"Harlan Coben is the modern master of the hook-and-twist luring you in on the first page...only to shock you on the last."-Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code Harlan Coben, author of the coast-to-coast bestseller No Second Chance, delivers an emotionally powerful thrill-ride of a novel that asks the question: How far would you go to protect your family An ordinary snapshot causes a mother's world to unravel in an instant. After picking up her two young children from school, Grace Lawson looks through a newly developed set of photographs. She finds an odd one in the pack: a mysterious picture from perhaps twenty years ago, showing four strangers she can't identify. But there is one face she recognizes-that of her husband, from before she knew him.
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July 19, 2004
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Excerpt from Just One Look by Harlan Coben
Scott Duncan sat across from the killer.
The windowless room of thundercloud gray was awkward and still, stuck in that lull when the music first starts and neither stranger is sure how to begin the dance. Scott tried a noncommittal nod. The killer, decked out in prison-issue orange, simply stared. Scott folded his hands and put them on the metal table. The killer? his file said he was Monte Scanlon, but there was no way that was his real name? might have done likewise had his hands not been cuffed.
Why, Scott wondered yet again, am I here?
His specialty was prosecuting corrupt politicians? something of a vigorous cottage industry in his home state of New Jersey? but three hours ago, Monte Scanlon, a mass executioner by any standards, had finally broken his silence to make a demand.
A private meeting with Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Duncan.
This was strange for a large variety of reasons, but here were two: one, a killer should not be in a position to make demands; two, Scott had never met or even heard of Monte Scanlon.
Scott broke the silence. "You asked to see me?"
Scott nodded, waited for him to say more. He didn't. "So what can I do for you?"
Monte Scanlon maintained the stare. "Do you know why I'm here?"
Scott glanced around the room. Besides Scanlon and himself, four people were present. Linda Morgan, the United States attorney, leaned against the back wall trying to give off the ease of Sinatra against a lamppost. Standing behind the prisoner were two beefy, nearly identical prison guards with tree-stump arms and chests like antique armoires. Scott had met the two cocky agents before, had seen them go about their task with the sereneness of yoga instructors. But today, with this well-shackled prisoner, even these guys were on edge. Scanlon's lawyer, a ferret reeking of checkout-counter cologne, rounded out the group. All eyes were on Scott.