The Best Revenge
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In a riveting new novel of psychological suspense, Stephen White shines a brilliant light on the darkness that hides just beneath the surface of ordinary lives, on the fears that cripple us and the prisons we create—prisons of the body, mind, and spirit. A thriller of runaway tension, taps into our most closely guarded fears, taking us on a harrowing journey into a realm of terror and pain, of love gone wrong and vengeance gone mad.
Psychologist Alan Gregory is living through a season of discontent. With a new daughter, a wonderful wife, and a prospering career, he has little to complain about and lots of regrets: past cases that won’t let him go, patients who don’t get better, and a growing unease with keeping secrets. But Gregory has two new patients who will drag him out of his introspection—and dare him to enter a storm of injustice and revenge.
FBI special agent Kelda James is a hero, a woman who as a rookie agent made a choice, drew her gun, and saved a life, taking another. Now Kelda is hiding from the world a secret pain that is gradually crippling her body—and she has turned to Alan Gregory to help free her from the prison of her pain. Then Kelda refers a patient to Gregory, who is terrifyingly dangerous to them both.
Tom Clone served thirteen years on Colorado’s death row for a crime he claimed he didn’t commit—until an FBI agent dug up evidence that set him free. The agent’s name: Kelda James. With both Kelda and Clone telling him their innermost secrets, Alan Gregory becomes the one person who can piece together an extraordinary puzzle—of two unsolved violent deaths of vulnerable women, of a man who may be innocent or may be very lucky, and of the strange, fatal attraction between two people trapped in a horrific plot to get revenge—at any price.
A thriller that delivers a stunning body-blow of a surprise ending, captures lives colliding at unpredictable angles, probing the dangerous lies people tell to each other and themselves. In this astonishing work by a novelist at the height of his powers, Stephen White brilliantly blends thrilling action and breakneck pacing with unrivaled insight into the human mind, heart, and psyche.
the back window.” “Did the man introduce himself?” “No, he did not.” “Tell me about him, please. Everything you remember.” Kelda did the talking. When Boca responded, each word was measured and intonated gorgeously, as though he’d memorized lines. “He was a thin man with new blue jeans and a plain gray sweatshirt. He was quite dirty.” He paused. “And he had frog eyes.” “Frog eyes?” “They stuck out, bulged. The way frogs’ eyes do. And, oh yes”—with the “oh yes” his voice moved momentarily
out of all the planning a while ago. He didn’t trust me anymore. Maybe he never really trusted me. Maybe he just needed me to get Tom out of prison. Right now, I don’t know what to think.” “That’s why you’ve been frantically looking for Tom? Because you knew that Ira had him? And you guessed what he was going to do to him? No, you didn’t guess, you knew?” She nodded and wiped away a tear that had migrated to her chin. “That’s why you referred Tom to me, isn’t it?” She cocked her head and
pick me up today?” She checked her mirrors for Prehost’s Suburban, something she’d done regularly since fixing the flat. “Just so you understand. . . . What I did over the past few months in Park County? With the evidence in your case? That wasn’t about you. That was about justice. I was doing my job. There’s no benefit to any of us in this country when we convict the wrong man, let alone when we execute him. “Picking you up this morning? That was a combination of simple curiosity and me
him say, “We’re on our way.” The door that led from the loading area to the adjacent room opened slowly. Kelda could hear it squeak. She couldn’t see the doorway, though, from where she was standing; she had melded herself against the cheap walnut paneling that lined the hallway. A male voice called out, “Who is it? Who’s there?” He was breathing loudly through his mouth. She listened to his footfalls and knew that the man had taken two steps before he repeated, “Who is it? Is somebody there?”
cash. Thirty-seven dollars. She backtracked half a block and withdrew four hundred dollars from an ATM. If her colleagues wanted to know she’d collected money from her account, she knew that they could get the information easily. But it wouldn’t tell them anything important about her location. She was exactly where they thought she would be, less than a block from the field office. Kelda convinced herself that no helicopters—they couldn’t want to know what she was up to that badly—were involved