Long After Midnight

Long After Midnight

4.5 22
by Iris Johansen

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She wanted to save lives.  The killer wanted to end hers.

The first warning was triggered hundreds of miles away.  The second warning exploded only yards from where she and her son stood.  Now Kate Denby realizes the frightening truth:  She is somebody's target.

Danger has arrived in Kate's backyard with a vengeance.&


She wanted to save lives.  The killer wanted to end hers.

The first warning was triggered hundreds of miles away.  The second warning exploded only yards from where she and her son stood.  Now Kate Denby realizes the frightening truth:  She is somebody's target.

Danger has arrived in Kate's backyard with a vengeance.  And the gifted scientist is awakening to a nightmare world where a ruthless killer is stalking her...where her innocent son is considered expendable...and where the medical research to which she has devoted her life is the same research that could get her killed.  Her only hope of protecting her family and making that medical breakthrough is to elude her enemy until she can face him on her own ground, on her own terms—and destroy him.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Intense, hold-your-breath suspense.  Iris Johansen is incomparable."—Tami Hoag, author of Guilty as Sin and A Thin Dark Line

"Long After Midnight is one of the most thrilling, best-written books I have curled up with in a long time.  Iris Johansen is clearly at the top of her craft."—Michael Palmer, author of Silent Treatment and   Critical Judgment

"You'll be racing through to the last page of Long After Midnight."—Catherine Coulter, author of The Maze

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW thought "readers will be won over by Johansen's flesh-and-blood characters, crackling dialogue and lean, suspenseful plotting." (Nov.)
Library Journal
In the latest from Johansen, who came to the attention of suspense fans with her best-selling The Ugly Duckling (LJ 1/96), someone is trying to keep research scientist Kate Denby from making a major medical breakthrough.
Kirkus Reviews
Second-novelist Johansen (The Ugly Duckling, p. 249) clearly has a penchant for superwoman protagonists who emerge victorious in the face of all adversity.

Kate Denby, a scientist, is pushing 30, and her marriage—to an old-fashioned (i.e., chauvinist) cop—is over, but she's got three things that make life worth living: her work, her son, and her mother-in-law, who lives with her and cares for nine-year-old Joshua when Kate's at the lab. In fact, Kate's all-consuming work at Genetech in Oklahoma was a large factor in her ex-husband's disillusionment with their relationship. But Kate doesn't really care: She's getting closer and closer to a medical breakthrough she's researching at Genetech on her own time. Then, when Kate starts getting aggressively courted by famous geneticist Noah Smith—who wants her to help him with the final states of RU2, the "miracle drug" he's close to completing—trouble breaks out. Noah's lab explodes (it's thought that he died in the blast). Then it appears that whoever "got" Noah is after Kate. Following a series of minor mishaps, her ex-husband's car explodes when Joshua was supposed to be in it, and that's the last straw. Noah, who isn't dead after all, convinces Kate to head for the hills—literally; once in hiding in West Virginia with Noah, Joshua, mother-in-law Phyllis, and Seth, Noah's darkly mysterious best friend/bodyguard, Kate and Noah are finally free to complete their research and plan for the release of RU2—which will, they think, eliminate all fatal illnesses in one big swoop. Unfortunately, however, Ishmaru, a hired assassin, is still on Kate's trail.

There's a lot going on here, what with the futuristic medical breakthroughs, the determined assassin, the emergence of several late plot twists, and the romantic tension between Kate and all available males, but somehow it all works. Overall, then, a lively, engrossing ride by a strong new voice in the romantic suspense genre.

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Random House Publishing Group
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4.22(w) x 6.89(h) x 1.15(d)

Read an Excerpt

She didn't look like a warrior, sitting there on the boy's bed, Ishmaru thought in disappointment. She looked soft and womanly, without spirit or worth.

He peered through the narrow slit afforded by the venetian blinds covering the window of the boy's room.

Look at me. Let me see your spirit.

She didn't look at him. Didn't she know he was there, or was she scorning his threat to her?

Yes, that must be it. His power was so great tonight, he felt as if the stars themselves must feel it. Coup always brought added strength and exultation in its wake. The little girl had felt his power even before his hands had closed around her throat. The woman must be taunting him by pretending she was not aware he was watching her.

His hands tightened on the glass cutter in his hand. He could cut through the glass and show her he could not be ignored.

No, that was what she wanted. Even though he was quick, he would be at a disadvantage. She sought to lure him to his destruction as a clever warrior should do.

But he could be clever too. He would wait for the moment and then strike boldly in full view of these sheep with whom she surrounded herself.

And before she died, she would admit how great was his power.

*  *  *

Joshua remained awake for almost an hour, and even after his eyes finally closed, he slept fitfully.

It was just as well they were going away for a while, Kate thought. Joshua wasn't a high-strung child, but what he'd gone through was enough to unsettle anyone.

Phyliss's door was closed, Kate noted when she reached the hall. She should probably get to bed too. Not that she'd be able to sleep. She hadn't lied to Joshua; she was nervous and uneasy...and bitterly resentful. This was her home, it was supposed to be a haven. She didn't like to think of it as a fortress.

But, like it or not, it was a fortress at the moment and she'd better make sure the soldiers were on the battlements. She checked the lock on the front door before she moved quickly toward the living room. She would see the black-and-white from the picture window.

Phyliss, as usual, had drawn the drapes over the window before she went to bed. The cave instinct, Kate thought as she reached for the cord. Close out the outside world and make your own. She and Phyliss were in complete agree—

He was standing outside the window, so close they were separated only by a quarter of an inch of glass.

Oh God. High concave cheekbones, long black straight hair drawn back in a queue, beaded necklace. It was him...Todd Campbell...Ishmaru...

And he was smiling at her.

His lips moved and he was so near she could hear the words through the glass. "You weren't supposed to see me before I got in, Kate." He held her gaze as he showed her the glass cutter in his hand. "But it's all right. I'm almost finished and I like it better this way."

She couldn't move. She stared at him, mesmerized.

"You might as well let me in. You can't stop me."

She jerked the drape shut, closing him out.

Barricading herself inside with only a fragment of glass, a scrap of material...

She heard the sound of blade on glass.

She backed away from the window, stumbled on the hassock, almost fell, righted herself.

Oh God. Where was that policeman? The porch light was out, but surely he could see Ishmaru.

Maybe the policeman wasn't there.

Didn't Michael tell you about bribery in the ranks?

The drape was moving.

He'd cut the window.

"Phyliss!" She ran down the hall. "Wake up." She threw open Joshua's door, flew across the room, and jerked him out of bed.


"Shh, be very quiet. Just do what I tell you, okay?"

"What's wrong?" Phyliss was standing in the doorway. "Is Joshua sick?"

"I want you to leave here." She pushed Joshua toward her. "There's someone outside." She hoped he was still outside. Christ, he could be in the living room by now. "I want you to take Joshua out the back door and over to the Brocklemans."

Phyliss instantly took Joshua's hand and moved toward the kitchen door. "What about you?"

She heard a sound in the living room. "Go. I'll be right behind you."

Phyliss and Joshua flew out the back door.

"Are you waiting for me, Kate?"

He sounded so close, too close. Phyliss and Joshua could not have reached the fence yet. No time to run. Stop him.

She saw him, a shadow in the doorway leading to the hall.

Where was the gun?

In her handbag on the living room table. She couldn't get past him. She backed toward the stove. Phyliss usually left a frying pan out to cook breakfast in the morning....

"I told you I was coming in. No one can stop me tonight. I had a sign."

She didn't see a weapon but the darkness was lit only by moonlight streaming through the window.

"Give up, Kate."

Her hand closed on the handle of the frying pan. "Leave me alone." She leaped forward and struck out at his head with all her strength.

He moved too fast but she connected with a glancing blow.

He was falling....

She streaked past him down the hall. Get to the purse, the gun.

She heard him behind her.

She snatched up the handbag, lunged for the door, and threw the bolt.

Get to the policeman in the black-and-white.

She fumbled with the catch on her purse as she streaked down the driveway toward the black-and-white. Her hand closed on the gun and she threw the purse aside.

"He's not there, Kate," Ishmaru said behind her. "It's just the two of us."

No one was in the driver's seat of the police car.

She whirled and raised the gun.

Too late.

He was on her, knocking the gun from her grip, sending it flying. How had he moved so quickly?

She was on the ground, struggling wildly.

She couldn't breathe. His thumbs were digging into her throat.

"Mom." Joshua's agonized scream pierced the night.

What was Joshua doing here? He was supposed to be—"Go away, Josh—" Ishmaru's hands tightened, cut off speech. She was dying. She had to move. The gun. She had dropped it. On the ground...

She reached out blindly. The metal of the gun hilt was cool and wet from the grass.

She wasn't going to make it. Everything was going black.

She tried to knee him in the groin.

"Stop fighting," he whispered. "I've gone to a great deal of trouble to give you a warrior's death."

Crazy bastard. The hell she'd stop fighting.

She raised the gun and pressed the trigger.

What People are saying about this

Michael Palmer
One of the most thrilling books I have curled up with in a long time.
Tami Hoag
Intense, hold-your-breath suspense.

Meet the Author

Iris Johansen is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including Killer Dreams, On the Run, Countdown, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, and No One to Trust. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

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Long after Midnight 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Iris Johansen, one of my all time faves. This book definitely did not disappoint. Page turner, really great writing. I loved both guys...what's a girl to do. Definitely high on my list of all time favorites. Could not put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this must have been the best book I ever read. I couldn't put it down, and the characters were so real you were terrified for them, the way you would be terrified for a loved one who was in danger. Truly gripping!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amazing plot. Verry suspensful. This book is guilty of keeping me up all night turning pages. If you like suspense/romance novels, I recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great story, read it completely on a flight from the east coast to the west coast. Was so involved in the story that I forgot I was 35,000 feet. Seth was my favorite character.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read three books by Iris Johansen and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The story was suspenseful and kept my attention from cover to cover. I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read of her's and i thought it was great! I am going to be going to get another tomorrow, and i can't wait.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in a matter of hours! I just couldn't put it down... I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a real page turner!!! I couldn't put it down! I have become a great fan of Iris Johansen. I look forward to reading more of her books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never cared for reading before picking up this book, but it totally got my attention until the very last page. I now enjoy reading books especially by Ms. Johansen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this one down. This was the 1st book I read from Ms Johansen, since then she has become one of my favorites.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I couldn't put it down. Every time I went to put it down it got better and better. I wish they would make a movie about it. It would be AWSOME!!!