Friday, August 29, 2014

Prime Target, excerpt

The Blurb

After witnessing her husband’s murder, Madeleine Schier becomes a killer’s target. She flees her upscale New York life to become a name on a tombstone, relying on her wits and imagination to survive in a world where danger is everywhere. One wrong move could be her last. Should she trust the damaged recluse who’s always near? Before long, her new life turns into her old nightmare when crimes that were once distant horrors on the nightly news turn up on her doorstep.
Excerpt from Chapter One

The door chime rang, followed by a sharp rap.
Madeleine jerked toward the living room. She saw Frank freeze. She didn’t think it possible, but his face turned whiter. What is it?
Knocks sounded again, harder, more insistent.
He seemed to wake up. “Hide! Get under the bed. Call 9-1-1,” he whispered. Frank started for the door, his steps stiff, jerky. “Who’s there?” he said into the intercom.
“Hey, Frankie. It’s me. Open up. We need to talk.”
Madeleine squeezed under the bed, then remembered her purse. She snatched the strap and pulled it close. The long vowels, the New England accent—Gerry Buhler’s voice. Through the open bedroom door she could see her husband, one hand on his chest, starting toward the apartment door. Before he reached it, it burst open.
No. In her fright, she hadn’t locked it.
She inched further back toward the wall, barely breathing. Lint balls from the thick carpet tickled her nose.
A youngish man, his unruly blond hair at odds with his gray suit, entered. Madeleine didn’t recognize him, but in his shadow stood Gerry Buhler. He kicked the door shut.
Awkwardly, she slipped her cell phone from her purse. Her shaking fingers barely hit the numbers, but she punched in 911, then focused on the narrow view from under the bed. Oh, God.
Buhler shook his long forefinger in Frank’s face. “I thought I could trust you, Frankie. You shouldn’t have done it.” He shoved Frank back into the room.
The 911 operator answered.
“Help me,” Madeleine whispered into the phone. “Two men broke into my apartment. Help me.” She gave her address but had to repeat it when the operator couldn’t hear her. “Hurry, hurry. They—oh, God, a gun.”
Buhler poked Frank’s chest with stiff fingers. “Tell me what you’ve done, who you’ve been talking to. Aaron saw you. Who were the guys in the parking garage? IRS? FBI? What have you done to me, Frankie?”
“I didn’t tell them anything. It wasn’t—”
The younger man stepped in and slapped him, snapping Frank’s head back.
“You got a wife, don’t you? Where is she?”