Kindness of Strangers
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"A BREATHLESS THRILLER . . . Smith pushes her protagonist to the breaking point and the series to a new high water mark of suspense."
--Los Angeles Times
On temporary leave of absence from the force, Police Detective Skip Langdon becomes obsessed with exposing the frightening figure beneath the good-guy image of Errol Jacomine--a liberal-minded, civic-spirited preacher who is running for mayor of New Orleans.
Immediately, an anonymous army of hatchet men go to work on Skip, who learns that opposing Jacomine is dangerous business. And when the only witness to the preachers crimes turns up dead, Skip follows her instincts to the dark center of bayou country . . . where dead cops tell no tales.
"Displays the writing skills of one of the genres leading exponents . . . The climax, a frantic rescue effort in the teeth of Hurricane Hannah, will stay with you."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer
were. She probably aspired to be another Carol, grab the prize right out from under the wife, never mind that Lise had dumped Wilson. How could Torian have overlooked that tiny detail? Who knew? She was fucked up, that was all Lise knew. Not only that, she’d pretty much disgraced both of them in the neighborhood. For Christ’s sake, you just didn’t waltz away with the husband of the woman you baby-sat for. I’d think she was raised in a barn if I hadn’t raised her myself I don’t see why I should
Skip and said gravely, “My daddy dead.” Skip felt feathers start to fly in her stomach, the beating of wings in there. The child nodded. “Daddy dead. Daddy day-edd.” She seemed taken with the rhythm of it. “Somebody told her?” Skip said inanely. Kiva looked at her as if she were speaking Russian. “I have to sit down for a minute.” Skip’s knees were buckling, her neck was wet with sweat. Her heart pounded. * * * Later, in her office, Cappello paced, the twin lines between her eyes drawing
not before shooting Lise a look—a very different look from the hateful one she expected. Carol looked terrified. Wimp, she thought. If she stays married to Wilson long enough, she’ll end up this way too. “Torian isn’t my only daughter, Lise.” He spoke in a perfectly modulated voice, the voice of someone trying to calm a mental patient. It made Lise want to rip his liver out. “No wonder you don’t care about her anymore. No wonder . ..” “You’re not making sense.” Lise heard noises in the
the world, from Lise, from the penetrating sadness that informed her life. His tongue was silk and velvet at the same time, and all the perfumes of the East, and the sparklers that had so enthralled her as a child, and yet it was also something soft and wet for which she could think of no simile at all. She had tried to write about it, and there simply was no analogy in her experience. It was soft and wet and delicious, and yet certainly not like the soaked cake of a trifle or the plump thrill
addresses on the targets.” When she had, she said to Steve: “He doesn’t exactly talk like a common criminal. Or even your ordinary drag queen.” “What does he talk like?” “Professor’s kid, maybe.” He was about an hour late, but well worth the wait. He looked like neither a professor’s kid nor a drag queen—certainly not bookish, decidedly not effeminate. First of all, he could have been a movie star. Second, he was black. He was stocky—buffed, in fact—and drop-dead gorgeous. He had dark, dark