Alexa Keen is the best the FBI has to offer, a special agent who can achieve the impossible: finding victims of abduction before they can be killed. Casey LePointe West is heiress to one of the greatest fortunes in America. Now, as Hurricane Katrina roars toward New Orleans, these two women are finding common ground in a city of ghosts and grandeur...Alexa as the FBI's representative in a case guaranteed to destroy careers, and Casey as a woman whose husband has gone missing and who herself may be the next victim of a brilliant manipulator's rage.
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August 29, 2006
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Excerpt from Too Far Gone by John Ramsey Miller
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Garden District
Crashing thunder woke the child.
Casey lay still, taking deep breaths, huddling with the teddy bear as the storm's fury assaulted her ears. Running bolts of lightning slashed the black sky.
Wind blasted the rain hard against the window's panes.
The massive oak tree outside flailed its branches ' like furious arms reaching out for the lace curtains.
She clenched shut her eyes.
"There's nothing to fear," her mother had said on other stormy nights. "You're perfectly safe in your bed, Casey."
Each dazzling flash made the familiar objects in her room both strange and malevolent. The stuffed animals perched on the window box instantly became monsters on the shadowy wall.
She listened for some sound to let her know if her parents were awake and perhaps moving around somewhere in the house. They will come tell me it's all right.
The bedroom door was cracked open, the hallway a dark and endless tunnel.
Bam! A shutter on a nearby window, suddenly unhooked, slapped at the side of the house like an angry fist against a door. Bam! Bam! Bam!
The four-year-old pushed back the covers, slid off the mattress, and shot to the door, thinking of the safe, warm nest between her parents in their bed.
Throwing open her door Casey ran across the hallway to her parents' bedroom, clutching the bear to her chest. They won't be mad. She turned the knob and slowly crept into the bedroom, where lightning illuminated the crumpled bedding.