The sins of Adam Hardesty's past have been discovered. And if he does not hunt down his blackmailer quickly, his secrets will be revealed to all...But there is an obstacle in his way: sensation novelist Caroline Fordyce. She knows that Adam's quest for justice could shatter her own reputation - and mire her family in lethal scandal. And she fears what he may find.
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April 11, 2005
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Excerpt from Wait Until Midnight by Amanda Quick
The face of the dead medium was a ghostly blur beneath the bloodstained wedding veil.
In life she had been quite pretty. The long, heavy skirts of a dark blue gown were crumpled around shapely legs clad in white stockings. The iron poker that had been used to crush the back of her skull had been dropped nearby.
Adam Hardesty moved across the small, shadowy room, willing himself to push through the invisible barrier created by the peculiar scent and chill of death. He crouched beside the body and held the candle aloft.
Through the gossamer veil he saw the glitter of the blue beads that trimmed the necklace around Elizabeth Delmont's throat. A matching pair of earrings dangled from her ears. On the floor next to her pale, lifeless fingers was a broken pocket watch. The glass had been shattered, the hands forever locked at midnight.
Removing his own watch from the pocket of his trousers, he checked the time. Two-ten. If the timepiece on the carpet had, in fact, been smashed in the course of the violent struggle that appeared to have taken place in the chamber, Delmont had been murdered a little more than two hours earlier.
A mourning brooch decorated with black enamel rested on the tightly laced, stiffly shaped bodice of the blue gown. The brooch looked as if it had been deliberately positioned on Delmont's bosom in a grim parody of funereal respect.
He picked up the brooch and turned it over to look at the reverse side. The flickering candle illuminated a small photograph: a portrait of a fair-haired woman dressed in a wedding veil and a white gown. The lady appeared to be no more than eighteen or nineteen. Something about the sad, resigned expression on her beautiful, unsmiling face gave the impression that she was not looking forward to married life. Under the picture a lock of tightly coiled blond hair was secured beneath a beveled crystal.