The murder of a priest leads FBI agents Sherlock and Savich to their most baffling case yet, in this riveting New York Times bestseller.
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September 27, 2004
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Excerpt from Eleventh Hour (An FBI Suspsense Thriller Series: #7) by Catherine Coulter
Nick sat quietly in the midnight gloom of the nave, hunched forward, her head in her arms resting on the pew in front of her. She was here because Father Michael Joseph had begged her to come, had begged her to let him help her. The least she could do was talk to him, couldn't she? She'd wanted to come late, when everyone else was already home asleep, when the streets were empty, and he'd agreed, even smiled at her. He was a fine man, kind and loving toward his fellow man and toward God.
Would she wait? She sighed at the thought. She'd given her word, he'd made her give her word, known somehow that it would keep her here. She watched him walk over to the confessional, watched with surprise as his step suddenly lagged, and he paused a moment, his hand reaching for the small handle on the confessional door. He didn't want to open that door, she thought, staring at him. He didn't want to go in. Then, at last, he seemed to straighten, opened the door and stepped inside.
Again, there was utter silence in the big church. The air itself seemed to settle after Father Michael Joseph stepped into that small confined space. The deep black shadows weren't content to fill the corners of the church, they even crept down the center aisle, and soon she was swallowed up in them. There was a patch of moonlight coming through the tall stained-glass windows.
It should have been peaceful, but it didn't feel that way. There was something else in the church, something that wasn't restful, that wasn't remotely spiritual. She fidgeted in the silence.
She heard one of the outer church doors open. She turned to see the man who was going to make his midnight confession walk briskly into the church. He looked quite ordinary, slender, with a long Burberry raincoat and thick dark hair. She watched him pause, look right and left, but he didn't see her, she was in the shadows. She watched him walk to the confessional where Father Michael Joseph waited, watched him open the confessional door and slip inside.