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Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan is cursed with visions of horror committed by a savage figure he calls "Mr. X." This year, Ned's visions will become flesh and blood.
A dreadful premonition brings Ned home to find his mother on her deathbed. She reveals the never-before-disclosed name of his father and warns him of grave danger. Driven by a desperate sense of need, Ned explores his dark past and the astonishing legacy of his kin. Accused of violent crimes he has not committed and pursued by a shadowy twin, Ned enters a hidden world of ominous mysteries, where he must confront his deepest nightmares. . . .
me call Nettie first.” “Be my guest,” Toby said. Nettie wasted no time on an exchange of greetings. “I thought we were going to be seeing you, but all you do is call on the telephone.” “How did you know it was me?” “I heard your ring. Come over for dinner around six. And if you still don’t have a piece, the best thing is, get one from old Toby Kraft. You want a piece with no registration on it. The time comes when you have to use it, wipe it off, drop it, and walk away. You’ll be cleaner than
foolishness, at least you’re not crazy. But you’re a study, Ned Dunstan, I have to say that.” “How do you know my name?” “There could be a lot of reasons why a man might start to disappear. People disappear all the time, for reasons good and bad. But getting a boatload of money is the worst one I ever heard.” He shook his head, grinning. “How do you know my name?” I asked again. “Ned.” He looked down at me with an expression critical only to the extent that it remarked what I had failed to
saw Mullan. “This should interest you.” By the time we reached the door, the two cops looked like sentries guarding Buckingham Palace. “Take off,” Mullan said. They gave me that indifferent cop scrutiny and sauntered up the lane. Mullan pulled away strands of tape. “Earl’s phone is still listed under Annie Engstad, the person who lived here before him, but Hatch’s security chief had the address on file. I had to bust the lock to get in. If you’re worried about Mr. Sawyer’s rights, Judge Gram,
glasses from a bottom drawer of his desk. “Sorry about the no ice, but I never got around to putting in a fridge.” A pack of unfiltered Camels and a gold lighter came out of his shirt pocket. He poured three inches of whiskey into our glasses. “I wish it was a happier occasion. Here’s to Star.” We clinked glasses. “You getting on okay?” “Pretty well,” I said. “I saw Joy today.” “Been a long time since I did.” We drank. When he thrust the bottle toward me, I shook my head. “She and Clarence
Concentrating on the click-slop, click-slop and the occasional, radarish tock!, I ignored the other sounds drifting from adjacent lanes. Then two different sets of footsteps snagged my attention. To those who can hear, footsteps are as good as fingerprints. Two men of approximately the same weight walking across wet ground in identical pairs of shoes leave virtually identical impressions, but the sounds they make will differ in a thousand ways. What made me attend to the pair of footsteps coming