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Martin Stillwater has a vivid imagination. It charms his loving wife, delights his two little daughters, and gives him all the inspiration he needs to write his highly successful mystery novels. But maybe Martin’s imagination is a bit too vivid… One rainy afternoon, a terrifying incident makes him question his grip on reality. A stranger breaks into his house, accusing Martin of stealing his wife, his children—and his life. Claiming to be the real Martin Stillwater, the intruder threatens to take what is rightfully his. The police think he’s a figment of Martin’s imagination. But Martin and his family have no choice but to believe the stranger’s threat. And run for their lives.
But wherever they go—wherever they hide—he finds them…
Waxhill nodded. “Yes, all right, but the home office wants it done in a certain way.” Sighing, Oslett gave up and sat down. “Which is?” “Make it look as if Stillwater went off the deep end.” “Murder-suicide?” “Yes, but not just any murder-suicide. The home office would be pleased if it could be made to appear as if Stillwater was acting out a particular psychopathic delusion. ” “Whatever.” “The wife must be shot in each breast and in the mouth.” “And the daughters?” “First, make them
manipulated him so ruthlessly until Kansas City. They are a link to his mysterious superiors. He is as interested in them as in re-establishing contact with his beloved mother and father. Two blocks later, he turns right at the corner and heads back toward a shopping area near the center of town, where earlier he passed a sporting-goods store. Lacking a firearm and, in any event, unable to buy one with a silencer, he needs to obtain a couple of simple weapons. At 2:20, the motel-room telephone
the atmosphere was compressed in its path, the air thickening as the unknown danger drew nearer. Closing on him so rapidly, faster, faster, and nowhere to hide. Then he heard Emily pleading for help somewhere in the unrelenting blackness, calling for her daddy, and Charlotte calling, too, but he could not get a fix on them. He ran one way, then another, but their increasingly frantic voices always seemed to be behind him. The unknown threat was closer, closer, the girls frightened and crying,
Charlotte said excitedly from the passenger seat beside Paige, looking out of the side window through plumes of tire spray, “swimming with the whales, Captain Nemo and the Nautilus twenty thousand leagues beneath the sea, giant squids stalking us. Remember the giant squid, Mom, from the movie?” “I remember,” Paige said without taking her eyes from the road. “Up periscope,” Charlotte said, gripping the handles of that imaginary instrument, squinting through the eyepiece. “Raiding the sea lanes,
to move again. It swung right, through the intersection. Marty slipped and almost fell on the wet pavement. He regained his balance, held on to the gun, and scrambled after the Buick as it turned into the cross street. The driver was looking to the right, unaware of Marty on his left. He was wearing a black coat. Only the back of his head was visible through the rain-streaked side window. His hair was darker than Vic Delorio’s. Because the car was still moving slowly as it completed the turn,