I'll Be Watching You: A Noble

Overview

Rose Miller is a best-selling novelist with a seemingly perfect life: a devoted and wealthy husband with his eye on a gubernatorial nomination, a splendid country mansion, and an adorable daughter. But Rose has something else too - a shadowy stalker who sends her blood red roses with threatening notes that hint at Rose's hidden past...a life she thought she had buried forever. Who is stalking Rose? Nearly everyone is a suspect. Terrified, Rose enlists the help of a veteran detective, John Falcone, who begins to ...
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Overview

Rose Miller is a best-selling novelist with a seemingly perfect life: a devoted and wealthy husband with his eye on a gubernatorial nomination, a splendid country mansion, and an adorable daughter. But Rose has something else too - a shadowy stalker who sends her blood red roses with threatening notes that hint at Rose's hidden past...a life she thought she had buried forever. Who is stalking Rose? Nearly everyone is a suspect. Terrified, Rose enlists the help of a veteran detective, John Falcone, who begins to uncover a shocking pattern of threats and violence, all of which seem to center around the beautiful celebrity author and her powerful, wealthy family.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The money and fame-burnished life of a glamorous author turns into a nightmare when a stalker provokes terror and a sensational trial brings scandal in Gotti's The Senator's Daughter designer-clad thriller. Off the plane from Paris with just enough time to greet her husband, a criminal attorney and gubernatorial candidate, and her daughter, a beautiful preppie, before changing outfits at her opulent Fifth Avenue apartment for the book party at the Waldorf, novelist Rose Miller thinks she has relegated the dark side of her life to her fiction. Then, in a box of Victorian roses, she receives a nasty threat on the same day her childhood playmate and long-lost love, now a Las Vegas kingpin, returns to New York to be tried for racketeering--with Rose's husband as his lawyer. Who's the stalker? Gotti furnishes an array of sordid characters--from the domineering father-in-law to the overwrought publicist--to keep readers guessing, but her novel falls short of her successful debut. The story is undermined by the opening passage, recited by the corpse at a funeral, by the surprise ending, which isn't at all surprising, and by the white noise of shopping tips. The story, like the heroine, keeps afloat on sheer energy and determination, but not much substance. Random House audio; author tour. July
Library Journal
In this latest from Gotti The Senator's Daughter, who as daughter of crime boss John Gotti should know a thing or two about suspense.

Rose Miller has it all: wealthy husband, gorgeous little girl, lavish house, great success as a novelistand a stalker who knows about her shady past.

Edward Neuert
My tastes in beach reading were formed 20 years ago, on the largely manufactured strands of the Jersey shore -- the kind of crowded places where sunbathers lay packed along the sand, the smell of Sea 'N' Ski lotion filled the air, the sound of the flotsam-filled surf competed with the constant murmur of AM radio and every now and then somebody's mom would jump up to yell toward the waterline, "Dom-in-iccc! Come have a crulluhh!" This was no place to quietly read Proust. The ideal beach novel had the nutritional content and edible ease of, well, the average cruller.

Into this realm of sand and sugar comes Victoria Gotti, serving up her new thriller, I'll Be Watching You. As any kid on the beach from here to Coney Island can tell you, Victoria has the distinction of being the daughter of John The Teflon Don Gotti, the convicted former head of the Gambino crime family now serving a life sentence for murder and racketeering. Since publishing her first novel, The Senator's Daughter, last year, she's made the rounds of TV talk shows telling of her upbringing in a family she loyally maintains has no connection to the Mob, her life these days in a Long Island mansion and the countless rejections she got from publishers in her quest to become a writer of romantic thrillers. Well, she's arrived, thanks in part to her infamous surname, with a million-dollar contract to write a couple of novels and, so help me, what her publisher describes as a "combination cookbook and family history."

Gotti draws heavily on her personal history in I'll Be Watching You. It's the story of Rose Miller, an internationally famous writer of thrillers, a resident of a Long Island mansion, the wife of a prominent lawyer and the sometime paramour of a misunderstood mob boss. Into this world enters a homicidal stalker intent on making Rose his next victim, just as life is being enormously complicated by the noisy indictment of said misunderstood mob boss on the eve of Rose's husband's entrance into politics. Pretty standard stuff for this genre -- particularly if you're the daughter of a made man -- and on the face of it a natural for the beach blanket. But with the best writers of frothy fiction -- the Sheldons, Folletts and Clarks -- you sense at least an accomplished technician who knows he or she is reaching down to make a salad of improbabilities and thin characters. Gotti's spent her life in a world of the improbable and now she's reaching up, with not quite the skills of a good writer, to try to make something out of it all.

What results is a novel filled with bad grammar, strangely placed commas, a slew of unnecessary apostrophes and characters who can compete with the mighty sequoia in the wood department. Here's one standout howler: "After successfully completing Evan's first semester at Columbia Law School, his father planned a dinner to celebrate." Greater love hath no poppa than to endure tort lectures for his offspring: Eat hearty, Dad. Doesn't anybody at Crown publishing read this stuff before they send it to the printer?

It's not a high art to write a good potboiler, but it's an art nonetheless. Gotti needs fewer million-dollar contracts and -- if she's not going to stick to the cookbook business -- a few more lessons in craft. You have to hand it to her, though. Unlike her dad, she's found a way to make a tidy profit in the trash business, and the feds can't touch her. SALON June 16, 1998

Kirkus Reviews
A silverplated but overplotted second thriller (The Senator's Daughter, 1997) that revamps scenes from the moody but dumb '40s flick I Wake Up Screaming (remade as Vicki). And, yes, Vicki Gotti is Godfather John Gotti's daughter. This time, her consumer thriller drapes her heroineþromantic-suspense novelist Rose Millerþwith best-seller status, fancy duds, chauffeured limos, trysts at the Plaza, a Fifth Avenue pied-…-terre, and a Long Island spread with an endless foyer done in creamy Italian marble. Beautiful, well-heeled Rose is just back from Paris and the European book tour for her fourth novel, and is met by her beautiful 12-year-old daughter Alexis and husband Evan Miller. Now, Evan, a very nice fellow, is at his very rich but monstrous fatherþs behest about to run for governorþand then the White House. As the orphan of the Millers' handyman, Rose grew up in the Miller mansion with Evan and his half-brother Dimitri Constantinos, father James Miller's bastard whose mother fled them years ago. One drunken night, Rose slept with Dimitri and, well, rapist Uncle Tom is killed; Dimitri goes to jail for six years while Rose marries Evan and has Alexis (who doesnþt look much like Evan). Meanwhile, a serial killer named Billy is murdering women and sends Rose boxes of roses with the awful warning "I'll Be Watching You." Since his release from jail, Dimitri has gotten deeply into the casino biz, racketeering, and extortion, although the law is after him with a vengeance. So, even while Rose really loves Dimitri well, subliminally the complications verge on the incestuous, and we havenþt even got to Roseþs obsessionally nutty publicistDarioþcould he be Billy? Gotti strives to rise above the hackneyed with some nice touches that lead to her forcibly twisted climax. As yet, though, she can only kneel at the pedestal where Mary Higgins Clark stares at the stars.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609602409
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/7/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 358
  • Product dimensions: 6.51 (w) x 9.43 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

VICTORIA GOTTI's first novel was The Senator's Daughter. She lives on Long Island with her husband and three sons.
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Read an Excerpt

The appearance of imminent death always exhilarated him. Billy moved from the bed, pulled up his trousers, and took a step backward to better view the scene. He stared at the inert form lying with arms and legs gracefully stretched on the mound of cheap velour blankets and threadbare sheets. She looked perfect, serene. Her eyes were closed as though in sleep; long blond curls like expensive lambswool delicately embroidered the edge of the pillow, cascading down the side of the worn motel mattress. The white lace teddy sprinkled with pearls - the one he'd purchased and made her change into was appropriate for the moment, complementing the rhinestone tiara on top of her head.

Put it on," Billy had told her earlier. "No, I couldn't possibly...."

Ignoring her protest, he'd fastened the tiara on her head. Then he backed away and moved toward the portable stereo that he had brought with him for this "romantic" evening. The cassette he had specially prepared was already in place. Soon the music began, and filled the room.

Billy walked back to the bed and reached for her hands. His pulse quickened. "Lets dance to the perfect wedding song."

The look he'd been waiting for came into her eyes. When she resisted his offer, he sat beside her on the quilted polyester bedspread - standard seedy motel decor. He could now see that first tiny flicker of awareness that something wasn't quite right.

Recognizing she was in danger, the near naked showgirl he'd lured away from the strip joint reacted just like all the others. At first she began speaking too quickly, nervously.

"I have to go," she said, her eyes darting around the room, her voice now shaky.

"Justone dance," he whispered as he pulled her up and held her tightly against him. She felt good in his arms. She belonged there, just as they all had. For a moment he felt disloyal, thinking she might feel better than Rose.

Then he felt her panic accelerate. Her body grew rigid and her eyes filled with fear. This was his favorite part, and tonight his enjoyment was intensified. She was particularly satisfying. At the end, she seemed to know it was useless to plead, and in a burst of animal strength, she fought him. He placed his hands around her throat, and when she began to lose consciousness, he whispered, "Till death do us part."

When she was dead, he danced with her again. This time there was no resistance in her lovely, flaccid body.

As the music began to fade, his eyes fastened on the white lace teddy. Was she an angel yet? No, he thought; with her sordid past, he assumed shed be relegated to a demon. Billy turned his back on her and walked to the window. There was a chill coming in from the cracks around the panes. The incoming draft made a soft hissing sound that vaguely pleased him. Outside, the streets were tranquil. He'd have to celebrate this triumphant moment in silence. His eyes closed as the keen thrill coursed through his body. Then he opened them and shifted his gaze toward the sky.

The day dawned blue and wan, the sun only an imagined presence behind a thick blanket of clouds over the city, which from his vantage point looked like one huge gray puddle. The few patches of snow left over from last weeks mild storm had turned to dirty slush as the temperature inched up a few degrees. Gray, wet, dirty...how befitting the moment, he thought.

Billy reached inside the pocket of the blue flannel shirt he was wearing and pulled out a box of Marlboros and a gold lighter. He lit a cigarette and dragged heavily on its tip. He always savored that first cigarette after one of these strenuous scenes, his version of "afterglow".

The motel room was sparsely furnished. There were a few scattered pieces of antiquated furniture and the few personal belongings the stripper had brought up with her: a purse, a magazine, and a cheap pink umbrella. The cleanup routine had been perfected through experience; already the fingerprints and debris were completely removed. He had played out this same scenario a number of times before.

Billy searched his memory for her name. Was it Roseanne, Rosemarie, perhaps even Rachel? He couldn't remember. Oh well, it didn't matter - not now, anyway. He lit another cigarette and inhaled the nicotine deeply, then turned back to her. A rush of pleasure suffused him. Those luminous dancing eyes, not dancing anymore, pouty lips, enticing, inviting. Except for the red marks around her neck, she looked pristine, a perfect beauty. He'd waited several years for this unforgettable moment - and others like it, with more still to come.

From his pocket he pulled out a crumpled piece of paper, its edges jagged, having been torn from a book. He read it, not once, but twice, and then smiled. He had accomplished his plan scrupulously, right down to the last detail. He focused on the vase resting on the end table, then checked his watch. Three hours, three roses. How perfect. Billy's intense gaze was fixed on the flowers; he was mesmerized for a moment.

Now it was time for him to leave, but not before he'd added the finishing touch. He walked to the end table and removed the roses from the vase. Gently, careful not to prick his fingers on the thorns, he plucked the petals and scattered them around the bed, blankets, sheets, and the showgirls lifeless body.

In his head he heard the music begin again. Always, it seemed quiet at first, as though whispered in his ear. As the song grew louder, he began softly whistling the lyrics. The subtle fragrance of the petals enlivened his senses. Their touch, scent, and beauty enveloped him, and now he was singing along to the music:

The moment you wake,
Let there be no mistake,
Ill be watching you.
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Interviews & Essays

On Tuesday, July 7th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Victoria Gotti to discuss I'LL BE WATCHING YOU.


Moderator: Welcome, Victoria Gotti! We are thrilled that you could join us online this evening. How are you doing tonight?

Victoria Gotti: I am doing absolutely great.


Maria from New York City: What type of research did you do for I'LL BE WATCHING YOU? What about for THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER?

Victoria Gotti: For THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER, I went back to college and took three criminal justice courses, because the main character was a lawyer and I needed to brush up on my criminal justice knowledge. The research for I'LL BE WATCHING YOU dealt mainly one on one with two very well known psychiatrists while I was investigating the field of mental illness, and I also did extensive research with the victims of stalkers.


Kent Bradley from Haverford, PA: How autobiographical is Rose?

Victoria Gotti: There is a big part of Rose that is autobiographical, mainly because she is an author. She is thrust into the spotlight. But I would say the biggest part is the fact that I created her. In numerous scenes I tend to live vicariously through her, as most writers do through their characters.


Pac87@aol.com from xx: Are there any discussions about making any of your novels into movies or made-for-television movies?

Victoria Gotti: Yes, with THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER, I am told there are numerous discussions going on. As far as I'LL BE WATCHING YOU, there have been numerous scouts interested in reading the treatment; the proper channels are awaiting replies.


Jan from Boston: I know this is your second book, so I'm wondering if you think that you are now better known as a writer versus being known as John Gotti's daughter.

Victoria Gotti: I believe at this point I am a lot more seasoned as a writer than I was with my debut. I would hope that my readers now embrace the second novel as well as they have the first, and I believe in time I will be known for who I am, not who I am the offspring of.


Marie from Rhode Island: I have read only part of your book, but I love what I have read so far, especially John Falcone. Do you know a lot of police officers? How did you research John Falcone? Do you think he is an accurate portrayal of a veteran police detective?

Victoria Gotti: John Falcone is actually molded after a very good friend of mine -- a retired police officer -- and I used his police knowledge extensively throughout the book, especially in creating Falcone. The physical similarities and the emotional makeup are quite similar.


Susan from NJ: I understand that you have children. How difficult was it for you to do the book tour for your last book and leave them at home? How many cities did you go to and how much time did it take?

Victoria Gotti: It is very difficult but I never leave them at home; they travel with me. And it was a ten-city tour, and it probably took about a month.


Niki from Niki_palek@yahoo.com: Good evening, Ms. Gotti. Did you write a lot as a kid?

Victoria Gotti: Yes, as a young adult I kept diaries and journals, and created a number of short stories.


Mike from MMuntz@yahoo.com: Ms. Gotti, I just want to tell you that I think I really enjoyed THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER, and I am very much looking forward to reading your new book. Can you tell me if there are any elements that are at all autobiographical in either book?

Victoria Gotti: There are many elements in both books as well as many books to come in the near future that are autobiographical, as everything a writer creates is somewhat based on realism. A writer basically draws from their own experiences, from their own everyday lives, because it makes it all the more believable. If you mix a bit of realism with a bit of imagination it makes quite a combination.


Lenea734@aol.com from Plano, TX: Do you find that having the Gotti name is advantageous as an author? Why?

Victoria Gotti: I am indifferent about the entire thing. One would say it is and one would say it is not. I basically write to the best of my ability and send it out there and hope that it is formally embraced.


Jossie from NYC: Does your father read your books? Do you show your books to anybody before they are published?

Victoria Gotti: Yes, my father has read my books and has enjoyed them. No, I very rarely show my books to anyone other than immediate family members, editors, possibly an assistant or two -- and that is basically for some feedback.


Candace from The Bronx: Does your title mean exactly what it says?

Victoria Gotti: Well, if you are referring to if I will be watching you, no. It simply means it is a novel about a writer who is the subject of a stalker or the victim of a stalker and he sends these threatening cards with dead rose petals, and on each card he writes, "I'll Be Watching You."


John from Jwc901@aol.com: I know this has nothing to do with your new book, but what did you think of Peter Maas's book? Any comment?

Victoria Gotti: I have not read it and am not particularly a fan of people who try to capitalize on other people's lives.


Simon from Aurora, CO: Do you read your book reviews? What do you do when you read a bad review? What about good reviews? Do you ever listen to what reviewers have to say about your books and try to listen to them?

Victoria Gotti: For THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER, thankfully the reviews were all great. For a debut novel it is wonderful and certainly encouraging. As for I'LL BE WATCHING YOU, there are really no reviews out yet. But as to whether I take them seriously? It is wonderful to get great reviews, but as far as receiving a bad review, I wouldn't let it bring me down, because I am aware of how hard I have worked to create each novel. In regards to if I take their advice? No, it is constructive criticism and I welcome it, but I have my own style...and if there is a majority of readers that support the writing, that speaks for itself.


Marie from Florida: I am very excited about your latest book. Congratulations. My question pertains to finding a literary agent, as I have just finished my first novel. What process did you use to get one? Also, I plan to send out a multiple submission query to several agencies and know that I am supposed to make them aware of this. How can I word it so that it isn't terribly blunt?

Victoria Gotti: I interviewed quite a bit of them extensively, and I chose my agent, Frank Weinmann, because he was genuine and sincere -- two qualities that I found to be so important.


Neal from Astoria, NY: Who did you read when you were a kid?

Victoria Gotti: Judy Blume, Edgar Allan Poe, Tolstoy, and Beverly Cleary. Quite a combination.


Nancy DiMassi from Port Washington, NY: What are your interests outside of writing?

Victoria Gotti: I am also an equestrian, but for the most part I spend all of my free time with my children.


Randi from East Hanover, NJ: Do you plan on writing a nonfiction book?

Victoria Gotti: Not in the near future.


Diana from Los Angeles: When you write, do you have stories from your own experience that you weave into your characters' lives, or is everything you write about completely separate from your real life?

Victoria Gotti: It is not separate. I do weave everyday experiences into my plots and my characters. Anyone can tell a story, but to draw on something you know or experience is so much more believable.


Jerry from New York City: I just wanted to compliment the author on the book, the current one, which I have really enjoyed.

Victoria Gotti: Thank you.


Bob from NYC: Hi, Victoria. Are you planning any sequels or writing on any new subjects?

Victoria Gotti: I would love to do a part two to THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER, when the time is right, because I felt so strongly about the character Taylor Brooke.


Dave from New York: Do you watch the movies about your father, and are you ever consulted about your relationship with him by the producers of these films?

Victoria Gotti: No, I do not watch them. The producers always try to reach out for my input, but they are denied access.


Candace from The Bronx: If a movie is made regarding your book, would you like to produce or star in it?

Victoria Gotti: I think a good Rose would be Michelle Pfeiffer or Kristin Scott Thomas, because they are both methodical, strong, and assertive. As for the other characters, I really have not given it much thought. We would be here all night.


Sallie Batson from NYC: Victoria, I know you have three sons. How on earth do you find time to write?

Victoria Gotti: When you love something so much, when you feel so strongly about something, you fight to accomplish it. You make time.


Sharon from New Orleans, LA: What do you think is the best mystery ever written?

Victoria Gotti: I would have to say the best mystery/suspense that I have ever enjoyed reading would have to be Sidney Sheldon's THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT or RAGE OF ANGELS. I don't know if one would categorize them as mysteries, but they are absolutely captivating.


Frank Torres from Monroe College: Are your books mainly based on female characters?

Victoria Gotti: THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER is. In I'LL BE WATCHING YOU, there are three main characters -- two male and one female. I would like to consider all three characters main characters. I have also written an unpublished novel that has a male protagonist, so to answer your question: no.


Myrna from The Bronx: Why did you become a writer?

Victoria Gotti: You don't just become a writer. You are a writer. You are born with it. You have to have some sense of creativity to be able to write, just as a painter needs it to be able to paint. It is a talent you are born with. I am not convinced you acquire it.


Shariffa Bakarali from Monroe College: How long did it take to complete your book?

Victoria Gotti: From plot planning to rough writing/first draft to final copy edited version -- one year.


SallieBat@aol.com from NYC: I have seen your nonfiction book, WOMEN AND MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE. Are you planning any more nonfiction?

Victoria Gotti: I would love to do more works of nonfiction on women's health issues.


Kenny Z. from Ozone Park, NY: I've heard that you are active in raising money for heart disease charities. Do you still have time for this as an author?

Victoria Gotti: Yes, that is a great part of my life. I try to organize, orchestrate, and chair at least three major fundraisers a year to benefit the American Heart Association. I currently sit on the board of directors for this organization and will diligently fight for this cause for the rest of my life.


Jackie from Boston: Is it difficult to face the media in order to promote your book knowing that they would rather ask you questions about your family? Did this concern you when you decided to become a writer?

Victoria Gotti: I knew what I was up against, but I was determined to get my voice out there and not willing to let this stand in my way.


Jerry from New York City: Have you considered turning I'LL BE WATCHING YOU into a screenplay? I think this book has "motion picture" written all through it.

Victoria Gotti: I think it will make a wonderful film. I'LL BE WATCHING YOU was created for entertainment purposes. I, too, agree that it would make an interesting vehicle for viewers.


Angela Pryor from Monroe College: What gave you the idea to write this book?

Victoria Gotti: I got the idea for the plot for I'LL BE WATCHING YOU from a friend that was a victim of a stalker. She was terrified, living a menial existence for years out of fear that her stalker would move above the level of just spooking and terrorizing her and in fact cause physical harm or assault her or worse. She shared with me so many of her experiences, her anger as well as her fear, sparking my interest and exposing this subject to the public. I believe that, coupled with my own fears of unwilling exposure at times in the press and in the media, prompted the birth of I'LL BE WATCHING YOU.


Pearl from Bellingham, WA: Are you going on a tour for this book? Do you like doing readings?

Victoria Gotti: Yes, I will be going on another multicity tour, including Washington. As for readings, I do enjoy reading my favorite passages that I have created to a receptive audience.


Branson from Earth: What do you think is the toughest part of being a writer?

Victoria Gotti: The toughest part of being a writer is often being your own critic, both good and bad. Sometimes we feel or know that something does not work, something we have created, but because of the time and effort we put in it, I know I hate to admit that it is not good and has to be re-created.


Dan from Dade County, FL: Do you have a favorite author? Who? Why?

Victoria Gotti: Sidney Sheldon, because I truly believe he is the master of suspense. I enjoy reading his stories because I think he throws in a mixture of suspense, romance, and I believe realism to create a mixed stew that often boils over at any given moment.


Rick from Monroe College: It takes a lot of willpower to concentrate, considering the amount of media coverage that your family got. How hard was it for you?

Victoria Gotti: It is extremely hard to separate "church from state," but I am strong-willed and strong-minded, steeled to the fact that it is my job, my chosen profession, and any obstacle or hurdles in my way, I will gladly fight or go around.


Martina from Livingston, NJ: I just want to tell you that I was thoroughly impressed with your first book, THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER, and am looking forward to reading the new one. Do you write every day? Is it tough to write with children around?

Victoria Gotti: Yes, I do write every day. A writer's life is extremely disciplined. I give myself a limit of at least five pages but anywhere up to 12 pages, because if you don't, you let one day slip then two days slip then you become extremely lax, and it is just nonproductive.


Jerryfloyd@hotmail.com from NYC: Again, Victoria, I have found this book very, very good. Bravoooooo. At this point, chapter 35, I still think Evan is the one. Have a good evening with your family.

Victoria Gotti: Thank you very much, glad to see that you are still on board.


Moderator: Thank you so much for joining us this evening, Victoria Gotti. We wish you the best of luck with your book! Before you go, do you have any closing comments for your online audience?

Victoria Gotti: It has been a pleasure being online tonight. It is really great when you have a receptive audience, and I can honestly walk away saying what a memorable experience I had. Thanks again, and enjoy the book.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2006

    Gotti hits a good one

    I'll be watching you is a good read and i feel that Victoria Gotti used her mafia life from when she was growing up to her advantage in this book,

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