Aquarius Descending [NOOK Book]

Overview


Martha C. Lawrence's original and appealing heroine, Elizabeth Chase, is a licensed P.I. and parapsychologist who combines her psychic insight with old-fashioned detective work. Reluctantly persuaded to look into the disappearence of her boyfriend's ex-fiance into a cult, Elizabeth goes undercover to investigate. But have her unique powers finally met their match?

Read More ...
See more details below
Aquarius Descending

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview


Martha C. Lawrence's original and appealing heroine, Elizabeth Chase, is a licensed P.I. and parapsychologist who combines her psychic insight with old-fashioned detective work. Reluctantly persuaded to look into the disappearence of her boyfriend's ex-fiance into a cult, Elizabeth goes undercover to investigate. But have her unique powers finally met their match?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - John Charles
When Vince Shaffer tries to hire psychic investigator Elizabeth Chase to locate his missing daughter, Jennifer, Elizabeth's first reaction is to turn him down. While missing person cases are Elizabeth's specialty, this time she feels she is too close to things-especially because years ago, Jennifer had been Elizabeth's boyfriend Tom's fiancée. What changes Elizabeth's mind is the offer of a sizable finder's fee, plus the fact that Elizabeth thinks she might be able to succeed in locating Jennifer even though three other detectives hired by Vince have failed. Vince recently received a package from Jennifer-the first time there had been any communication from her in two years-but fears the package means his daughter is in danger. Several years ago Jennifer joined a cult called "The Bliss Project," and immediately cut off all ties with her brother and father. Elizabeth quickly discovers that she has to infiltrate the cult if she is going to learn anything about Jennifer's current whereabouts. Put together a fast-paced story featuring a strong heroine, a touch of the paranormal, and a dangerous cult and you have a mystery guaranteed to hook teens from the first chapter! The story is told from Elizabeth's point of view and her courage, vulnerability, and sharp sense of humor are some of the best things about the book. Aquarius Descending is the third book in a series featuring Elizabeth Chase, the first of which, Murder In Scorpio (St. Martin's, 1995), was nominated for three major mystery awards as well as being a VOYA Clueless 1997 pick. Recommend this title to older teens who have enjoyed Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone books or Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone mysteries. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being better written, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12 and adults).
Library Journal
Private investigator and parapsychologist Elizabeth Chase (The Cold Heart of Capricorn, LJ 1/97) approaches her third case with apprehension, then with zeal. As she searches for the missing ex-fiancee of longtime boyfriend Tom McGowan, now an FBI agent, Elizabeth infiltrates a secretive and potentially dangerous California religious cult known as the Bliss Project. With her relationship at stake and her psychic powers at best undependable, Elizabeth almost becomes a victim herself. A believable plot, well-developed characters, and a heroine with an interesting edge.
Kirkus Reviews
Who's the logical person to look into the ten-year-old disappearance of crime-victim activist Jen Shaffer after three other investigators fail (one did nothing, the second vanished himself, the third was scared off the case)? It's Elizabeth Chase, of course, the San Diego p.i. who's also a P.I. (Psychic Investigator). Jen's father Vince and her brother Jeremy remain staunchly convinced that she'd never leave them behind willingly to join a cult that changed its name from The Church of the Risen Lord to The Bliss Project to avoid association with right-wing fundamentalists (a nice touch). Jen must be held captive, they tell Elizabeth, or dead, as the package containing her Medic Alert bracelet darkly suggests. So after making the obligatory review of the case, Elizabeth, urged on by her main squeeze, FBI agent Tom McGowan, goes undercover as one Whitney Brown, a slightly psychic, slightly skeptical candidate for The Bliss Project's high-priced rocket to nirvana. The basic plot is as old as E. Phillips Oppenheim, but Lawrence handles its formula-the perilous masquerade that will lead to revelations most readers suspect early on-with quiet confidence, rising tension, the occasional surprise, and a welcome air of realism that doesn't flag until the final melodramatic flourishes. Though Elizabeth's third case (The Cold Heart of Capricorn, 1997, etc.) makes more use of traditional detective work than of psychic powers, readers will likely find it her most polished appearance yet. .
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429976732
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Series: Elizabeth Chase Mysteries , #3
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,079,560
  • File size: 316 KB

Meet the Author


Martha C. Lawrence has worked as a book editor, a professional astrologer, and a business writer. Inspired by her own psychic experiences, she began her mystery series featuring Elizabeth Chase, a licensed P.I. and parapsychologist. Ashes of Aries is the fifth Elizabeth Chase novel. It follows the critically acclaimed Pisces Rising, named by San Diego Magazine as one of the best books of 2000 by a local author, Aquarius Descending, The Cold Heart of Capricorn, and Murder in Scorpio, which was nominated for the Edgar, Agatha, and Anthony awards for the best first novel of 1996. Martha C. Lawrence currently lives in Escondido, California.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


1




I stood on the terrace of my childhood home looking out across a postcard-perfect landscape. Smoky-blue foothills rolled across the eastern horizon. A soft breeze carried the sweet perfume of a dozen acres of blossoming orange trees. Honeybees made a fuzzy murmuring in the purple bed of ice plant at my feet. Together with the warm, fragrant air, their buzzing lulled me into a hypnotic half-dream. A thoroughbred mare called to her colt, her whinny clear but faint across the valley.

It was picturesque all right. The spitting image of prosperity and tranquillity. So when the bulldozers resumed their ungodly grinding, it had the effect of a loud belch in the middle of a diva’s tender aria. Quite rude. Still, I was fascinated. Once the mechanical beasts resumed their relentless annihilation, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. Not that there was much to see at this point. The mansion had been destroyed last week. Today they were just leveling the earth.

Then I heard another sound. It came from behind me, the whistling of a familiar tune: It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood … .

I recognized the melody. It was the theme song of a television show from my childhood: Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I turned around and recognized the whistler. Albert Chase, M.D. All cleaned up and ready for dinner. Silver hair slicked back, a teal-blue, V-necked sweater pulled over his clean white shirt. Slacks pressed. On his feet, a pair of Teva river sandals, very cool on a man in his sixties and the perfect rebellious touch to an otherwise conservative ensemble. Dad’s eyes were gleaming as he joined me at the edge of the terrace. He continued to whistle the Mr. Rogers theme song, enlivening the tune with a couple of cheery eighth-note flourishes. Across the valley, the bulldozers roared.

“Dad!”

The whistling stopped.

“What?” His deep-set eyes were all innocence.

“‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’? Is that any way to honor the dead?”

His steady gaze held no apologies.

“I’ll honor the dead when the last of the looky-loos are gone and I can enjoy the domestic paradise I’ve worked so hard for.” He put his hands on his hips, looked across the valley and shook his head in disgust.

“Of all the places to catch a comet, they had to pick my neighborhood.”

He was talking, of course, about the thirty-nine cult members who had offed themselves—shed their containers, if you will—in the neighboring mansion. It had been months now, but strange vehicles continued to poke around the nearby roads, heads bobbing out of car windows hoping to catch a glimpse of the planet’s most bizarre launch site. In a final move of brilliant desperation, my father and a few of our neighbors had pooled some investment funds to buy the property, raze the place and restore the neighborhood to its former dignity.

The bulldozers surged and growled. Dad continued his merry whistling.

“Dad—”

But my complaint lost its steam. In truth, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about Heaven’s Gate either. It’s hard enough to inspire confidence when you work as a psychic investigator. To hail from the site of the nation’s largest mass suicide wasn’t going to help. Maybe I’d just skip the part about growing up in Rancho Santa Fe. I could fabricate a whole new childhood entirely outside of California. Peoria, perhaps.

He stopped whistling and a thoughtful look crossed his face.

“Did you ever have a feeling about it?”

“Heaven’s Gate, you mean?”

He nodded.

I was pleased that he’d asked. It showed open-mindedness. My dad’s a medical doctor, and a fairly traditional one at that. He has a lot of reservations about the New Age. You get that right away when he pronounces the term—he rhymes it with “sewage.” But he’s seen enough instances of my ability to know that I can occasionally see into the future. He also knows that I can’t turn my precognition on and off like a faucet, and that when my vision fails me, I don’t lie about it.

I’d given his question some thought myself.

“No, I honestly didn’t see Heaven’s Gate coming. Thank God.” I stared at the scar on the landscape where the cult’s mansion once stood. “That would have been a cold shadow to grow up in.”

Contrary to popular assumption, psychics aren’t tuned in to every travesty happening on the globe. I think a few people might be, but for the most part, those folks live in mental hospitals.

We fell silent and watched the bulldozers. There were two of them, circling the property like waltzing machines. After a time, Dad spoke again.

“What do you think makes people go to such extremes?”

I’d given this question some thought as well.

“I don’t know. Don’t think I really want to know, either.”

“No interest in seeing what causes fairly normal people to go that far-out?”

“None whatsoever. I wouldn’t go near a cult for all the diamonds in Tiffany’s.”

Ever notice how when you say something untrue, you get this overwhelming sense about it? Almost as if an internal PA system starts announcing, “WRONG, WRONG, WRONG … .” No sooner had the words, “I wouldn’t go near a cult,” passed my lips than a weight in the pit of my stomach told me that time would make a liar out of me. I just had no idea how soon.

I turned away from what was left of Heaven’s Gate and studied my father’s face.

“Let’s change the subject. Okay, Dad?”

“Okay. Looking forward to seeing old Tom McGowan tonight. It’s been a while.”

“Old” Tom McGowan was my thirty-something significant other, who for the most part lived out of state these days. I was looking forward to seeing him myself.

“You and he ever going to get married?”

That’s one of the things I like about my dad. He gets right to the point. My mom, on the other hand, has been trying to ask me this question in a thousand different ways over the last three years. I gave Dad the same response I’ve always given my mom.

“I have no idea.”

That statement must have been true. My internal PA system was quiet.

“Well, it’ll be good to see him again.”

The bulldozers erupted in a final frenzy, then fell silent. We watched the operators—tiny from this distance—get down from their seats and walk off the job site. Our conversation stopped and we stood perfectly still, as if listening for the sound of the shadows lengthening across the valley. Then we heard the humming of an engine, faint at first but growing louder. Next came the hissing of tires on pavement and the gunning of a motor as an approaching car accelerated up the steep incline of my parents’ driveway.

Dad smiled. “That must be McGowan now.”

Copyright © 1967 Sony/ATV Songs LLC (renewed). All rights administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, 8 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One


I stood on the terrace of my childhood home looking out across a postcard-perfect landscape. Smoky-blue foothills rolled across the eastern horizon. A soft breeze carried the sweet perfume of a dozen acres of blossoming orange trees. Honeybees made a fuzzy murmuring in the purple bed of ice plant at my feet. Together with the warm, fragrant air, their buzzing lulled me into a hypnotic half-dream. A thoroughbred mare called to her colt, her whinny clear but faint across the valley.

    It was picturesque all right. The spitting image of prosperity and tranquillity. So when the bulldozers resumed their ungodly grinding it had the effect of a loud belch in the middle of a diva's tender aria. Quite rude. Still, I was fascinated. Once the mechanical beasts resumed their relentless annihilation, I couldn't tear my eyes away. Not that there was much to see at this point. The mansion had been destroyed last week. Today they were just leveling the earth.

    Then I heard another sound. It came from behind me, the whistling of a familiar tune: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood....

    I recognized the melody. It was the theme song of a television show from my childhood: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I turned around and recognized the whistler. Albert Chase, M.D. All cleaned up and ready for dinner. Silver hair slicked back, a teal-blue, V-necked sweater pulled over his clean white shirt. Slacks pressed. On his feet, a pair of Teva river sandals, very cool on a man in his sixties and the perfect rebellious touch to an otherwise conservative ensemble. Dad's eyes were gleaming as he joined me at the edge of the terrace. He continued to whistle the Mr. Rogers theme song, enlivening the tune with a couple of cheery eighth-note flourishes. Across the valley, the bulldozers roared.

    "Dad!"

    The whistling stopped.

    "What?" His deep-set eyes were all innocence.

    "`A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'? Is that any way to honor the dead?"

    His steady gaze held no apologies.

    "I'll honor the dead when the last of the looky-loos are gone and I can enjoy the domestic paradise I've worked so hard for." He put his hands on his hips, looked across the valley and shook his head in disgust.

    "Of all the places to catch a comet, they had to pick my neighborhood."

    He was talking, of course, about the thirty-nine cult members who had offed themselves — shed their containers, if you will — in the neighboring mansion. It had been months now, but strange vehicles continued to poke around the nearby roads, heads bobbing out of car windows hoping to catch a glimpse of the planet's most bizarre launch site. In a final move of brilliant desperation, my father and a few of our neighbors had pooled some investment funds to buy the property, raze the place and restore the neighborhood to its former dignity.

    The bulldozers surged and growled. Dad continued his merry whistling.

    "Dad — "

    But my complaint lost its steam. In truth, I wasn't exactly thrilled about Heaven's Gate either. It's hard enough to inspire confidence when you work as a psychic investigator. To hail from the site of the nation's largest mass suicide wasn't going to help. Maybe I'd just skip the part about growing up in Rancho Santa Fe. I could fabricate a whole new childhood entirely outside of California. Peoria, perhaps.

    He stopped whistling and a thoughtful look crossed his face.

    "Did you ever have a feeling about it?"

    "Heaven's Gate, you mean?"

    He nodded.

    I was pleased that he'd asked. It showed open-mindedness. My dad's a medical doctor, and a fairly traditional one at that. He has a lot of reservations about the New Age. You get that right away when he pronounces the term — he rhymes it with "sewage." But he's seen enough instances of my ability to know that I can occasionally see into the future. He also knows that I can't turn my precognition on and off like a faucet, and that when my vision fails me, I don't lie about it.

    I'd given his question some thought myself.

    "No, I honestly didn't see Heaven's Gate coming. Thank God." I stared at the scar on the landscape where the cult's mansion once stood. "That would have been a cold shadow to grow up in."

    Contrary to popular assumption, psychics aren't tuned in to every travesty happening on the globe. I think a few people might be, but for the most part, those folks live in mental hospitals.

    We fell silent and watched the bulldozers. There were two of them, circling the property like waltzing machines. After a time, Dad spoke again.

    "What do you think makes people go to such extremes?"

    I'd given this question some thought as well.

    "I don't know. Don't think I really want to know, either."

    "No interest in seeing what causes fairly normal people to go that far-out?"

    "None whatsoever. I wouldn't go near a cult for all the diamonds in Tiffany's."

    Ever notice how when you say something untrue, you get this overwhelming sense about it? Almost as if an internal PA system starts announcing, "WRONG, WRONG, WRONG...." No sooner had the words, "I wouldn't go near a cult," passed my lips than a weight in the pit of my stomach told me that time would make a liar out of me. I just had no idea how soon.

    I turned away from what was left of Heaven's Gate and studied my father's face.

    "Let's change the subject. Okay, Dad?"

    "Okay. Looking forward to seeing old Tom McGowan tonight. It's been a while."

    "Old" Tom McGowan was my thirty-something significant other, who for the most part lived out of state these days. I was looking forward to seeing him myself.

    "You and he ever going to get married?"

    That's one of the things I like about my dad. He gets right to the point. My mom, on the other hand, has been trying to ask me this question in a thousand different ways over the last three years. I gave Dad the same response I've always given my mom.

    "I have no idea."

    That statement must have been true. My internal PA system was quiet.

    "Well, it'll be good to see him again."

    The bulldozers erupted in a final frenzy, then fell silent. We watched the operators — tiny from this distance — get down from their seats and walk off the job site. Our conversation stopped and we stood perfectly still, as if listening for the sound of the shadows lengthening across the valley. Then we heard the humming of an engine, faint at first but growing louder. Next came the hissing of tires on pavement and the gunning of a motor as an approaching car accelerated up the steep incline of my parents' driveway.

    Dad smiled. "That must be McGowan now."


Chapter Two


I left Dad to his whistling and went around front to greet the blue Buick Regal that came barreling up the driveway. I didn't recognize the car. Neither did Cinnamon, my parents' Irish setter, who burst into violent barking and nipped at the tires as the vehicle sped toward me. It was McGowan behind the tinted windshield, though. I knew by the way my heart rose up and that goofy grin crossed my face. As soon as the car door popped open, Cinnamon's tail began to swing. Her ears relaxed, her tongue hung out of her mouth and she put on a goofy grin, too.

    "Hey there, Cinnamon Bun!" McGowan leaned out of the car, made a kissy-face and put his arms around the dog's wriggling shoulders. Cinnamon returned the affection with several slobbering licks to his eyes, nose, and lips.

    After a few more seconds of this touching scene, I stepped forward and pulled the dog back by her collar.

    "Okay, that's enough. It's my turn to lick your face."

    McGowan pulled his six-and-a-half-foot frame out of the car and put his arms around me.

    "Hey, stranger."

    "I'm no stran — " I began, but his lips stopped mine, which was no loss. It would have been a lame joke anyway. When we stopped licking each other's face, he buried his head in my hair and gave me a bear hug.

    "It is so good," he said, "to be here."

    "Here" meant home, California. Three years ago McGowan had been an officer with the local police department. Then the FBI discovered his talent for hostage negotiation and recruited him for part-time assignments out of its San Diego office. His passion for the work led him deeper into the Bureau. The following year he became a full-time federal agent. Lately he'd been spending most of his time in Quantico, Virginia, but he still had ties to California: occasional fieldwork in San Diego, a house in nearby San Marcos, a gym membership. Me.

    I stepped back to get a good look at him.

    "So fine," I said.

    "Oh, stop it."

    "I was talking about your car. Is it new?"

    "Actually, it's a rental. It wasn't making sense to keep paying expenses on cars in both states."

    Another tie cut. The realization hit me and I felt a pang of regret. McGowan must have seen it in my face.

    "Don't read anything into that — " he began, but at that moment the front door opened and my mom stepped out.

    "Well, well, well. Look who's here. Handsome as ever."

    She might have been talking about herself. My mother is one of those women whose looks the years seem to enhance, rather than fade. Maybe it's the way that time has emphasized her bone structure. Maybe it's the remarkable shade of silver her hair has become. Maybe it's because she's my mom and I love her. At least a foot shorter than McGowan, she stretched up on tiptoes and closed the gap to give him a hug.

    "You're just in time. Dinner is served."


The spread was impressive. Shrimp quesadillas, chile rellenos, a variety of tapas, freshly chopped cilantro straight from the garden, and homemade salsa fresca. My parents love to cook. Mom has a way with rellenos and fish dishes. My dad performs magic with carbohydrates from around the world. He bakes European breads, makes genuine Italian pasta. He'd made the tortillas tonight from scratch, using a recipe he'd found at a taco shop in Ensenada. Family lore has it that he paid the shop owner mucho dinero to let him into the kitchen so he could watch over the cook's shoulder.

    Dad swiped the edge of his beer glass with a lime. He tipped a bottle of Corona and poured carefully.

    "What business brings you to California this time, Tom? Or is this just a pleasure trip?"

    "Both," Tom answered. "In addition to the pleasure of seeing Elizabeth, I was also hoping I could persuade her to look into a case."

    The compliment was nice, but the mention of work was music to my ears. Ordinarily I'm juggling at least three or four cases at a time, sometimes more. Things were a little slow at the moment. Let's be honest — things were dead. I'd be willing to serve subpoenas about now. I felt a surge of excitement as I helped myself to the salsa.

    "Something interesting, I hope."

    "Oh yeah. If there's one thing this case has going for it, it's interesting." His eyes met mine but I couldn't read them.

    "I'm intrigued. Tell me more."

    "Well, maybe we shouldn't discuss shop over this beautiful dinner your parents have prepared." He pointed to the sun-dried tomato pilaf across the table.

    Mom picked up the bowl and passed it to Tom.

    "Don't be silly. Your shoptalk is a lot more intriguing than life around here. Cult activity notwithstanding. And we're sick to death of that topic, aren't we, Albert?"

    Dad's mouth was full. He nodded his head, chewing vigorously.

    "This shoptalk may not be what you're looking to hear, then," Tom said.

    "Nonsense," Mom fired back. "You can't bring up a thing like that without at least giving us a hint of what it's about."

    "Well — " McGowan was hedging. He didn't want to talk about it. I love my mom's assertiveness and I probably get a good deal of my chutzpah from her, but at the moment I wished she'd quit pressing.

    "Mom — " I began, but she cut me off.

    "Just tell us what kind of case it is, generally."

    McGowan dabbed at his lips with his napkin. "Missing persons."

    One of my specialties. Now I was curious.

    "Really?" Mom brightened. "Someone has disappeared. Oh, can we play `Twenty Questions'? Is it a male or a female?"

    "Mom — " I chided.

    "Female," McGowan said.

    "Okay, you said the case is interesting. A famous person?"

    "No."

    "An infamous person?"

    A quick frown crossed McGowan's face. "Not exactly."

    "But something interesting.... Oh come on, Albert, help me out here."

    Dad swallowed some beer. "I'm staying out of this."

    "Would I know who this person is?"

    I was going to give Mom hell again, then decided McGowan could defend himself if he didn't want to play. I was actually starting to enjoy their little game.

    "Let's put it this way," McGowan said. "You don't know her, but someone you know does."

    Mom's eyes lit up. "Okay. Somebody has disappeared and someone I know knows this missing person. Someone I know — "

    That's when I heard it. The voice. The one that speaks clearly, softly. The one that no one else can hear. The voice said, Jen.

    "Is it someone Elizabeth knows?" Mom asked.

    McGowan blinked thoughtfully. "Elizabeth knows of her."

    Jen, the voice said again.

    Mom gestured with her fork. "Elizabeth knows of her but someone I know actually knows this missing person?"

    I didn't know a Jen. I racked my brains. I was sure I didn't know of anyone named Jen.

    Mom's eyebrows knitted and she looked at my father. "Is it someone Albert knows?"

    Jen, Jen.

    "Who the heck is Jen?" I nearly shouted.

    All heads turned to me. For several seconds, there was nothing but dead silence. Then McGowan sat back and smiled broadly. He chuckled and shook his head.

    "You scare me, woman. I wish I knew how in the hell you do it."

    Dad looked at me. "She guessed it?"

    McGowan was staring at me like he was seeing me for the first time.

    "I don't know if `guess' is the right word. But Jen's the missing person all right."

    "Well, who is she?" I asked.

    Mom put her hand on my arm. "You don't know her, dear?"

    "No, I don't know a Jen. Who is she?"

    McGowan bit his lip. "Um, Jen Shaffer. You know. That woman I was, uh, going to marry."

    Hold the phone. McGowan had an ex, and he wanted me to find her? My words came slowly.

    "Of course. That Jen." But I was remembering now: a conversation we'd had early in our courtship, the one where we revealed past significant others and how and why they'd bombed out.

    "Jen," I said. "Wasn't she the one who ran off with the religious cult?"

    He nodded. "Yeah, that's the one."

    "And you want me to ... what? Find and deprogram her?" It came out a bit too snippily.

    "Just find her. I wouldn't ask, but her father is going out of his mind. He hasn't heard a word from Jen in nearly two years now. Apart from his son, Jen's the only family he has. His wife died years ago."

    McGowan had never talked much about his former fiancee or her family. But he still cared about them. I could see it in his eyes.

    He sighed. "Part of me hates to ask but a bigger part of me feels I should do what I can for them."

    For once in their lives, my parents were speechless. Mom was actually looking a little horrified. Served her right for pushing the issue.

    Something deep in my gut stirred uneasily. "I don't know if this is really a wise idea, Tom."

    He drew lines in the water that had beaded on the outside of his beer glass. "I can understand your reservations. But I promised Vince I'd at least ask you."

    "Vince is Jen's father?"

    McGowan nodded.

    I thought for a moment before speaking. "It's not like I'm the only private investigator in town, you know."

    He shook his head. "He's tried others. Two of them came up empty-handed. A third PI flaked out and disappeared on him."

    McGowan seemed to know an awful lot about the status of his ex's disappearance.

    "You've been following her case, then?" I sawed off another bite of chile relleno and tried to look casual.

    "No. I've done my best to forget about her. One of your fans at the police department recommended you to Vince. Told him about the amazing way you found those other kids. Told him he could reach you through me."

    Mom found her voice. "This would be a miserable time to have a child disappear into a religious cult."

    "I don't think Jen's a child, Mom."

    "They're always your children."

    In the silence that followed, I had the unmistakable sense of life-altering events looming just ahead. My appetite vanished. I did my best to ward off the premonition by feigning ignorance and smiling bravely at McGowan.

    "Who's to say your former love is not off happily marching to the rhythm of her own wacky drummer?"

    He didn't smile back.

    "A package arrived in Vince's mail last week. Based on the contents, he thinks Jen might be dead."

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2001

    The Last One I Read

    I was quite put off by this book, because the author seems to use it as an excuse for advocating religious intolerance. She takes ideas from Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, among other traditions, presents them in the most absurd and superficial way possible, and then portrays them as evil. Her detective assumes that no one could believe such things unless the people are brainwashed with subliminal messages or drugged. What is worse, her detective is supposed to be knowledeable about 'spirituality.' As a theologian, I can do without this kind of 'expertise,' just as I can do without this level of intolerance. A generation ago a nasty parady of Catholic thought might have been tolerated. When John F. Kennedy was elected president, some people said, quite seriously, that the pope would run the country because Kennedy was a Catholic. We've come a long way since then, and that kind of religious intolerance would no longer be acceptable. But we haven't come far enough if this kind of nasty parody of Eastern thought can be written and published. I'm painfully aware that negativity sells in this culture, but it doesn't sell to me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)