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Stalker

Cover of Stalker

Stalker

Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus Series, Book 12

L.A. Homicide Detective Peter Decker never wanted the perils of his job to touch his family. But now his two worlds have collided.

A first year rookie with the LAPD's Hollywood Division, Cynthia Decker became a cop against her father, Peter Decker's, wishes. But police work is in her blood, and she's determined to make it on her own -- even now, when her razor sharp instincts for danger are telling her that something is very wrong...

The signs are impossible to ignore: things being moved around in her apartment, the destruction of personal effects. But it's a harrowing trip down a dark canyon road that confirms Cindy's worst fears. Someone fiendishly relentless, and with decidedly evil intentions, is stalking her. And with Peter Decker isolated from her troubles by his own investigation into a disturbing series of car-jackings, it's up to Cindy alone to find out who in her personal and/or professional life wants her frightened or harmed...or dead.

L.A. Homicide Detective Peter Decker never wanted the perils of his job to touch his family. But now his two worlds have collided.

A first year rookie with the LAPD's Hollywood Division, Cynthia Decker became a cop against her father, Peter Decker's, wishes. But police work is in her blood, and she's determined to make it on her own -- even now, when her razor sharp instincts for danger are telling her that something is very wrong...

The signs are impossible to ignore: things being moved around in her apartment, the destruction of personal effects. But it's a harrowing trip down a dark canyon road that confirms Cindy's worst fears. Someone fiendishly relentless, and with decidedly evil intentions, is stalking her. And with Peter Decker isolated from her troubles by his own investigation into a disturbing series of car-jackings, it's up to Cindy alone to find out who in her personal and/or professional life wants her frightened or harmed...or dead.

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  • Chapter One

    It should have happened at night, in a secluded corner of a dimly fit parking lot. Instead, it occurred at one twenty-five in the afternoon. Farin knew the time because she had peeked through the car window, glancing at the clock in her Volvo -- purportedly one of the safest cars on the road. Farin was a bug on safety. A fat lot of good that was doing her now.

    It wasn't fair because she had done everything right. She had parked in an open area across the street from the playground, for God's sakes! There were people in plain view. For instance, there was a man walking a brown pit bull on a leash, the duo strolling down one of the sunlit paths that led up into the mountains. And over to the left, there was a lady in a denim jacket reading the paper. There were kids on the play equipment: a gaggle of toddlers climbing the jungle gym, preschoolers on the slides and wobbly walk-bridge, babies in the infant swings. Mothers were with them, keeping a watchful eye over their charges. Not watching her, of course. Scads of people, but none who could help because at the moment, she had a gun in her back.

    Farin said, "Just please don't hurt my bab --"

    "You shut up! You say one more word, you are dead!" The voice was male. "Look straight ahead!"

    Farin obeyed.

    The disembodied voice went on. "You turn around, you are dead. You do not look at me. Understand?"

    Farin nodded yes, keeping her eyes down. His voice was in the medium to high range. Slightly clipped, perhaps accented.

    Immediately, Tara started crying. With shaking hands, Farin clutched her daughter to her chest, and cooed into her seashell ear. Instinctively, she brought her purse over Tara's back, drawing her coat over handbag and child. Farin hoped that if the man did shoot, she and the purse would be the protective bread in the Tara sandwich, the bullet having to penetrate another surface before it could --

    The gun's nozzle dug into her backbone. She bit her lip to prevent herself from crying out.

    "Drop your purse!" the voice commanded.

    Immediately, Farin did as ordered. She heard him rooting through her handbag, doing this single-handedly because the gun was still pressing into her kidneys.

    Please let this be a simple purse snatching! She heard a jangle of metal. Her keys? Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the passenger door to her station wagon had been opened. Again, she felt the press of the gun.

    "Go in. From passenger's side! You do it or I shoot your baby!"

    At the mention of her baby, Farin lost all resolve. Tears poured down from her eyes. Hugging her child, she walked around the front of the car, thoughts of escape cut short by the metal at her tailbone. She paused at the sight of the open door.

    "Go on!" he barked. "Do it now!"

    With Tara at her bosom, she bent down until she found her footing. Then she slid into her passengers seat.

    "Move across!" he snapped

    Farin tried to figure out how to do this. The car had bucket seats and there was a console between them. With clumsy, halted motions, and still holding Tara, she lifted her butt over the leather-cushioned wall, and into the driver's seat, both now scrunched behind the wheel. Again, Tara started to cry.

    "You shut her up!" he barked.

    She's a baby! Farin wanted to shout. She's scared! Instead, she began to rock her, singing softly into her ear. He was right beside her, the gun now in her rib cage.

    Don't look at him, Farin reminded herself. Don't look, don't look, don't look!

    Staring straight ahead. But she could tell that the gun had shifted to Tara's head.

    Think, Farin! Think!

    But nothing came into her hapless brain, not a thought, not a clue. Fear had penetrated every pore of her being as...

About the Author-
  • Faye Kellerman lives with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus Series, Book 12
Faye Kellerman
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