Silence by Becca FitzpatrickSilence by Becca Fitzpatrick


byBecca Fitzpatrick

Hardcover | October 4, 2011

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The breathtaking conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Hush, Hush Saga.

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.
Becca Fitzpatrick received a degree in Community Health from Brigham Young University in 2001. After graduating, she worked as a secretary/teacher/accountant at an alternative high school in Provo, Utah. She took a writing class in 2003. Her first book, Hush, Hush debuted as a New York Times bestseller.
Title:SilenceFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.5 inPublished:October 4, 2011Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442426640

ISBN - 13:9781442426641

Appropriate for ages: 14


Rated 5 out of 5 by from love this series great book addictive as well
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved loved this book the series keeps getting better with every book
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Silence is loud and lovely The third book in the Hush Hush series did not disappoint! The romance between Nora and Patch was even better than in the previous two books, and their individual characters developed significantly. I love that Patch calls Nora “Angel” when he’s actually, literally an angel himself.
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better! Compared to the second book this is where things start heating up, and it just leaves you wanting to read more and never put it down! Best read
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It Just Keeps Getting Better Nora and Patch are forever turning around one another... How will this end?
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from And You Thought You Were Done Amazing ending to an amazing series
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Silence Memory loss, a sexy stranger, and fantasy is a great mix for a book.
Date published: 2017-06-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Best of the series and still not very good I didn't like either Nora or Patch. This book was the best of the four, but still nothing special.
Date published: 2017-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good A fast, enjoyable read. I like the fallen angel aspect.
Date published: 2017-04-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Massive Confusion Much of this book had me thinking, "What?" I was constantly going back and flipping through previous pages, thinking I'd missed something, but no - this book is simply written that way. Nora, suffering amnesia, has no idea of who or what is around her, and so her perspective and narration leaves the reader in a constant state of confusion and unable to follow the story properly.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this I always reread this over and over, my favourite!! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Typical Bestseller Books aren't very original anymore. There might be different characters or different species, but the themes of today's bestsellers are all relatively the same. If you're into the trends in teen literature nowadays, you'll enjoy this. If not, I would look elsewhere for a unique, enjoyable read.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This book was even better than the first two in the series, it's a great continuation but it's more original and more interesting and the characters have really developed.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Exciting The series really picks up and gets really interesting.
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Getting Interesting This is what I believe to be the best book in the series. It is better than the other two books and really cuts out on the cliche.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better Than The First Two So far this book is my favourite in the series. I was really nervous when I read the first few chapters because of the way things ended in the last book but the story was better than I expected.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Compared to the other books, i found this one to be by far the best of the series.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUCH better! We're back on track! While I was not a fan of book #2, book #3 was right back on par with the opening novel, if not better. I was completely invested in the outcome and the idea was so heartbreaking! This was a thrill-ride and definitely kept my blood pressure up! Get ready to be freaked, addicted and so so consumed!
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from <3 This one kept me as interested as the first :)<3 loved it
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Exciting and Captivating Installment "Silence" the next installment in the intoxicating "Hush Hush" series heats up when Nora Grey wakes up in a cemetery to find a black feather and no memory of the past five months. Feeling empty and lost, she struggles to revive memories of those missing weeks bearing up under rumors that she's hallucinating when she receives a threatening note or sees shadows near her window. When Scott Parnell, a childhood friend induces her to visit his sanctuary in a cave along the coast she learns that her missing memory involves fallen angels, Nephilim and the fear of a man called "the Black Hand" who may be responsible for the death of her father. As her mind begins to awaken to the new information, she also grapples with her mother's infatuation with Hank Millar, the father of her archenemy, and the presence of a mysterious stranger called Jev who stirs feelings of regret, wariness and heartache. Secrets and lies swirl around Nora as she searches for the truth and danger lurks even closer to home. The plot is fast-paced;tension and suspense building as Nora begins to unravel the mystery of her kidnapping. Continuing in a first person narrative, Nora draws the reader into the distress and pain of her memory loss and her struggle to put her life back in order after weeks away from home. Threads of this story follow not only Nora's search for answers to her kidnapping, the romantic involvement of her mother and her enemy's father, but also her attraction to Jev whose leather, spice and mint scent reminds her of a former love. Clues that include an incarcerated angel, a silver necklace and a prophetic death lend a air of mystery not only to Nora's kidnapping but to the looming war between the Nephilim and fallen angels. In "Silence" the love of Nora and Jev (Patch) must weather tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust as he tries to protect her against not only the plans of the radical leader of the Nephilim, fallen angels, archangels but even her own impulsiveness. With every twist in the plot not only does their attraction intensify again, but finds Jev saving Nora from fallen angels at a gas station heist and from blundering into a Nephilim safe house. Nora Grey at first is scared, defiant and humiliated by her lack of memory, but as events unfold she becomes determined, reckless but more perceptive. Although cold and distant initially, Jev (Patch) Cipriano radiates strength, energy and heat in his protection of Nora. Even though she has no memory of Jev and he selflessly struggles to stay away from her, they have a magnetic attraction which keeps drawing them back to each other. Of the other familiar personalities who add spice and drama to this page-turner Vee Sky is the curvy, flirtatious and smart-mouth best friend; Scott Parnell a cocky, resourceful and self-satisfied Nephil; Marcie Millar, her father's beautiful, befuddled and unsuspecting puppet; and Hank Millar the charming, manipulative autocratic radical. In " Silence" the excitement and romance of this young adult, paranormal series continues; the electricity of Nora and Patch's forbidden love escalating as mystery and danger swirl around them, testing the strength of their passion. This is a well-written and fascinating story that like the series I couldn't stop reading until the end.
Date published: 2015-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better Than The Second Book! I liked this book MUCH better than Crescendo. Things move along with the characters, although I get it now why it was a bit tortuous in book two. Curious to see how this will end in book four.
Date published: 2015-02-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Setting the stage for the last one Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick is the continuation of Nora Grey’s story following the novel Crescendo. At first, I found the story a little confusing as it flipped between different perspectives. Although it was for a good reason ­– one you will learn if you read this story – it was still a little confusing. This novel was probably my least favourite in the series as I found it to be a little repetitive. This is because it consists mainly of flashbacks and recounts what happened in previous books. Although it got Fitzpatrick’s point across regarding what was going on in the story, I think that the flashbacks would have been very useful for someone who reads the series over a longer period of time and could have used them as a “refresher”. I read all four books within a 48-hour span and therefore found the flashbacks too repetitive for my liking as I had just read practically the exact same thing the day before. However, once I got past the flashbacks, I found that I enjoyed the idea behind this story and found it interesting to follow. Overall, this novel really sets the stage for what will happen in the last book, Finale.
Date published: 2014-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Silence Okay, now I NEED to read the next book before I get too excited. I did not see that as an ending to the book! It was amazing!
Date published: 2014-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from :D Loved it can't wait to read finale!! Patch and Nora forever
Date published: 2013-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from :D Enjoyable reading for anyone, anywhere.
Date published: 2013-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Always enjoy Becca's novels!
Date published: 2013-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Silence Good series. Enjoyed all 4 books.
Date published: 2013-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oh. My. Gods! Lol I love this series. Its amazing. Can't wait for the next book!
Date published: 2013-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ms I loved it. On to finale.
Date published: 2013-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ms I loved it. On to finale.
Date published: 2013-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing The story line really caught my attention, it's amazing and I love the whole series
Date published: 2013-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow I absolutely fell in love with this book just like i did with the others! The romance just makes you melt for the adorable couple, and the action is amazing! :P awesome awesome book. Definitely should read it!
Date published: 2013-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Silence Read it in a day it was so good!
Date published: 2013-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't wait for the next one!!! What I liked about this book was the beginning. It started off with Nora being extremely disoriented and you feel the same way. It was well done and at the time it made me wonder if I had to go back and reread Crescendo because I might have missed something (because I felt just as lost as Nora did!) The entire plot of the book was all right. I’m not sure whether to love Patch or to slap him silly because he can be such a jerk at times. But the chemistry between both Nora and Patch is still there, and is the tension ever good and so well written you can definitely feel it between them. There was a potential love triangle forming in the book, and I’d have to say he was likable as well (I hated him at first too, but he started to grow on me) and I was almost going to think he was a suitable replacement for Patch, but that would be heresy wouldn’t it? (Yes, I’m a big Patch fan). There were some very memorable quotes from Patch that made me scream like a giddy school girl (Becca Fitzpatrick just did a GREAT job on Patch in this book). I liked how nearly everything was explained with the Nephilim, The Black Hand, and how Patch, Scott, and Hank fit into this picture. I was very surprised, about Marcie (although I really hated her in this book, as she became a big idiot and a complete tool) but her behavior towards the end was surprising, and now I am not sure what to think. I still hate her, yes, but with that one little action, perhaps she’s redeemable. I was a bit disappointed that Vee wasn’t around as much as she was in the past novels. I hoped to see more of her because she provided a lot of the comic relief moments (this book actually is much darker than the first two). Overall, the ending leaves more questions to be answered! so I’m so glad a fourth book has been announced!! this means more Patch for me to enjoy and read :D fans might not be satisfied with this book as it certainly feels as if nothing much really happens until more than halfway in the book, newbies, it’s best to start with Hush, Hush!
Date published: 2012-05-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not Bad *3.5* I personally am not a die-hard fan of this series. It has many elements that I enjoy, but for some odd reason I am just engrossed in this book. I believe it's because I don't find the main character, Nora, to be anything special. My friend lent me this book after I had read the first two and wasn't fussed. I must say, while I don't find this book amazing, it did keep the me flipping pages into the wee hours of the morning, and wanting to find out what happened. Overall, not my absolute favorite series, but it is still a good read. I think the cover art is beautiful, and I enjoy the plot. Also, I really do love Scott... And who could forget Patch ;)
Date published: 2012-05-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Good Continuation I'm continually impressed by this author, this was a good third book to this series that kept the story fresh and interesting. I really enjoy the character of Nora who stands her ground as a good female lead. I like the love story between Patch and Nora. I think the two characters balance each other out well. The storyline in Silence was good with Nora having to deal with the loss of her memory. I'm excited to see what comes next for these two. This is definitely one of the better Angel/Nephilim series out there right now.
Date published: 2012-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Totally a Page Turner This series is amazing, and has an amazing ending. I could not put this book down. My boyfriend bought it for me for Christmas and within 2 days of opening it, i had it finished. Patch and Nora over come so many obstacles in this novel, some would even blow your mind. Reading this book made me laugh, cry, cry harder, and become over joyed. The ending made me applaud the Author's creativity to take me to a new level within this paranormal romance. I was so sad that Patch and Nora wouldn't be having anymore adventures after this one. If you read this novel, you will agree that somehow you feel that some of the story line has not yet been discovered. That feeling will leave you thirsty for more.
Date published: 2012-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cleared Things Right Up! I have to say that I enjoyed the "Hush, Hush" series so far, but at times it was really confusing. Explanations were vague and short when it came to angels and what not. That's basically my only peeve with the novels because it does get confusing at times, and when you're caught up with the books and waiting for publication... you forget a few things. Even though I struggled with remembering what was happening and terminology for the first two books, the third book made things perfectly clear. Just a little disappointed how the huge explanation had to be the third book into the series. The jump from the end of the second book to the third is a couple months and not a lot is explained about what happened during those months. At the end of the second book we're left with Nora and Patch getting caught by Hank Millar. Hank turns out to be the Black Hand who mysteriously killed Nora's father. That's the end of the second book, but the beginning of the third book has Nora with amnesia and forgetting the last five months. Around the time she met Patch. Coincidence? I have no idea. So, throughout the entire third book we have Nora trying to regain her memories while she figures out why she lost them in the first place. In addition, things seem fishy in Coldwater. During the three months she was missing, Hank and her mother started dating. It doesn't help when Nora suspects Hank had something to do with her disappearance. Furthermore, everyone acts as if Nora has gone crazy. The hazy things she remembers from her past; people have never heard of. No one has heard of Patch, but a few people slip up. Someone is controlling their minds, and nora wants to know why. The third book is a filler book to explain what has been going on and anything to wonder about is answered in this book. Normally, I would hate books like this, but considering that I needed these questions cleared up-- I'm happy.
Date published: 2012-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Addition! This book was great! First off I want to let everyone know how much I adore this series. The whole concept of fallen angels, love and betrayal. It just interests me so much and I really thank Becca Fitzpatrick for introducing me into a whole 'nother world of fantasy. This has got to be my all time favourite book series. The characters, plot, and overall scheme is just addictive, and I can never get enough of it! Now on to the review of the actual book! Well, I'd been waiting for months for our local library to order in 'Silence' so I could be the first to read it. When it finally came after various frustrating mistakes, I was super excited! Like squeal up and down like a little girl excited :D I honestly had no idea what to expect to happen in this third instalment, but I knew right away it would be AMAZING. I don't think 'Silence' was as good as the first or second books, or how I anticipated, but overall it was pretty freakin' amazing. I think the plot was interesting with lots of unexpected turns and it keeps you flipping through the pages like a maniac! There were some bland moments for me but I can easily overlook that, especially since Becca is like my favourite author. Her writing is descriptive and flowing and I couldn't have asked for anything better! I probably would have given this book a 4.3 based on the actual events, but considering everything I'm going to give it a 5. Thank-you so much Becca for writing this spectacular book, and I'm really looking forward to the fourth and final book ;)
Date published: 2012-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as good as books 1 & 2 I loved Hush, Hush and Crescendo but Silence was a bit of a letdown for me. I was a hoping for a different version of the continuation of the series. I wasn't expecting to relearn everything that seemed to have happened in the previous 2 books. For this reason I was a bit disappointed in Silence. Nora and Patch's characters felt off to me like they weren't the same from the previous books. I did like the Hank Miller storyline it was really the only thing that kept my interest in the story. I have recently learned that there is going to be a 4th book in the series and I'm not 100% sure where the series is going to go from here besides the obvious. I hope the 4th book is better than the 3rd and lives up to books 1 & 2
Date published: 2012-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Finally...we meet Nora I was hooked on the serious from the very beginning and what I loved about this series is that we know exactly who Patch was as a person from the get go but as for Nora we never really did get to know her. The only this we did know was that she was in love with Patch and captivated by him from the beginning just like we were. But in this book we get to know the real Nora....and its about time. We definitely see a stronger, more bold and determined Nora than we did in the first two. And Patch of course is just as steemy as ever Becca Fitzpatrick knows how to provide a story to readers that captivates them right from the beginning. I mean come on! Nora wakes up in a cemetery.....ya I thought that was messed up and awesome all at the same time and it had me up reading until well past midnight trying to get to a chapter where I felt it was ok to put the book down. Eventually the book just fell out of my hand when I passed out from staying up too late. Fitzpatrick has really put some depth into these two characters and we come across new sides of both Patch (which we already knew where there but now get an actual introduction to) and Nora. This was a book that was hard to put down and now I can't wait to read the whole new ride and adventure that has been laid forth for the next takes a whole step in another direction. I'm excited. For more on my review and many other reviews see my blog:
Date published: 2011-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! I love this series! Patch & Nora are an amazing pair together. This book was totally not was I was expecting. It really grabs your attention and you don't want to stop reading. I read it too fast as usual and now can't wait for the fourth book!
Date published: 2011-10-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprise!! Okay, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one in the dark when I read this book. I also just found out there will be a 4th edition to the series. I have really enjoyed this series and book three did not disappoint, although it did leave us hanging a little – hence book 4. We start off with a short scene fantastic scene between Patch and Hank Miller that really made me appreciate Patch even more. Then we catch up with Nora. Nora was much better in this book, strong willed and not nearly as paranoid as she’s been previously. Unfortunately saying much more will give too much away and would hate to ruin the story for anyone. Personally I thought this installment was really well written. Looking forward to book 4, it will be a long year.
Date published: 2011-10-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not the final the book!! Holy Monkey! I read Silence thinking it was the final book of a trilogy, but when I was reading and getting farther and farther into the book, I found myself thinking.. hell... this doesn't look like the end at all! Suddenly I was freaking out. I went online and look at Becca Fitzpatrick's website and TAAADAAAAAAA!! I read that, recently, they confirmed Hush, Hush book #4!. I was like, What!?! Well, yeah, really! Silence it is not the final book of a trilogy but the third book of a series! I had no idea (how looser of me) When everything finally clicked, I was totally surprised and really happy to know that I will have more Patch/Nora books to read in the future. However my reading experience was totally bizarre because I had no knowledge about this. Yet, I was still entirely absorbed into this book from beginning to end. Now, once again, Becca Fitzpatrick will torture her fans for another entire year. Silence is a book that hooked me from the beginning. Becca Fitzpatrick does a wonderful job engaging the reader with a intriguing and heartbreaking prologue where Patch is the main focus. Patch! if I loved him before, now I love him even more! Wait to read and see what he does in the first few pages of Silence. You'll fall harder for him. I am sure of it!. After this prologue we jump once again into Nora's head and I wont say anything else. If I do, believe me, I will be spoiling the book. However, I do want to say that the situation in this book kept me at the edge of my seat and desperately praying to finally see Patch and Nora together. This, in fact, was one the hints in Silence that allowed me to think this book wasn't the final one. At the same time, this issue let me a little bit down because I feel I didn't have enough of them (specially if you read this with the conviction that this is The End) Yet, I have the consolation prize that this story will continue, hopefully, in many more books. Also, Scott is back and now I hate him more than before. Nora and Patch's enemies are still around and although Silence is not the final book, Fitzpatrick still give us some important closures. But that's not all, there is also a big opening at the end of Silence (not a cliffhanger) that will leaves you in your toes for what it is to come. This sounds very promising! Silence was an enticing read with dauntless characters ready to risk anything, anything! for the ones they love. A story of love, family, passion, friendship and lost. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick will give you hours of enjoyment, longing and many, many sighs. Very recommended for fans of Angel books and a Must Read for fans of Hush, Hush!
Date published: 2011-10-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "Silence" wins the bronze. I love the "Hush, Hush" series, and I was soo excited for "Silence" to come out. I have been waiting for this book to come out FOREVER. I re-read "Hush, Hush" and "Crescendo" in the past week... they are absolutely amazing and kickass. After reading them I was even more excited to get started on "Silence". I startd "Silence" last night and finished it this morning. I basically ripped through it I was so excited. Unfortunately I'm goona have to admit it was a bit of a let-down. I guess it was to be's hard to follow up with a book as great as "Crescendo". I liked that Scott was back and there was a bit of a relationship (friendly) between him and's just that the other relationships weren't so great. In the last books Nora and Vee were a team and they were hilarious together, their encounters were actualy exciting to read. In "Silence" I didn't really give a sh*t about Vee because she wasn't really in the picture. Patch is another issue. What attracts people to this series is him and Nora. They're the only reason anyone picks up these books. Knowing this, I feel like there wasn't enough going on with them. They aways seemed to be separated...which honestly sucked. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because despite all of that nonsense that I mentioned, it's still an awesome book. It's not my favourite of the series though, "Crescendo" holds that title. Maybe the next book (yes, there's a fourth book) will throw "Crescendo" off the 1st place podium...cause right now "Silence" is in 3rd place. Random Thoughts: -Great cover. If you're going to have characters on a cover this is the way to do it...never show faces, never too much detail, etc. Silhouettes would be ideal. The black and white cover is great...especially with the contrasting red font. The cover does have a bit of a different colouring than the other 2 books though...more dark. They should have tried to keep it more consistant. -I'm not angry that there's a fourth book. Usually I find it overkill when authors keep throwing out books...but I think with "Hush, Hush" there is still a lot of potential opportunities. I'm excited to see where it'll go.
Date published: 2011-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The past 2 books were incredible! I have fallen completely and irrevocably in love with this series and Becca Fitzpatrick never fails me. Hush Hush had be at the edge waiting for Crescendo, which was amazing and completely worth the wait. This series always leaves me breathless and eager for more. I cannot wait for this book!
Date published: 2011-06-18

Read from the Book

Silence CHAPTER 1 COLDWATER, MAINE PRESENT DAY EVEN BEFORE I OPENED MY eyes, I knew I was in danger. I stirred at the soft crunch of footsteps drawing closer. A dim flicker of sleep remained, dulling my focus. I was flat on my back, a chill seeping through my shirt. My neck was crooked at a painful angle, and I opened my eyes. Thin stones loomed out of the blue-black fog. For a strange suspended moment, an image of crooked teeth came to mind, and then I saw them for what they really were. Gravestones. I tried to push myself up to sitting, but my hands slipped on the wet grass. Fighting the haze of sleep still curled around my mind, I rolled sideways off a half-sunken grave, feeling my way through the vapor. The knees of my pants soaked up dew as I crawled between the haphazardly placed graves and monuments. Mild recognition hovered, but it was a side thought; I couldn’t bring myself to focus through the excruciating pain radiating inside my skull. I crawled along a wrought-iron fence, tamping down a layer of decaying leaves that had been years in the making. A ghoulish howl drifted down from above, and while it sent a shudder through me, it wasn’t the sound I was most frightened of. The footsteps trampled over the grass behind me, but whether they were near or far I couldn’t tell. A shout of pursuit cut through the mist, and I hurried my pace. I knew instinctively that I had to hide, but I was disoriented; it was too dark to see clearly, the eerie blue fog casting spells before my eyes. In the distance, trapped between two walls of spindly and overgrown trees, a white stone mausoleum glowed through the night. Rising to my feet, I ran toward it. I slipped between two marble monuments, and when I came out on the other side, he was waiting for me. A towering silhouette, his arm raised to strike. I tripped backward. As I fell, I realized my mistake: He was made of stone. An angel raised on a pediment, guarding the dead. I might have smothered a nervous laugh, but my head collided against something hard, jarring the world sideways. Darkness encroached on my vision. I couldn’t have been out for long. When the stark black of unconsciousness faded, I was still breathing hard from the exertion of running. I knew I had to get up, but I couldn’t remember why. So I lay there, the icy dew mingling with the warm sweat of my skin. At long last I blinked, and it was then that the nearest headstone sharpened into focus. The engraved letters of the epitaph snapped into single-file lines. HARRISON GREY A DEVOTED HUSBAND AND FATHER DIED MARCH 16, 2008 I bit down on my lip to keep from crying out. Now I understood the familiar shadow that had lurked over my shoulder since waking up minutes ago. I was in Coldwater’s city cemetery. At my dad’s gravesite. A nightmare, I thought. I haven’t really woken yet. This is all just a horrible dream. The angel watched me, his chipped wings unfurled behind him, his right arm pointing across the cemetery. His expression was carefully detached, but the curve of his lips was more wry than benevolent. For one moment, I was almost able to trick myself into believing he was real and I wasn’t alone. I smiled at him, then felt my lip quiver. I dragged my sleeve along my cheekbone, wiping away tears, though I didn’t remember starting to cry. I desperately wanted to climb into his arms, feeling the beat of his wings on air as he flew us over the gates and away from this place. The resumed sound of footsteps pulled me out of my stupor. They were faster now, crashing through the grass. I turned toward the sound, bewildered by the bob of light twinkling in and out of the misty darkness. Its beam rose and fell to the cadence of the footsteps—crunch . . . sweep . . . crunch . . . sweep— A flashlight. I squinted when the light came to a stop between my eyes, dazzling me blind. I had the terrible realization that I definitely wasn’t dreaming. “Lookie here,” a man’s voice snarled, hidden behind the glare of light. “You can’t be here. Cemetery is closed.” I turned my face away, specks of light still dancing behind my eyelids. “How many others are there?” he demanded. “What?” My voice was a dry whisper. “How many more are here with you?” he continued more aggressively. “Thought you’d come out and play night games, did you? Hide-and-seek, I reckon? Or maybe Ghosts in the Graveyard? Not on my watch, you aren’t!” What was I doing here? Had I come to visit my dad? I fished through my memory, but it was disturbingly empty. I couldn’t remember coming to the cemetery. I couldn’t remember much of anything. It was as if the whole night had been ripped out from under my feet. Worse, I couldn’t remember this morning. I couldn’t remember dressing, eating, school. Was it even a school day? Momentarily shoving my panic deep down, I concentrated on orienting myself physically and accepted the man’s outstretched hand. As soon as I was sitting upright, the flashlight glared at me again. “How old are you?” he wanted to know. Finally something I knew for certain. “Sixteen.” Almost seventeen. My birthday was coming up in August. “What in the Sam Hill are you doing out here by yourself? Don’t you know it’s past curfew?” I looked around helplessly. “I—” “You ain’t a runaway, are you? Just tell me you’ve got someplace to go.” “Yes.” The farmhouse. At the sudden recollection of home, my heart lifted, followed by the sensation of my stomach plummeting to my knees. Out after curfew? How long after? I tried unsuccessfully to shut out the image of my mom’s enraged expression when I walked through the front door. “Does ‘yes’ got an address?” “Hawthorne Lane.” I stood, but swayed violently when blood rushed to my head. Why couldn’t I remember how I’d gotten here? Surely I’d driven. But where had I parked the Fiat? And where was my handbag? My keys? “Been drinking?” he asked, narrowing his eyes. I shook my head. The beam of the flashlight had slipped marginally off my face, when suddenly it was square between my eyes yet again. “Hold on a second,” he said, a note of something I didn’t like slipping into his voice. “You’re not that girl, are you? Nora Grey,” he blurted, as if my name was a knee-jerk response. I retreated a step. “How—do you know my name?” “The TV. The reward. Hank Millar posted it.” Whatever he said next floated past. Marcie Millar was the closest thing I had to an archenemy. What did her dad have to do with this? “They’ve been looking for you since end of June.” “June?” I repeated, a drop of panic splattering inside me. “What are you talking about? It’s April.” And who was looking for me? Hank Millar? Why? “April?” He eyed me queerly. “Why, girlie, it’s September.” September? No. It couldn’t be. I would know if sophomore year had ended. I would know if summer vacation had come and gone. I’d woken up a mere handful of minutes ago, disoriented, yes, but not stupid. But what reason did he have to lie? With the flashlight lowered, I looked him over, getting my first full picture. His jeans were stained, his facial hair tufted from days without a razor, his fingernails long and black under the tips. He looked an awful lot like the vagabonds who wandered the railroad tracks and shacked up by the river during the summer months. They were known to carry weapons. “You’re right, I should be getting home,” I said, backing away, brushing my hand against my pocket. The familiar bump of my cell phone was missing. Same with my car keys. “Now just where do you think you’re going?” he asked, coming after me. My stomach cramped at his sudden movement, and I broke into a run. I raced in the direction the stone angel pointed, hoping it led to a south gate. I would have used the north gate, the one I was familiar with, but it would have required me to run toward the man, instead of away. The ground cut away beneath my feet, and I stumbled downhill. Branches scraped my arms; my shoes slapped against the uneven and rocky ground. “Nora!” the man shouted. I wanted to shake myself for telling him I lived on Hawthorne Lane. What if he followed me? His stride was longer, and I heard him tramping behind me, closing in. I flung my arms wildly, beating back the branches that sank like claws into my clothes. His hand clamped my shoulder, and I swung around, batting it away. “Don’t touch me!” “Now hold on a minute. I told you about the reward, and I aim to get it.” He lunged for my arm a second time, and on a shot of adrenaline, I drove my foot into his shin. “Uuhn!” He doubled over, clutching his lower leg. I was shocked by my violence, but I didn’t have any other choice. Staggering back a few steps, I cast a hasty look around, trying to get my bearings. Sweat dampened my shirt, slinking down my backbone, causing every hair on my body to stand tall. Something was off. Even with my groggy memory, I had a clear map of the cemetery in my head—I’d been here countless times to visit my dad’s grave—but while the cemetery felt familiar, down to every last detail including the overwhelming smell of burning leaves and stale pond water, something about its appearance was off. And then I put my finger on it. The maple trees were speckled with red. A sign of impending autumn. But that wasn’t possible. It was April, not September. How could the leaves be changing? Was the man possibly telling the truth? I glanced back to see the man limping after me, pressing his cell phone to his ear. “Yeah, it’s her. I’m sure of it. Leaving the cemetery, heading south.” I plunged ahead with renewed fear. Hop the fence. Find a well-lit, well-populated area. Call the police. Call Vee— Vee. My best and most trusted friend. Her house was closer than mine. I’d go there. Her mom would call the police. I’d describe to them what the man looked like, and they’d track him down. They’d make sure he left me alone. Then they’d talk me back through the night, retracing my steps, and somehow the gaps in my memory would stitch back together and I’d have something to work with. I’d shake off this detached version of myself, this feeling of being suspended in a world that was mine but rejecting me. I stopped running only to hoist myself over the cemetery fence. There was a field one block up, just on the other side of Wentworth Bridge. I’d cross it and weave my way up the tree streets—Elm and Maple and Oak—cutting through alleys and side yards until I was safe inside Vee’s house. I was hurrying toward the bridge when the sharp sound of a siren wailed around the corner, and a pair of headlights pinned me in place. A blue Kojak light was attached to the roof of the sedan, which screeched to a halt on the far side of the bridge. My first instinct was to run forward and point the police officer in the direction of the cemetery, describing the man who’d grabbed me, but as my thoughts came around, I was filled with dread. Maybe he wasn’t a police officer. Maybe he was trying to look like one. Anyone could get their hands on a Kojak light. Where was his squad car? From where I stood, squinting through his windshield, he didn’t appear to be in uniform. All these thoughts tumbled through me in a hurry. I stood at the foot of the sloping bridge, gripping the stone wall for support. I was sure the maybe-officer had seen me, but I moved into the shadows of the trees bowing over the river’s edge anyway. From my peripheral vision, the black water of the Wentworth River glinted. As kids, Vee and I had crouched under this very bridge, catching crawdads from the riverbank by inserting sticks speared with hotdog pieces into the water. The crawdads had fastened their claws to the hotdog, refusing to let go even when we lifted them out of the river and shook them loose in a bucket. The river was deep at the center. It was also well hidden, snaking through undeveloped property where no one had forked out money to install streetlights. At the end of the field, the water rushed on toward the industrial district, past retired factories, and out to sea. I briefly wondered if I had it in me to jump off the bridge. I was terrified of heights and the sensation of falling, but I knew how to swim. I only had to make it into the water . . . A car door shut, yanking me back to the street. The man in the maybe-police car had stepped out. He was all mob: curly dark hair, and dressed formally in a black shirt, black tie, black slacks. Something about him slapped my memory. But before I could truly grasp it, my memory slammed shut and I was as lost as ever. An assortment of twigs and branches littered the ground. I bent down, and when I straightened, I was holding a stick half as thick as my arm. The maybe-officer pretended not to see my weapon, but I knew he had. He pinned a police badge to his shirt, then raised his hands level with his shoulders. I’m not going to hurt you, the gesture said. I didn’t believe him. He sauntered a few steps forward, taking care not to make any sudden movements. “Nora. It’s me.” I flinched when he spoke my name. I’d never heard his voice before, and that made my heart pound hard enough that I felt it clear up around my ears. “Are you hurt?” I continued to watch him with growing anxiety, my mind darting in multiple directions. The badge could easily be fake. I’d already decided the Kojak light was. But if he wasn’t police, who was he? “I called your mom,” he said, climbing the gradual slope of the bridge. “She’s going to meet us at the hospital.” I didn’t drop the stick. My shoulders rose and fell with every breath; I could feel air panting between my teeth. Another bead of sweat slicked beneath my clothes. “Everything’s going to be okay,” he said. “It’s all over. I’m not going to let anybody hurt you. You’re safe now.” I didn’t like his long, easy stride or the familiar way he spoke to me. “Don’t come any closer,” I told him, the sweat on my palms making it hard to grip the stick properly. His forehead creased. “Nora?” The stick wobbled in my hand. “How do you know my name?” I demanded, not about to let him know how scared I was. How much he scared me. “It’s me,” he repeated, gazing straight into my eyes, as if he expected lights to come blazing on. “Detective Basso.” “I don’t know you.” He said nothing for a moment. Then tried a new approach. “Do you remember where you’ve been?” I watched him warily. I moved deeper in my memory, looking down even the darkest and oldest corridors, but his face wasn’t there. I had no recollection of him. And I wanted to remember him. I wanted something—anything—familiar to cling to, so I could make sense of a world that, from my vantage point, had been twisted to distortion. “How did you get to the cemetery tonight?” he asked, tilting his head ever so slightly in that direction. His movements were cautious. His eyes were cautious. Even the line of his mouth was politic. “Did someone drop you off? Did you walk?” He waited. “I need you to tell me, Nora. This is important. What happened tonight?” I’d like to know myself. A wave of nausea rolled through me. “I want to go home.” I heard a brittle clatter near my feet. Too late, I realized I’d dropped the stick. The breeze felt cold on my empty palms. I wasn’t supposed to be here. The whole night was a huge mistake. No. Not the whole night. What did I know of it? I couldn’t remember the whole of it. My only starting point was a slice back in time, when I’d woken on a grave, cold and lost. I drew up a mental picture of the farmhouse, safe and warm and real, and felt a tear trickle down the side of my nose. “I can take you home.” He nodded sympathetically. “I just need to take you to the hospital first.” I squeezed my eyes shut, hating myself for being reduced to crying. I couldn’t think of a better or faster way to show him just how frightened I really was. He sighed—the softest of sounds, as if he wished there were a way around the news he was about to deliver. “You’ve been missing for eleven weeks, Nora. Do you hear what I’m saying? Nobody knows where you’ve been the past three months. You need to be looked at. We need to make sure you’re okay.” I stared at him without really seeing him. Tiny bells pealed in my ears but sounded very far off. Deep in my stomach I felt a lurch, but I tried to stuff the queasiness away. I’d cried in front of him, but I wasn’t going to be sick. “We think you were abducted,” he said, his face unreadable. He’d closed the distance between us and now stood too close. Saying things I couldn’t grasp. “Kidnapped.” I blinked. Just stood there and blinked. A sensation grabbed my heart, tugging and twisting. My body went slack, tottering in the air. I saw the gold blur of the streetlights above, heard the river lapping under the bridge, smelled the exhaust from his running car. But it was all in the background. A dizzy afterthought. With only that brief warning, I felt myself swaying, swaying. Falling into nothing. I was unconscious before I hit the ground.