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"A twisting, suspenseful chiller of a book." --William Landay, New York Times bestselling author
"Unrelentingly Suspenseful." –Publishers Weekly
The future looks bright for Boston couple John Bodine and Ruby Dawes. John's online gaming business is growing, and they're planning a family. But when Ruby receives a life-changing diagnosis, and their insurance won't cover her treatment, John makes a risky move. He steals a customer's identity and files a false medical claim. It works perfectly--until the customer contacts John with a startling proposition. . .
"Tight, Twisty And Terrific, It Further Establishes Palmer As A Force To Be Reckoned With." –The Providence Journal
If John and Ruby play a little game he's devised, he won't report their fraud. The rules of 'Criminal' are simple: commit real crimes. But if they fail, there will be deadly consequences. John assumes it's a sick joke--until people start dying. Now John and Ruby can't disappear--and they can't go to the police. Their only option is to keep playing, while trying to outwit a psychopath who has no intention of letting them leave this game alive. . .
"He Knows How To Hook The Readers And Reel Them In."
(whatever you are), it is. My cell phone rang. Thanks to Uretsky, the sound of any phone made me jumpy. I checked the caller ID and saw it was David Clegg calling. I let the call go to voice mail. A few seconds later, Clegg texted me. John, I need to talk with you. Can we meet? Call me. “Crap,” I said to myself. “What’s up?” Ruby came out of the bathroom, holding a cardboard box of things she had packed, and saw that my expression had darkened. “What’s up?” she asked again, now pointing to
other people in the store?” I gripped her hand. “I’m going for the cash, and then I’m gone.” “Yeah, well, what if somebody tries to stop you? You know, plays the hero.” “I’ll wait until the store is empty.” “What if you can’t?” “I don’t know, Ruby!” I didn’t mean to shout at her, but my nerves were already frayed and on edge. “Maybe you can hand him a note?” “A note?” “Explaining what’s going on,” Ruby said. “And then take his hundred fifty dollars?” “Tell him you just need to pretend
they never got back to me.” “So you think Carl Swain has something to do with the Uretskys’ disappearance?” I asked. Ruth nodded. “And so does Bucky.” “Your dog?” I said. Bucky perked up, and his tongue dropped out of his mouth. Ruth said, “I believe animals have a sixth sense.” “I’ve read somewhere that dogs can detect cancer and other diseases,” Ruby said, looking at me. I looked back. It could explain Bucky’s powerful reaction to Ruby and not to me. Ruth nodded. “That’s true,” she said.
that night. It wasn’t restorative sleep by any means, but nature had plans for us we simply couldn’t refuse. I don’t know what I dreamt about in those few restless hours, but Ruby woke me several times to stop my screaming. We hadn’t heard from the Fiend since the discovery of the Uretskys’ bodies—or heads, to be precise—and that was more than a little unsettling, like knowing we were swimming near a ravenous shark but having no idea where in the murky water it lurked. We weren’t trying to hide
corded pipes dripping filthy rust-colored water. My whole body became weightless and heavy in the same instant. However, instead of seeing Ruby seated on that chair as I had expected, there was a note penned with a black marker in neat all-caps handwriting on a piece of white rectangular cardboard. The note read: Be back soon. Hang tight! The scene, unchanging, could have been a photograph. “What’s going on?” Clegg asked. “She’s not there,” I said. “Come look.” Clegg grabbed a bondage chair,