suck air from the planet.” “I won’t execute them.” “You’ve never taken a life, Ms. Night?” “Bunnies and kittens. But I eat what I kill.” “Yes. I’ve heard you find yourself droll.” The folds under Drucker’s eyes twitched twice. “Your choice. Either way you get paid.” “After so much time, there may be insufficient evidence to prosecute.” “I know that. I want them caught. I would do this myself, but I am too old.” “Your granddaughter may be dead.” “I know that, too.” The scraggly brows dipped low over the crystalline eyes. Drucker studied me from below them, perhaps undecided. Then, “Two days ago an attempt was made to access funds at the Bank of South Carolina, a small account I established to teach Stella responsible finance. Besides myself and my accountant, the only persons with knowledge of the money were Mary Gray and Stella.” “A withdrawal was made?” “Do I look like a fool? Following the bombing, all log-in information was changed.” “But you left the account in place.” “Frankly, I forgot all about it. Until notified of the recent activity.” “Did you tell the police?” “The police did nothing but waste my time.” “You think Stella tried to access the money?” “I think it’s a possibility.” “The bombing took place in Chicago?” “Yes.” “Is that where you’d like me to start?” “Really, Miss Night. Would Shanghai seem more logical?” I slid free the family photo and studied the faces. Stella looked awkward, angry. Myself at her age. A fellow member of the tiny human tribe with fiery hair. Was she alive? Being held captive? I picked out the crime scene photo that had troubled me. Studied it a very long time. Drucker must have seen something in my eyes, read it her way. “Do we have a deal, Miss Night?” I’d considered PI work after leaving the force. Private security. Running skip traces and spying on cheating spouses held no appeal. Ditto babysitting millionaire tycoons and their cronies. But Beau was right. I had the skills. I could find these bastards. If they had Stella, I could bring her home. Did I want to do it? Mixed feelings. I had no desire to leave my solitude and rejoin the world. Still, I could nail those responsible. Maybe free a kid who was living in hell. Decision. I didn’t like Drucker. But I’d do it for her daughter and grandson. For Stella. For the thrill of the hunt? Hell no. The buzzing adrenaline told me otherwise. “I’ll need expense money up front,” I said. “Have you something with which to make notes?” I took a pen and small tablet from my purse. “Peter Crage.” Drucker provided a phone number and address. “Mr. Crage is my financial adviser. He will give you the twenty thousand plus whatever you require.” “For now, just expenses.” Not wanting to be obligated. “Go to him. Provide a figure. He will be expecting you.” “Talk about your granddaughter.” Heart pounding, I thumbed to a clean page.

Editorial Reviews

“Reichs' newest heroine, the polar opposite of cerebral Temperance Brennan, is fueled by a well-nigh uncontrollable rage in her thrilling, violent search for a missing girl so much like herself.”