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Abandoned: A Thriller (Smoky Barrett) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Cody McFadyen
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“McFadyen expertly builds the cat-and-mouse suspense to a crescendo and then twists the reader’s expectations at the end.”—Library Journal
“Intense . . . McFadyen knows how to put readers into the minds of his characters, but many will need megawatt night-lights after finishing.”—Publishers Weekly
“[McFadyen’s] writing is possessed with a sureness and confidence that some veteran authors would kill for.”—Bookreporter.com


FBI Agent Smoky Barrett's best friend Callie is getting married. Just as they say 'I do', a woman in her early forties, wearing just a white nightgown, her head shaved, staggers into the church, crazy-eyed and babbling. She is incoherent, emaciated, and dehydrated. The wedding comes to an abrupt halt. A fingerprint match tells Smoky's team that the woman is a top homicide detective who has been missing for almost eight years. But who has been holding her captive, and why? When Smoky, Callie, James and Alan find out where the woman has been all these years, it's only the beginning of a case that will test their skills -- and stomachs -- to the limit. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Cody McFadyen lives in California. He is the author of The Darker Side, The Face of Death, and Shadow Man, which was an international bestseller.

From the Hardcover edition.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Present Day

 Everyone is alone. That is what I have learned, in time. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love a man. And when I wake up in the night, and he is there next to me, and I can touch him and maybe wake him and smell him and fuck him, feel him in me as he sweats and his hands wander over me like a badland, I appreciate it. I share the private knowledge that few share (not none, but few) of what his flesh feels like against my flesh. The velvet steel of it. I know our unique sounds, our sharing and wanting and crying out, me and only me, and I feel a certain selfish pride about it all. I am, in those moments, a possessor of secret knowledge. A holder of hidden things. 

But in the end, nothing changes the truth: He doesn’t know, in that dark, what I am thinking in my heart of hearts, and I don’t know the same of him. This is the truth. We are all separate islands. 

I am okay with that now. There was a time when I fought against the idea, as I guess everyone does. We want to know everything about our partner, share every last detail. We want to read minds and have our mind read. We want to erase all distance between us, become one person. 

But we’re not one person. However close we get, some distance will always remain. Love, I’ve come to realize, lies not only in sharing each other but in being at peace with those parts that will never be shared. I turn on my side, my cheek against my hand, and look at my man. He’s beautiful, I think. Not beautiful in a feminine way, but beautiful in the “man” of him. In his quiet ruggedness. He is sleeping deeply, and he sleeps with his mouth closed. I’m afraid to stare at him for too long. He might feel my gaze and wake up. He’s alert that way, because he, like me, knows that death is a real thing. An ever-possible moment. You learn to sleep lightly when you do what we’ve done, see what we’ve seen. 

I turn onto my back and look out the open balcony door to the night sky beyond. We’d left the door open so we could hear the ocean. The temperature here allows it. We’re in Hawaii, on a five-day vacation, my first in more than a decade. 

We’re staying on the Big Island, the land of fire and ice. When we drove away from Hilo Airport, Tommy and I looked at each other, wondering if maybe we’d made a terrible mistake in our choice of islands. All that had been visible, as far as the eye could see, was black volcanic rock. It was as if we’d landed on the surface of a hostile moon. We’d gotten more hopeful as we approached our resort. Off in the distance we could see Mauna Kea, almost 14,000 feet high and snowcapped. It felt odd to look out the car window and see evidence of snow in Hawaii, but there it was. Trees and sparse grass had begun to clamber out of all that rock, striving for life and giving insight into the changes destined in the geologic future. Someday, the grass would overcome the rock and make it soil and things would change again. Tommy and I and our ancestors would be long gone, but it would happen. Life is always striving. That’s what life does. 

The reception area of the resort had taken our breath away. It looked out over the endless ocean and the perfect beaches, and a temperate breeze had kissed our cheeks as if to welcome us here. “Aloha,” the young man at the reception desk said, white teeth against tan skin, seeming to agree with the breeze. 

We’ve been here for four days now, doing much of nothing. Hawaii took us in gently, ignoring the blood on our hands, telling us with its beauty to rest for a while. Our hotel room is on the third floor, and our balcony is no more than fifty yards from the ocean. We spend our days lying on the beach and making love and our nights walking on the beach and making love and marveling at the overwhelming panoply of stars in the ancient sky. We watch the sunsets until the moon calls the night sky to the sea. 

It’s a temporary peace. We’ll go back to Los Angeles soon, where I head the local branch of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime—or NCAVC. The NCAVC is based in Quantico, Virginia, but someone in every FBI office in every city is assigned as the NCAVC coordinator. In many places, that job is a second hat, worn only occasionally. In Los Angeles, it has been a full-time endeavor, and I’ve been in charge for more than twelve years now, running a four-person team including me. 

We’re called in for the worst there is. Men and women who murder men and women and (far too often) children. Serial rapists. The people we hunt rarely do what they do in the heat of the moment. Their actions are not a momentary anomaly but a solution to a need. They do what they do for the joy of it, because emptying out others fills them up like nothing else there is. 

I spend my life peering into the darkness these people radiate. It’s a cold blackness, filled with mewls and skittering things, high-pitched screeching laughter, unmentionable moans. I have killed bad men and been hunted by them too. It is my choice and my life, and I wake up to it, I come home from it, I sleep with my man and wake up to it again. So it’s rare that I lift my head and really see the stars. We all live and die under them, but I tend to be most concerned with the dying part. I’ve had dreams of victims, on their backs, hitching final breaths as they gaze up at those ruthless, forever points of light. 

Here in Hawaii, I’ve taken time to see the stars. I’ve turned my face to the sky every night and let the stars remind me that something beautiful has already burned far longer than any of man’s ugliness ever will. I close my eyes for a moment and listen. The ocean beats against the shore outside like an unending exhalation of someone greater than us. If I was certain where I stood on God, I’d think of that sound as His heartbeat. But God and I are on shaky ground, and though we’re closer now than we were years before, we rarely speak. 

Something is out there, though. Something undeniable and endless rides those waves into the sand, again and again, in rhythm with the world’s metronome. There is a vastness to the ocean in this place, a purity of sound and color and sweetness too unbearably wonderful to be an accident. I’m not sure it cares about us, whatever it is, but perhaps it keeps the world turning while we make our own choices, and perhaps that’s the best we can ask for. 

I open my eyes again and move away from Tommy, slow and quiet as I can. I want to go out onto the balcony, but I don’t want to wake him. The sheets silk across my skin and then I’m free of them. My feet find the carpet floor. The moon lights up the room, so locating the bathrobe (which I plan to steal when we leave) is no problem. I shrug it on but don’t belt it, glance one final time at Tommy, and step out onto the balcony. 

The moon, always a disinterested witness, shines over everything tonight, covering the world with its soft silvers and gently glowing ambers. It hangs above the ocean like a ragged pearl, and I study it with muted wonder. It’s just a ball of rock that throws off a cold light, but it has such power...
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