DEAD MAN RUNNING
Sentenced to death for crimes he didn't commit, ex-cop Tom O'Brien is now a hunted fugitive. After fifteen years in prison, he's determined to prove his innocence-but first he must convince his daughter, whose testimony helped put him behind bars, that he has damning evidence of a plot to frame him.
Claire is no longer the na?ve teenager who arrived home to find her mother and her mother's lover shot dead and her father holding the murder weapon. She's a successful fraud investigator who assumes everyone lies. Though Claire is convinced of her father's guilt, curiosity propels her to look into the disappearance of a law student who claimed to have proof of Tom's innocence. But seeking answers only leads to more questions, reinforcing Claire's belief that there's no one left to trust.
Obsessed with the O'Brien case, FBI agent Mitch Bianchi befriends Claire under false pretenses, certain that Tom is not only innocent but in grave danger-and not just from the cops. As the three race toward the truth, a murderous conspiracy tightens its noose-and Claire becomes the target of an ice-cold psychopath who will kill to protect his secrets.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
September 29, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Playing Dead by Allison Brennan
Claire was an expert bullshit detector. That's what made her so good at her job investigating insurance fraud.
This morning she'd been called to a warehouse fire in West Sacramento, at the Port of Sacramento near the docks where the Deep Water Ship Channel connected the Sacramento River to the San Francisco Bay. The port predominantly handled agricultural products, but container goods from China and beyond were not uncommon. They didn't have customs or any serious inspections, which were taken care of at the port of entry. As far as docks went, they were relatively clean and quiet, even at seven in the morning. Most of the activity was at the far end where a ship was being loaded with produce Claire couldn't identify from this distance.
She breathed deeply, the lingering scent of burned wood, scorched metal, and ash making her grimace. Best to get this out of the way now, before the temperature rose. It was only the second week of May, yet summer had arrived. While the rest of the country enjoyed spring, yesterday Sacramento had peaked at ninety-five. Today would be even hotter.
Claire was supposed to meet the arson investigator here at eight, but she liked hitting the scene early to do her own walk-through. She'd already done everything she could from the office; the two final pieces for the report were the walk-through and interviewing the claimant.
Five-shot Starbucks latte in hand--as much to combat the mild hangover from her late night as to wake her up--Claire grabbed her backpack from the backseat of her Jeep, absently brushing dog hair off her jeans. She had to remember to cover the seats with towels when she took Chewy and Yoda on car rides.
Crime scene tape cut across the front of the warehouse--but since it was a mere shell and incapable of being locked up, she slid under the tape. Arson. She smelled it.
Warehouses sometimes burned down by accident. A careless employee left a cigarette butt burning, lightning struck, homeless people tried to get warm in the frigid Sacramento winters.
But accidents were rare.
The building owner hadn't even been smart about it, Claire thought as she walked around taking pictures and notes. There was no evidence of burned goods. They could have been stolen before the arson, but Claire suspected the merchandise had never arrived or had been sold before the arson. She'd already pulled the financials of Ben Holman and Holman Medical Supply Company, Inc. Operating on the wrong side of a razor-thin profit margin, Ben Holman was three months late on his personal home mortgage and his creditors all had 90- to 120-day lates on him.
Convenient timing for an insurance claim that would give him half a mil for supplies and damage.
Holman would likely claim faulty wiring . . . possible, of course. These dockside warehouses were old and rarely did the owners upgrade the interiors. They were used for the temporary storage of goods that came down the Sacramento River shipping lane. Product came, product left--cogs in the wheels of the economy. But in this instance? No way. It was arson, and Claire just needed to wait for the fire investigator to show up and confirm it.
Holman Medical Supply Company, Inc., would soon be one less cog to muck it up for legitimate business people.
Claire deeply breathed in the fresh air as soon as she cleared the building, then leaned against a cement wall to write up questions for warehouse-owner Holman.
He didn't know Claire had security tape from the warehouse three down that showed him driving up the day before the fire started. He didn't know she had a copy of the manifest filed with customs in San Francisco. And he would certainly deny knowing where the missing goods were, though she had a contact who said an unusually large supply of syringes had shown up on the streets yesterday.
Ben Holman was just one more pathetic human being who proved that no one could be trusted.
Claire drained the rest of her lukewarm latte, stuffed her notebook and camera back into her pack, and stretched, hoping the investigator wouldn't be late. She wanted to write up the report and meet her veterinarian at her house at noon. Dr. Jim made house calls, at least for her. She had started toward her Jeep when she heard a deep male voice.
At the familiar voice, she dropped her cup and pack, reaching for the gun she carried in a belt holster in the small of her back, and began to turn when someone from behind grabbed her arm, bending it up and back. She aimed a perfect kick to her attacker's balls, but he anticipated the move and sidestepped it, spinning her around and pushing her against the cement wall she'd been leaning on, knocking the wind out of her.