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Bad Girl: A Novelby Michele Jaffe
Synopses & Reviews
She couldn't get the sign out of her head.
claim your own baggage.
It hung over the luggage carousels at the Las Vegas airport, huge letters. It seemed disingenuous, she thought, for a city like Las Vegas where people came to leave the baggage of their lives behind.
claim your own baggage.
No. She wouldn't. Defiant, she had left her bag there. Marched out of the airport and left it to circle around and around on the carousel, her underwear, three sample tubes of lipstick, two favorite T-shirts, a pair of jeans, a photo in a silver frame, and a young girl's jewelry box, all neatly packed. Her luggage, her past, abandoned.
As if it were that easy.
The next day she was back at the airport, offering the clerk at Lost and Found a lame excuse, a smile. He handed her the bag and it seemed to have gotten heavier overnight. By then she had already begun to realize what was now, three months later, painfully clear. That no matter what you do, how many possessions you sell off, how often you move, how much therapy you pay for, your baggage will always be waiting for you to claim it.
By then she had begun to realize why she had come to Las Vegas. Why she had to come.
Be good, she heard her father's voice say.
And saw the sign, claim your own baggage.
It's not always as easy to be good as you want, Daddy, she thought as she sat in her car across the street from the house.
Every thirty seconds the clock on the dashboard made a tiny clicking sound. Be good. Click. Claim your own baggage. Click. Saabs had to be the only car in America that didn't have a digital clock in the dashboard, she thought. She had only been sitting in front of the house for ten minutes this time but the clicking was starting to drive her crazy. Click, click, click, like a metronome, flipping her back and forth between present and past.
Claim your own baggage.
Lights were on in every window of the house, almost. Shadows moved in front of the one in the bottom right-hand corner, the den off the living room, a tall silhouette, the oldest boy, and a shorter, rounder one.
Behind the shadows the air flickered, like someone had turned on a TV. Probably they were watching it together as they waited for the boy's brother and sister to get home. The older boy was about fourteen, his younger brother eleven. He was at his clarinet les- son. The sister was fifteen. She went to the gym Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and didn't get home until 5:30 p.m. As soon as she did, they sat down and had dinner. Together. Sometimes Dad joined them too, but not tonight. He was working late. Big business dinner. He'd worn his fanciest suit to the office that day.
For a moment the woman in the car wondered what would happen if she rang the bell and asked if she could join them for dinner. They did not know her, they were complete strangers to one another. At least, they knew nothing of her. She knew all about the Johnson family. Quick sketches of their faces covered the pages of the pad on the seat next to her. Despite herself, she could not stop watching them.
Claim your own baggage.
A man strolled by on the street walking a fluffy white dog, and his eyes met those of the woman in the car. He looked familiar, she thought, then realized it w
Shortly after moving to Las Vegas with her six-year-old daughter, Chicago "Windy" Thomas and her new boss at the Metro Violent Crime Unit, Ash Laughton, find themselves hunting a serial killer whose next victim may be Windy.
She never meant for it to happen. . . .
For Chicago Thomas, aka Windy, it was an offer too good to refuse: the chance to head the forensics lab at the Las Vegas Police Department. With her six-year-old daughter in tow, Windy moves to Sin City hoping to start over with a loving fiancé—far from the sad memories of a first marriage that ended in tragedy. But the job of her dreams is about to take a nightmarish turn.
She wanted to be a good girl. . . .
Though the first murders appear to be random, they are savage in their intensity: an entire family, butchered in their own home. Only a few days later, another family meets the same grisly fate. To Ash Leighton, the enigmatic chief of the Metro Violent Crime Unit, the signs are clear: a serial killer is stalking Las Vegas.
But she just couldn’t help herself. . . .
In a breathless race against time, the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, begin to blur, and Windy and Ash find themselves irresistibly drawn to each other. In a town where nothing is what it seems, only the evidence doesn't lie. And Windy may have to pay for the truth with her life. Sometimes being good is dangerous.
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