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Right Behind You
Cover of Right Behind You
Right Behind You
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
Lisa Gardner's latest thriller following her runaway hit Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.
Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash's older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah's older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah's big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
Lisa Gardner's latest thriller following her runaway hit Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.
Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash's older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah's older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah's big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book ***This excerpt is from an advanced uncorrected copy proof***

    Copyright © 2017 Lisa Gardner

    Had a family once.

    Father. Mother. Sister. Lived in our very own double-wide. Brown shag carpet. Dirty gold countertops. Peeling linoleum floors. Used to race my Hot Wheels down those food-splattered counter tops, double-loop through ramps of curling linoleum, then land in gritty piles of shag. Place was definitely a shit hole. But being a kid, I called it home.

    Mornings, wolfing down Cheerios, watching Scooby-Doo without any volume so I wouldn't wake the 'rents. Getting my baby sister up, ready for school. Both of us staggering out the front door, backpacks nearly busting with books.

    Important to read. Someone told me that. Mom, Dad, grandparent, teacher? Don't remember now, but somewhere I got the message. Book a day. Like an apple. So after school I headed off to the library, sister still in tow. Read some books, 'cause God knows we didn't have any fruit.

    I liked Choose Your Own Adventures. Each scene had a cliffhanger ending, where you had to decide what would happen next. Turn left in the forbidden temple or turn right? Pick up the cursed treasure or walk on by? In the Choose Your Own Adventure books, you were always the one in control.

    Then I'd read Clifford the Big Red Dog to my little sis. Not old enough to read yet, she'd point and laugh at the pictures.

    Sometimes, the librarian would sneak us snacks. She'd say stuff like, Someone left behind their bag of chips. Would you like them? I'd say, Nah. She'd say, Go on, better you than me. Potato chips aren't good for my girlish figure.

    Eventually my sister would grab the chips, eyes greedy. She was always hungry back then. We both were.

    After library, home.

    Sooner or later, always had to go home.

    My mom had this smile. When she was in the right mood, having a "good day," oh, that smile. She'd ruffle my hair. Call me her little man. Say how proud she was of me. And hug me. Big, strong hugs, envelopes of cigarette smoke and cheap perfume. I loved that smell. I loved the days my mother smiled.

    Sometimes, if things were going really well, she'd fix dinner. Spaghetti noodles with ketchup—that'll leave a stain, she'd cry gaily, slurping up noodles. Ramen noodles with scrambled eggs—dinner for fifteen cents, now we're living the dream, she'd declare. Or my favorite, Kraft macaroni and cheese—it's the nuclear orange color that makes it special, she'd whisper.

    My little sister would giggle. She liked my mother in this mood. Who wouldn't?

    Dad was usually at work. Bringing home the bacon. When he had a job. Gas station attendant. Night clerk. Warehouse stocker.

    Stay in school, he'd tell me, afternoons when we came home in time to watch him button up yet another grimy uniform. Fucking real world, he'd tell me. Fucking bosses.

    Then off he'd go. And my mom would appear from the hazy cloud of their bedroom to start dinner. Or the door would never open, and I'd get out a can opener instead. Chef Boyardee. Campbell's soup. Baked beans.

    My sister and I didn't talk those nights. We ate in silence. Then I'd read her more Clifford, or maybe we'd play Go Fish. Quiet games for quiet kids. My sister would fall asleep on the sofa. Then I'd pick her up, carry her off to bed.

    "Sorry," she'd say sleepily, though neither of us knew what she was apologizing for.

    Had a family once. Father. Mother. Sister.

    But then the father worked less and less and drank...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 28, 2016
    Bestseller Gardner’s edge-of-your-seat thriller brings back law-enforcement couple Pierce Quincy and Rainie Conner, last seen in 2008’s Say Goodbye. Quincy, a retired FBI agent, and Conner, an investigative consultant for the Bakersville County (Ore.) sheriff’s department, have been fostering 13-year-old Sharlah for three years and want to adopt her. When Sharlah was five, her father fatally stabbed her mother in a drunken rage. In self-defense, her nine-year-old brother, Telly, beat their father to death with a baseball bat. In the tragedy’s aftermath, the siblings were separately fostered. Now a security camera catches 17-year-old Telly shooting a clerk and a customer to death in a gas station. Telly’s foster parents are later found slain in their home. While Quincy and Conner work on protecting Sharlah and locating Telly, Sharlah makes plans of her own. Revealing chapters from the children’s point of view show them trying to match wits with adults. Devilishly clever twists propel Gardner’s tale of family bonds fractured, mended, and sometimes destroyed. Five-city author tour. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2017
    A teenager with a troubled past becomes the prime suspect in a string of brutal murders, but ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, think there's more to the story.For the past three years, Pierce and Rainie have fostered Sharlah Nash, now 13, with the hope of soon adopting her. Sharlah's childhood is the epitome of troubled: when she was 5, her drug-addict father killed her mother and then tried to kill her and her older brother, Telly, but Telly, then 9, bashed his head in with a baseball bat. The siblings were fostered apart, with Sharlah ending up with Pierce and Rainie, whose expertise as parents seems to come from their combined resumes as a former criminal profiler and cop, respectively. Telly, we learn in expansive flashbacks from the now-teenager's point of view (Sharlah has her own, crowding an already packed narrative), bounced around before landing, age 17, with Frank and Sandra Duvall, a kind couple who are obviously not what they seem. In what appears to be an explosion of unexplained rage, Telly allegedly murders the Duvalls and then kills two people in a gas station before heading off into the Oregon woods, sparking a manhunt and fears that he's coming after Sharlah. Pierce and Rainie (last seen in Say Goodbye, 2008) work with local law enforcement to build a psychological profile of the teen--which is questionable given the excessive amount of guesswork and second- and thirdhand information used--while trying to protect their daughter from harm. With its shaky armchair psychology and excessive plot threads, this is a series low point.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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