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Bone Cold

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Overview

She thought the nightmare was over...

Twenty-three years ago, Anna North survived a living nightmare. A madman kidnapped her, cut off her pinkie, then vanished. Today Anna lives in New Orleans, writing dark thrillers under another name. She finally feels safe.

But it was only just beginning.

Suddenly Anna's quiet life takes a frightening turn. Letters start to arrive from a ...

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Bone Cold

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Overview

She thought the nightmare was over...

Twenty-three years ago, Anna North survived a living nightmare. A madman kidnapped her, cut off her pinkie, then vanished. Today Anna lives in New Orleans, writing dark thrillers under another name. She finally feels safe.

But it was only just beginning.

Suddenly Anna's quiet life takes a frightening turn. Letters start to arrive from a disturbed fan. Anna is followed, her apartment broken into. Then a close friend disappears.

Anna turns to homicide detective Quentin Malone, but Malone's more concerned with the recent murders of two women in the French Quarter. But after a third victim is found—a redhead like Anna, her pinkie severed—Malone is forced to acknowledge that Anna is his link to the killer...and could be the next target.

Now Anna must face the horrifying truth—her past has caught up with her. The nightmare has begun again.

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What People Are Saying

Chris Rush
A compelling story packed with authentic detail, Spindler's novel chilled me to the bone!
— (Chris Rush, international private investigator)
Chris Lawton
Spindler has created a story that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats till the very last page.
— (Chris Lawton, United Nations Security Advisor)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587242045
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: Wheeler Large Print Book Series
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Erica Spindler
Erica Spindler
Erica Spindler’s bestselling novels include Copycat, Killer Takes All, See Jane Die, In Silence, Dead Run, Bone Cold, All Fall Down and Cause for Alarm. This New York Times bestselling author lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, an advertising executive, and their two sons.
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Read an Excerpt


Prologue


June 1978
Southern California


Terror held thirteen-year-old Harlow Anastasia Grail in a death grip. She huddled in the corner of the dimly lit, windowless room, Timmy cowering beside her, weeping.

    The matted carpet smelled faintly of urine, as did the mattress she and Timmy had awakened on hours before. Or had it been days? Harlow didn't know. She had lost all sense of whether it was day or night and of the hours passing. Time had ceased to exist the moment Monica, her father's trusted nurse, had coaxed her and Timmy into a car Harlow hadn't recognized.

    He had been waiting inside it. The man Monica called Kurt.

    Harlow shuddered, remembering the cold way he had smiled at her. She had known instantly that he meant her and Timmy harm; she had screamed and lunged for the door handle. He had stopped her, holding her fast while Monica injected her with something that had turned her world black.

    "I want to go home," Timmy whimpered. "I want my mom."

    Harlow drew the boy closer to her side, protectiveness surging through her. It was her fault he was here. She had to take care of him; he was her responsibility. "It's going to be all right. I won't let them hurt you."

    From the adjoining room came the sound of a TV news report in progress:

    "—yet in the kidnapping of little Harlow Grail and her friend, Timmy Price. Harlow Grail, daughter of actress Savannah North Grail and Hollywood plastic surgeon Cornelius Grail, was abducted from the stables on the family's estate. The housekeeper's six-year-old son had apparently followed Grail to the stables and was also abducted. Authorities do not believe he was part of the original plot and FBI officials

    A crash rent the air, followed by the sound of splintering wood. "Son-of-a-bitch!"

    "Kurt, calm dow—"

    "I told them what would happen if they went to the cops! Stupid Hollywood assholes! I told them—"

    "Kurt, for God's sake, don't—"

    The door flew open with such force it crashed against the wall behind it. Kurt stood in the doorway, breathing hard, face white with rage. Monica and the other woman, the one called Sis, hovered behind him. They looked terrified.

    "Your parents didn't listen," he said softly, voice vibrating with hatred. "Too bad for you."

    "Let us go!" Harlow cried, pulling Timmy closer. The boy clung to her, sobbing, hysterical.

    He laughed, the sound cruel. "Spoiled little bitch. If I let you go, how will I get what I want?"

    He crossed the room and grabbed Timmy, wrenching him from her.

    "Ha'low!" the boy screamed, terrified.

    "Leave him alone!" As she scrambled to her feet to help him, Monica and Sis sprang forward, stopping her. Harlow fought them, but they were too strong. Their hands circled her arms, their nails dug into her flesh, holding her fast.

    Kurt tossed Timmy onto the dirty cot and held the struggling six-year-old down. "Watch carefully, little princess," he said to her. "See what your parents caused. They didn't listen to me. I warned them not to go to the authorities. I told them what the consequences would be. They did this. Stupid Hollywood assholes."

    Laughing, Kurt grabbed a pillow and pressed it over Timmy's face.

    "No!" The word, her scream, flew out of her, reverberating off the walls and back. "No!"

    Timmy struggled. He clawed at Kurt's hands, his legs flailed wildly at first, then with less force. Harlow watched in horror, a litany of pleas slipping from her lips, tears streaming down her face.

    Timmy went still. "No!" Harlow screamed. "Timmy!"

    Kurt straightened. He turned and faced her, an evil smile twisting his lips. "Your turn, little princess."

    He and Monica dragged her to the kitchen. Harlow told herself to fight, but terror had leeched her of her ability to do more than beg. Monica forced her right hand out over the white porcelain of the chipped and stained sink.

    "Ready or not, here I come."

    Harlow caught the glint of metal. Some sort of cutters or clippers, she realized, a scream rising in her throat.

    He found her hand, closed the cutters over her right pinkie. First came the pain, hot, blinding. Then the pop of bone being snapped in two. The white sink turned red.

    Harlow's vision blurred, then faded to black.


    Pain emanated from Harlow's bandaged hand and up her arm in fiery waves. With each crest, a bitter, steely taste filled her mouth, all but choking her. She bit down hard on her bottom lip to keep from crying aloud. She had to be quiet. Absolutely still. Kurt and the others thought she was asleep, knocked out by the pain medication Monica had given her. The medicine Harlow had only pretended to take.

    The wave passed and Harlow experienced a moment's respite from the agony. Tears flooded her eyes, tears of horror. Of hopelessness. With the emotion came another wave of pain. Light-headed, on the verge of passing out, Harlow struggled to breathe. She couldn't pass out now. She couldn't give in to the pain. Or the fear. Not if she wanted to live. Her parents were making the drop tonight. She had heard Kurt talking. He'd told the other two he would let her go when he got the money.

    He was a liar. A filthy bastard liar. He'd killed Timmy even though the boy hadn't caused any trouble. Sweet little Timmy. All he had wanted was to go home.

    Dirty bastard was going to kill her, too. No matter what he promised. She might be only thirteen, but she wasn't stupid—she had seen all three of their faces.

    Harlow eased herself off the cot, careful not to cause the springs to squeak, and crept across the matted carpet to the door. She pressed her ear to it. Kurt was speaking, though Harlow couldn't make out exactly what he was saying. It involved her. And the pickup.

    It was happening tonight.

    Harlow hurried back to the cot, lay down and closed her eyes. She heard the click of the doorknob being twisted then the soft whoosh of the door opening, of someone crossing to stand beside her.

    Once again the door hadn't been locked. Why would they lock it? They thought she was in a deep, drug-induced sleep.

    Her visitor bent over the bed and Harlow realized it was the old woman, Sis. Harlow could tell it was her by the way she smelled—of roses and baby powder, sweet scents that only partially masked the gross smell of cigarettes.

    Sis leaned closer. Harlow felt the woman's breath on her face and fought to lie perfectly still, to not recoil.

    "Sweet lamb," the woman whispered. "It's almost over now. Once Kurt has the money, everything will be all right."

    He had left to make the pickup. Time was running out.

    "I couldn't stop him before. He was angry ... he ... Your parents shouldn't have defied him. It's their fault. They're the ones—" Her voice thickened. "I did the best I could. You have to understand, he ..."

    You didn't do the best you could. You could have saved Timmy, you old witch. You made such a fuss over him but you didn't do a thing to save him. I hate you.

    "I'll be back." The woman pressed a kiss to Harlow's forehead; it was all Harlow could do to keep from screaming. "Sleep sound, little princess. It'll be over soon. I promise."

    The woman exited the room, closing the door behind her. Harlow listened intently for the telltale click of the lock mining over.

    It didn't come.

    She cracked open her eyes. She was alone. Carefully, heart thundering, terrified of making a sound that would alert the old woman, she sat up. Too quickly. Dizziness assailed her and she grabbed the edge of the cot for support. She held herself perfectly still, breathing deeply through her nose, fighting to clear her head.

    The dizziness passed, but still she remained motionless. She collected her thoughts. From what she had been able to ascertain over the past few days, she was being kept in a small, relatively isolated house. She hadn't heard sounds of traffic or passersby; nobody had rung the doorbell. In the morning she had heard the twittering of birds and twice at night the lonely howl of a coyote.

    What if she couldn't find anyone to help her?


Excerpted from BONE COLD by ERICA SPINDLER. Copyright © 2001 by Erica Spindler. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 169 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(63)

4 Star

(59)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 170 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2007

    Outstanding and Suspensful

    I absolutely LOVE Spindler and this novel was another awesome read. I have read nearly ALL of her books and this is definitely one of my absolute favorites. This was the first book to introduce the Malone clan and i love the romance that is blended into the book. I stayed up late reading this suspensful mystery. I love all of the twist and turns within the plot line and can't wait for her to write more books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2012

    very definitely a must read

    Loved it and cant wait until I read another of hers.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Bone cold

    An absolute page turner

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bone Chilling!

    Winner of the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award, BONE COLD is a delicious thriller set in pre-Katrina New Orleans. The opening scene is bone chilling. Thirteen year old Harlow Anastasia Grail and her six year-old friend Timmy have been kidnapped. Their maniacal kidnapper smothers Timmy and snaps off Harlow's pinkie. The teen manages to escape and has transformed into Anna North. She lives in the French Quarter and is a thriller novelist. But after 23 years the safe cocoon that she has spun begins to unravel around her. She receives a package, as do her family, friends, agent, editor, and a Psychologist whose specialty is childhood trauma to watch E! at 3 o'clock the next day. Anna is shocked. Her secret and whereabouts are made public. Her tormentor is still out there and now he knows where she is. Here I come! Anna awakens screaming Timmy's name. Her friends, Dalton and Bill, rush to her side. It is only the beginning. The next five days will be the most terrifying days Anna will experience. Could Kurt be toying with her as a cat does a mouse? She turns to Detective Quentin Malone when she receives a letter from a disturbed fan, but Malone is focused on the murder of a red-headed party girl that was found close to Shannon's - a cop bar.

    Over 500 pages, time flies reading this thriller. I felt I was back in the New Orleans I loved drinking café au lait and munching on beignets at Café De Monde looking over the square at the Cathedral rather than over my shoulder as Anna North must do if she is to survive. Erica Spindler spins a tale of absolute terror that is truly worthy of the du Maurier Award.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    Mind Blowing

    Erica has done it again. Bone Cold gets your full attention from page one and keeps it until the end. The story line has you guessing but the end reveals a shocker so unexpecting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2011

    THIS BOOK WAS?WONDERFUL

    Read it while on my vacation and it had me sitting on the edge of my beach chair. I had to ask the Lord to forgive me because I was reading while my husband was saying Grace, I was so ashamed of myself. Great book, nailbiting intense!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    good story, distracting writing

    I got this as a reduced price book. Good thing. The story was interesting, but a bit "romance novel" predictable. Girl meets guy, connects, great sex, argue, split, make up etc. etc. etc. Also quite distracting how everyone "drew their eyebrows together", "tipped up their chin", "rubbed the heel of their hands into their eyes", "pulled air through their nose to calm themselves" and "cupped faces in palms" at least every chapter. I found myself more looking for those expressions than getting involved in the story.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    Great read!

    This is the first mystery and suspense novel, and the first by erica spindler, i have read. I found it intriguing and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldnt put it down. I have read this book numerous times and i still am hooked in the story every time

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    A haunting past

    A great thriller to leave you with chills. Twenty-three years ago, Anna North was kidnapped and had her pinkie severed, then vanished. Now, years later, she's a best-selling author of thrillers in Louisiana under a new name. Her nightmare returned with a vengeance. Someone's been following her, her home broken to, and a close friend disappears She's been receiving disturbing fan mail letters. She requires the help of the NOPD, when Quentin Malone is on the scene, when he discovers two red-haired woman are murdered and have severed pinkies, just like Anna. That chills her to the bone. And now, she has to discover the truth of the past, before she's next.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    I enjoyed it

    I guess I am thick, I didnt know who the real bad guy was. Entertaining story, and my first from this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    NOT A NEW RELEASE!!

    I jumped the gun and ordered this book thinking it was a new release. It's a RE-release of one of her older books. I love all her work but I already read it. Still a good read. Been a while since i read it but the details are coming back to me. Can't return it so I'll "Lend" it to someone.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

    unpredictable and now my favorite book!

    this book was so good! i had absolutely no idea of the ending! a fantastic read, i definitely recommend it.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    rating it a2 might be too high

    The foreward explains tht reader requested the rerelease of this title. Why? It's formulaic. By page three, I had figured out a twist and by page 38, i know who the killer was and the 'twist' in the plot. Don't bother with this title.

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  • Posted January 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Bone Cold - Hot Story

    I am continually searching for new authors and picked this up without knowing anything about it. Great story line and thrilling to the end. Keeps you guessing... Will pick up another book by Spindler soon.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    i loved it

    i couldnt put it down it kept me guessing unil the very end

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Great book!

    I could not put it down. Keeps you guessing all the way through the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    Thoroughly Enjoyed It!

    I have never read one of Spindler's books but I found this book to be thoroughly entertaining. My one complaint is that I found the ending a little...predictable about halfway through it. BUT still enjoyed all of it!

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    Keeps you thinking

    This was a good book! Every chapter kept you thinking what was going to happen next.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    False Advertising

    Before I download a ebook I always look at the copyright date; I'm an avid reader for years and often I cant tell if I've read a book until I am a few pages in.
    This copyright says December 2010 as the published date, but the author states it was originally published in 2001 and is being released again. I would not have bought the book if I had known that

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Will Leave You Breathless!!!

    Erica Spindler writes hair raising chillers like nobody's business! Bone Cold was my first Spindler novel & the rest is history.


    I am the first in line to get the latest Spindler novel ~ I am so hooked on Spindler's creepy thrillers, I pre~order her books.

    Psst! I even secretly hope it ships early (as long as it doesn't mess up her sales).

    Bone Cold is an outstanding page turner that will leave you breathless!

    Spindler interlaces so many gripping twists & turns you will find yourself reading deep into the night ~ just triple check the locks.

    What Spindler does flawlessly is plait the pieces together to create a high octane suspense novel that makes sense. No filler to distract you, Spindler delivers incomparable attention grabbing chills that will leave you craving more.

    Bone Cold introduces the intriguing Malone family & kicks off w/ the delicious Quentin. *Sigh*.


    Bone Cold is a compelling novel that chilled me to the bone. Spindler distributes a fast paced, explosive, action infused, creepy read that is an outstanding standout!

    Spindler's characters are an eclectic blend of charm, humor, intrigue, warmth & straight up deranged you just can't stop yourself from wanting to know what exactly makes them tick.

    Spindler doesn't just toss a few procedural terms @ you for the sake of "sounding" good, she really does an extensive amount of research & it is skillfully showcased in her writing.

    Spindler is also proficient when it comes to executing credible details.

    Kudos to Spindler for always making me become part of the story everytime I read one of her captivating novels.


    I just couldn't put Bone Cold down, infact, I inhaled it in one sitting. Spindler's novels are addictive, compelling & highly recommended when you want a spellbinding tale that will curl your toes.

    Bone Cold is an addictive read & definitely one for your keeper shelves!


    Hurry! Grab a copy of Bone Cold!

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