Night Work: A Novel
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With Night Work, award-winning author of the acclaimed Alex McKnight series Steve Hamilton delivers an atmospheric standalone thriller.
Joe Trumbull is not a man who scares easily. But tonight he is scared to death.
It's been two years since Joe's fiancée, Laurel, was murdered. Two years of grief and loneliness. On this hot summer night, he's finally going on a blind date, his first since Laurel's death. He's not looking for love, just testing the waters to see if it's possible to live a normal life again. And after the first awkward minutes, Joe starts to think this date wasn't such a bad idea after all. In fact, maybe it will turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to him.
He couldn't be more wrong. Because somehow, for reasons Joe doesn't yet understand, this one evening will mark the beginning of a new nightmare. A nightmare that will lead him to realize that the past is never past. And the worst is yet to come.
You’re hypnotizing yourself into remembering. At some point last night, something happened, Joe. You heard her say something. Or you saw something. There has to be … something. We need that if we’re going to figure out what to do next.” He put his pen on top of the pad and slid it over to me. “Otherwise, we don’t have much to go on, Joe. Will you give it a shot?” “I’ll try.” I took the pen. “From the moment I arrived at the restaurant…” “Yes.” “Until when?” “Until you got all the way back
Barrons’ house?” “I wanted to check on her. Apparently, she came to see me at the gym today, but I was at work.” Shea opened his notebook. “When did you go to her house?” “Around seven thirty. I was on my way over to Howie’s house.” “That’s Detective Borello.” “Yes.” “And when did she come to see you at the gym today?” “I don’t know exactly. I can ask Anderson. Sometime in the afternoon.” Shea was writing everything down. Rhinehart just sat there watching me. “She could have found you at
every time, and you …” “I was not lying, Detective. I don’t know what else to say to you.” “It looks like you’re lying here,” he said, holding the pages up to me. “That’s all I’m saying. From our point of view, you have to admit, it looks like you’re lying.” “Did it ever occur to you,” I said, “that I rushed through the last few sentences because I was getting tired of writing down every little thing? Or that maybe I was feeling a little self-conscious about what happened in her apartment?”
right about when the chief found me and threw me out of the building.” “How much trouble are you in?” “It’s nothing. I just have to take a little vacation for a few days and not come near the place. Or you, for that matter. I forgot to mention, by the way—you’re not here right now.” “Got it.” “Anyway, there must be a big hole in their case. It sounds like the Rhino was taking a chance, trying to sweat it out of you like that.” “If there’s a hole, I don’t know what it is,” I said. “If I was
me always. The night is burned into my flesh forever. I’m sorry,” she said. She could see it in my face, I’m sure. Hell, everyone in the restaurant could see it. “Were you married before?” “No. I was, um …” How did I think I could do this? How did I not know that this moment would come? And that I would have no idea how to handle it. She waited for me to continue. “I was engaged once,” I said. “A little over two years ago. Her name was Laurel.” “What happened? Did you break it off?” “She