Peter Gordon followed the young mom out of Macy’s and onto the street outside the Stonestown Galleria. Mom was about thirty, her brown hair in a messy pony-tail, wearing a lot of red, not just the shorts, but the red sneakers and a red purse. Shopping bags hung from the handles of her baby’s stroller.
Pete was behind the woman when she crossed Winston Street at the light, still almost on her heels as she entered the parking garage talking to the infant as if he could understand her, asking him if he remembered where Mommy parked the car and what would Daddy want for dinner, chattering away, the whole running baby-talk commentary like a fuse lit by the woman’s mouth, terminating at the charge inside Petey’s brain.
But, Petey stayed focused on his target. He listened and watched, kept his head down, hands in his pockets, saw the woman unlock the hatch of her RAV 4 and jam her shopping bags inside. He was only yards away from her when she hoisted the baby out of its stroller and folded that into the back, too.
The woman was strapping the baby into the car seat, when he started toward her.
“Ma’am? Can you help me out, please?”
The woman drew her brows together, what do you want? written all over her face as she saw him. She got into the front seat now, had her keys in her hand.
“Yes?” she said.
Pete Gordon knew that he looked healthy and clean and wide-eyed and trustworthy. His All-American good looks were an asset, but he wasn’t vain. No more than a Venus flytrap was vain.
“I’ve got a flat,” Pete said, throwing up his hands. “I really hate to ask, but could I use your cell phone to call triple A?”
He flashed a smile, got the dimples going and at last, she smiled, too and said, “I do that. Forget to charge the darned thing.”
She dug into her purse, looked up with the cell phone in hand. Then, her smile wavered as she read Pete’s new expression, no longer eager to please, but hard and determined.
She dropped her eyes to the gun he was holding, thinking that somehow she’d gotten it wrong, looked back into his face and saw the chill in his dark eyes.
She jerked away from him, dropping her keys and her phone into the foot well, half-way climbing into the backseat.
“Oh my God,” she said. “Don’t -- do anything. I’ve got cash --.”
Pete fired, the round whizzing through the suppressor, hitting the woman in the neck. She grabbed at the wound, blood spouting through her fingers.
“My baby,” she gasped.
“Don’t worry. He won’t feel anything. I promise,” Pete Gordon said.
He shot the woman again, pooof, this time in the chest, then opened the back door and looked at the bawler, nodding off, mouth sticky with candy, blue veins tracing a roadmap across his temple.
Copyright© 2010 James Patterson
Excerpt by permission of Little, Brown and Company
With unparalleled danger and explosive action, The 9th Judgment is James Patterson at his compelling, unstoppable best!
A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one bizarre piece of evidence: a cryptic message hastily scrawled across the victim’s windshield in lipstick the color of blood.
That very same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling is awakened by a cat burglar intent on stealing precious jewels worth countless millions. Later, the discovery of a nearly empty safe proves he got hold of the goods. But what he also left behind was a lifeless body, and the news of not one but two murders throws the city of San Francisco into panic mode.
Desperate for answers, Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner, Rich—and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her engagement and the Women's Murder Club. But before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line. The question is, will it be enough to save the city?
Hardcover Book : 368 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group, USA ( April 26, 2010 )
Item #: 12-946804
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.88inches
Product Weight: 16.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I absolutely LOVE Patterson, but in all honesty I think he should stick to writing alone and without additional authors. This book is definitely NOT one of his best, but I have to say that the ending was just ridiculous. I would think twice about getting this book. I personally am upset I wasted my time.
Reviewer: Patterson F
The way he tied it together and kept you wondering when the killer was striking again and why. Great read.
Reviewer: Joyce H
This was just an awful book, the subject was so dark and ugly, I like James books, mostly but I would not recommend this one to anyone!
I really enjoyed this book. I have enjoyed all of his books. Cannot wait for the next one.