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Cold Springsby Rick Riordan
Synopses & Reviews
Chadwick struggled with his bow tie.
He was thinking about what he would say, how he would break the news that would end his marriage, when Norma came up behind him and told him about the heroin in their daughter's underwear drawer.
He turned, the bow tie unraveling in his fingers.
Norma wore only her slip, her bare arms as smooth and perfectly muscled as they'd been when she was nineteen. Her eyes glowed with that black heat she saved for lovemaking and really huge arguments, and he was pretty sure which she was planning for.
"Heroin," he said.
"In a Ziploc, yeah. Looked like brown sugar."
"What'd you do with it?"
"I smoked it. What do you think? I flushed it down the toilet."
"You flushed it down the toilet. Jesus, Norma."
"It wasn't hers. She was keeping it for a friend."
"You believed that?"
"She's my daughter. Yes, I believed her."
Chadwick stared out the window, down at Mission Street, where the Christmas lights popped and sparked under the sudden weight of ice.
He'd lived in this house almost all of his thirty-seven years, and he couldn't remember a November night this cold. The glass storefront of the corner taquer'a was greasy with steam. Lowriders cruised the boulevard billowing smoke from their exhaust pipes. Twenty-fourth Street station was swept clean of the homeless--all gone to shelters, leaving behind piles of summer clothes like insect husks. Next door, the Romos had turned up their music the way other people turn up the heater--the sorrowful heartbeat of narcocorrido pulsing through the townhouse's wallpaper.
Chadwick wanted to turn to steam and disperse against the glass. He wanted to escape from what he had to do, what he had to say. And now this--Katherine.
"The Zedmans will be here in a few minutes," he told Norma. "I've been home since yesterday."
She tilted her head to put on an earring. "What? I should've told you earlier? Last week I needed your help, you ran off to Texas. Maybe I should've told you at the airport, huh? Let you get right back on the plane?"
Chadwick felt his throat constricting. His Air Force buddy Hunter used to tease him about marrying Norma Reyes. Hunter said he wasn't getting a wife, he was getting a Cuban Missile Crisis.
He wanted to tell her why he'd really run.
He wanted to tell her that out there in the woods of Texas--for a few days--he had remembered why he'd fallen in love with her. He'd remembered a time when he'd been excited to have a woman half his size take him on so fearlessly, grab his hand like a toddler's grip on a shiny new toy and pull him onto the dance floor with a look that said, Yeah, I want to marry an Air Force man. You got a problem with that?
He had decided Norma deserved the truth, even if it destroyed them. But that had been at a distance of two thousand miles. Now, getting too close, the feeling was like a computer photo. Expand it too much, and it turned into pixels of random color.
He shucked his tuxedo coat, walked down the hallway to Katherine's room, Norma calling from behind, "I've already grounded her, Chadwick. Don't make it worse."
Katherine was on her bed, her back to the wall, her knees up to her chin--prepared for the
A decade after the suicide of his troubled daughter, Chadwick takes a job at Cold Springs Academy, a school for wayward teens, where he is asked to kidnap the girl who witnessed his daughter's death and uncovers dark secrets about the long-ago tragedy.
Chadwick's life was balanced on a knife's edge - his career, his marriage, his relationship with his dangerously troubled daughter. And then one autumn night, the worst possible thing happened...
Now, a decade later, Chadwick's heart is on the mend. Working for an old military buddy, he saves kids for a living, escorting troubled teens to a Texas wilderness school that specializes in the toughest brand of love.
Until he gets a phone call that threatens to shatter his new life.
Mallory Zedman is taking the same terrible path Chadwick's own daughter once took. Defiant and out of control, Mallory is determined to destroy herself and anyone who tries to stop her. No sooner does Chadwick snatch her off the streets than he discovers she is wanted for questioning in a brutal murder - a slaying that seems directly linked to Chadwick's past.
To save Mallory, tough love will not be enough. Chadwick must find the truth behind the murder - and in doing so revisit the infidelities, shattered promises, and violent passions that cracked his world apart. And he must jeopardize the one thing he still has left to lose - a slim hope of redemption.
About the Author
Rick Riordan is the author of Big Red Tequila, The Widower’s Two-Step, The Last King of Texas, and, most recently, The Devil Went Down to Austin, which was nominated for both the Shamus and the Anthony awards. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, where he is at work on his sixth novel of suspense.
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