Look Closely by Laura Caldwell | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Look Closely
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Look Closely

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by Laura Caldwell
     
 

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Look Closely

That's all the anonymous letter said, but attorney Hailey Sutter understands the meaning behind the well-chosen words. Someone wants her to investigate what happened to her mother, who died when Hailey was only seven.

The death was ruled accidental, but Hailey begins having flashbacks that tell a different story: a pounding

Overview

Look Closely

That's all the anonymous letter said, but attorney Hailey Sutter understands the meaning behind the well-chosen words. Someone wants her to investigate what happened to her mother, who died when Hailey was only seven.

The death was ruled accidental, but Hailey begins having flashbacks that tell a different story: a pounding at the door…her mother struggling to stand…a man with a gold ring that flashed in the night as he held her mother's lifeless body.

Obsessed with uncovering the truth, Hailey can't trust anyone, especially her father, whose secrecy both unnerves and protects her. Desperate to remember that fatal night, she seeks out the brother and sister who left home after their mother's death. But they have disappeared. It's soon clear to Hailey that the answer is right in front of her—all she has to do is find the courage to look closely….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chick-lit author Caldwell (The Year of Living Famously) switches gears to draw from her former career as a trial lawyer for her first suspense novel. Manhattan attorney Hailey Sutter is headed to Chicago to represent the McKnight Corporation, whose Internet company has been accused of Web technology theft, when she receives a note saying, "There is no statute of limitations on murder. Look closely." The ominous statement catapults Hailey back to Woodland Dunes (a small seaside town on Lake Michigan), where her mother died from a head injury when Hailey was seven. Shortly afterward, her older brother and sister disappeared, and she was left in the care of her father, who refuses to discuss the incident. Between the McKnight arbitrations, Hailey flies from Manhattan to Chicago to Portland in search of her estranged siblings and answers that she hopes will shed some light on her mother's mysterious death. The smooth first-person narrative builds suspense and paints a fine picture of time and place. Unfortunately, the book loses steam in the final chapter, and the ending falls as flat as a day-old souffle. Agent, Maureen Walters at Curtis Brown Ltd. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781460305812
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
10/15/2012
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
305,404
File size:
826 KB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Look Closely


By Laura Caldwell

MIRA

Copyright © 2005 Laura Caldwell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0778321835

The short letter, a note really, arrived at my apartment on a Thursday. It was one of those random, end-of-April days in Manhattan when the temperature shot to eighty degrees, sending everyone to Central Park or the cafés that had rushed to set up their outdoor tables. A boisterous, electric feeling was in the air. I called Maddy from my cell phone as I walked home from the subway, and we decided to go for wine and dinner at Bryant Park Grill, a rooftop restaurant where Maddy knew the maître d'.

In the terminally slow elevator on the way to my apartment, I glanced at my mail. There was nothing interesting at first, just a bill and a few obvious pieces of junk, but I stopped when I came to the flat, business-size envelope with no return address. The envelope looked as if it had been printed on a personal computer, and there was a postage stamp with an antique car on it.

Inside my place, I dropped my purse, my briefcase and the rest of the mail on the front-hall table, then slit open the envelope. I pulled out a piece of folded white paper, and strangely, all my senses went on alert. The apartment was suddenly warm and stuffy. It smelled dusty and stale, and my skin itched from the uncharacteristic heat. Holding the envelope and the still-folded paper, I walked to the windows and cranked them open for the first time that year. Balmy, fresh air seeped into the room.

I sat on the couch and unfolded the paper. Only two typewritten lines appeared there.

There is no statute of limitations on murder.

Look closely.

"What?" I said the word out loud, but as I read the note again, some odd glimmer of comprehension began to ruffle my mind. It wasn't that I recognized the words or the type. I was sure I'd never heard those exact sentences before, and I had no idea who'd written them, yet there was a flicker of understanding.

The breeze from my windows felt too cool then, yet I didn't move to close them. In fact, I hoped the air would help me breathe. All at once, my chest and throat felt constricted, my lungs making shallow movements. I told myself to stay calm and put the note down. But I couldn't let go of the paper. I read the words over and over until I felt light-headed, and the words swam in front of me. Murder, statute, closely…

The ring of the phone rattled me away from the letter. I blinked rapidly, finally getting that deep breath, and grabbed the receiver off the end table.

"Hailey, it's me," Maddy said. "I'm early, and I'm two blocks from you, so I'm coming over."

I dropped the letter in my lap. "I need a few minutes."

"Why? What's wrong?"

"Nothing. It's… It's nothing."

"Whoa," she said. "I know that voice. I'll be right there."

Five minutes later, she buzzed from the lobby.

"What's up with you?" she said when I opened the door, the letter still in my hand. "What's wrong?"

I handed her the note. "I'm not sure." I felt both sick and elated, as if on the verge of some discovery.

Maddy read it. "What in the hell is this?"

I shook my head and took the note from her. I read it again, letting that flicker of comprehension grow brighter.

"Hailey, what's going on?" Maddy said, her voice cautious, slightly alarmed. She flicked her dark, ringletted hair over her shoulder.

"I just got it in the mail," I said inanely.

"Who sent it?"

I shrugged.

Maddy groaned. "Why are you being so difficult? Give me the envelope."

I turned toward the couch and pointed to where it had fallen off my lap. It was now almost hidden between the cushions. Maddy's heels tapped on the wood floor as she crossed the room. For some reason, I noticed that she was wearing an expensive-looking tan suit, one I hadn't seen before.

"The letter was sent from here in the city," she said, lifting the envelope and pointing to the postmark. "Do you have any idea who sent it to you?"

"No." I looked down at the page, although I knew the words by heart already.

"Well, who was murdered? I mean, do you know who it's referring to?"

I felt that nauseous elation again, a sick swoop and dive of my insides. "Yeah, I think so," I said. "My mom."

My lungs ached, but I ignored the feeling. I ran faster, heading south down Broadway, then rounding the corner at Union Square West, just barely avoiding a full-frontal collision with a falafel vendor. I kept running, my shoes making dull slaps on the concrete, until I hit University, where I turned toward my apartment. Almost there, almost there. My breath sounded ragged to my own ears, but I pushed past it. Just a few more blocks. I pumped my arms faster, increasing my speed, feeling my bangs stick to my forehead with sweat.

I reached Eleventh Street and dropped to a walk, letting my breath catch up with me. It was heaven to jog without all my winter layers, to let the breeze hit my bare legs, to let the run shake off the thoughts of that letter, those two sentences that I carried constantly in my brain. I'd spent the last few weeks obsessing about who had sent it to me. I wouldn't show it to my dad, and I had no guesses myself. On a long shot, I interrogated my mailman, but he could only tell me the bit of information I already knew — that the envelope had originally been sent from here in Manhattan. Which left me with millions of residents to consider, not to mention the millions of tourists.



Continues...

Excerpted from Look Closely by Laura Caldwell Copyright © 2005 by Laura Caldwell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Laura Caldwell, a former trial lawyer, is currently a professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is the author of eleven novels and one non-fiction book. She is a nation-wide speaker and the founder of Life After Innocence, which helps innocent people begin their lives again after being wrongfully imprisoned. Laura has been published in thirteen languages and over twenty countries. To learn more, please visit www.lauracaldwell.com.

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