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The author of Kiss Mommy Goodbye and The Other Woman presents a tale of suspense and sheer terror rivaling any of Mary Higgins Clark. With no memory of who she is or where she came from, Jane Whittaker exists in a vacuum--where all that remains is a stranger who claims to be her husband, whispered rumors of a dead child, and the premonition that something horrible is aboout to happen.
She quickly located the small bathroom just inside the storage area. It was a tiny, small closet of a room, containing an old toilet and a broken mirror above a stained sink. The walls were lined with boxes of supplies. A half-filled bucket of water, a mop balanced precariously at its side, rested by the door.
She dashed toward the sink and twisted open the cold water tap, burying her magazine underneath her arm, quickly catching the icy water in her hands and splashing it against her face until she felt as if she could straighten up without fainting. What was going on? If this was a nightmare—and this was a nightmare surely it was time she woke up!
Slowly, she lifted her face toward the mirror, then had to clutch the sides of the sink for support. The woman who stared back at her was a complete stranger. There was nothing even remotely familiar about her face. She scrutinized the pale skin and dark-brown eyes, the small, faintly upturned nose and full mouth painted the same shade as her nails. Her brown hair was perhaps a shade lighter than her eyes and pulled back into a ponytail by a jeweled clasp that had come loose and was threatening to fall out. She pulled it free of her hair, shaking her head and watching her hair fall in soft layers to her shoulders.
It was an attractive face, she thought, objectifying it as if, like CINDY CRAWFORD, it was on the cover of a magazine. Kinda pretty, the young man had said. Maybe slightly better than that. Everything was in its proper place. There were no unsightly blemishes. Nothing was too big or too small. Nothing jarred. Everything was where it was supposed to be. She estimated her age as early to mid-thirties, thenwondered if she looked older or younger than she really was. "This is so confusing," she whispered to her image, which seemed to be holding its breath. ''Who are you?"
"You're nobody I know," her reflection answered, and both women dropped their heads to stare into the stained basin of the white enamel sink.
"Oh, God,'' she whispered, feeling a bubble of heat explode inside her. "Please don't faint," she cried. "Whoever you are, Please don't faint."
But the wave of heat continued to wash across her body, sweeping past her legs and stomach into her arms and neck, getting caught in her throat. She felt as if she were melting from the inside out, as if, at any minute, she might burst into flames. She splashed more water on her face, but it did nothing to cool her off or calm her down. She began tearing at the buttons of her coat in an effort to free her body, give it more room to breathe. The magazine under her arm slipped to the floor, and she quickly bent down to scoop it up, pulling open her coat as she stood up.
She took a deep breath, then stopped dead.
Slowly, as if she were a marionette and some unknown force were manipulating her strings, she felt her head drop toward her chest in one seamless arc. What she saw—what she had seen when she was down on her knees retrieving the magazine but had managed to ignore—was a simple blue dress, the front completely covered in blood.
She gasped, the soft, frightened cry of a small animal caught in a trap. The sound quickly grew into a moan, then emerged as a scream. She heard footsteps, the sound of other voices, felt herself surrounded, overwhelmed.
"What's going on in here?" the proprietor started, then stopped, his words retreating into the open hole of his mouth.
"Oh, my God," a young boy groaned from some where at his side.
''Gross!" his companion exclaimed.
"What have you done?'' the store owner demanded, his eyes searching the tiny cubicle, undoubtedly for signs of broken glass.
She said nothing, returning her gaze to the front of her bloodied dress.
"Look, lady," the man began again, shooing his two young customers away from the door, "I don't know what's going on here, and I don't want any part of it. Take your blood and your hundred-dollar bills and get out of my store before I call the police."
She didn't move.
"Did you hear what I said? I'm going to call the police if you don't get out of here right now."
She looked toward the frightened proprietor, who suddenly grabbed the mop from the bucket and brandished it at her as if he were a matador and she the bull. "Blood,'' she whispered, her disbelieving eyes drawn back to the front of her dress. The blood was reasonably fresh, still a little damp. Was the blood hers or someone else's? ''Blood," she said again, as if the repetition of the word would pull everything into place.
"You got ten seconds, lady, then I'm calling the cops. Now, I don't want any trouble. I just want you out of my store."
Her eyes returned to his, her voice so soft she noticed that he had to bend forward in spite of himself to hear it. "I don't know where to go," she cried, and felt her body crumple, like a piece of paper in someone's clenched fist.
"Oh, no, you don't," the man said quickly, catching her before she could fall. "You're not fainting in my store.''
''Please," she began, not sure if she was pleading for understanding or unconsciousness.
The young man, while not very tall or muscular, was surprisingly strong. He gripped her tightly around the waist and marshaled her quickly to the door. Then he suddenly stopped, looking uneasily around the store. "Is this one of them hidden video shows?" he asked warily, a hint of embarrassment creeping into his voice, as if he might have been had. "You have to help me,'' she said.
''You have to get out of my store," he told her, re gaining his composure and pushing her outside. She heard the door click shut behind her, saw him angrily shooing her away.
"Oh, God, what do I do now?" she asked the busy street. Again, the puppeteer took charge, buttoning her coat, tucking her magazine beneath her arm, directing her gaze toward the traffic. Seeing a taxi approach, the string pulling her right hand shot up, jerking her arm up and out. The taxi came to an immediate stop at the side of the road in front of her. Without further thought, she opened the cab's rear door and climbed inside.
Posted August 21, 2014
I loved this book so much that I have recommended it to everyone I know!! In my opinion, it was the finest fiction novel I have ever read in my life and wish there were more books like it to read!
I read another book by Joy Fielding but it did not come close to being as great as this one! Now I would like to see the 1995 movie of the book!
Posted February 22, 2013
Posted April 12, 2008
Mrs fielding takes you on a slow paste to a world wind of question why!, Am i dreaming or is this real you will begin to say what! oh no he didn't , you don't know who to trust or who is on your side. get ready for a surprize that you would have never supected. a must readWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2007
I read this book back when I was in high school and the memory of it remained with me to this day (almost ten years later). It was a real attention getter and I couldn't put it down until I was done. Well written, with lots of turns and twists in the plot that will kept me on my toes. One of my favourites.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 11, 2006
I highly recommend this book. I didn't want to put it down. It's like she draws you into the story and you are actually there. When I finished the book, I missed the characters and wished it wasn't over yet.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2005
This book is a page turner. You dont want to put it down until your finished reading it. Loved the suspence and the questions that she is also asking. You actually get caught up in the role of Jane Whittaker and wanting to help her yourself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 28, 2005
This book grabbed my attention in the first page and never let go until the end. It did have a very predictable ending that I felt was a little disappointing. Nevertheless it was well worth the time spent to read it. I highly recommend this as a fun, quick, and interesting book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2004
Posted January 10, 2004
Posted March 7, 2003
This booked grabbed my attention from the very first page and NEVER let go. I loved it.I just could not wait to see what would happen next. Been a long time since I have read a book that held my interest like this one did.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2002
This book was definitely worth buying!! Shocked me to the very end! There was not a dull moment in it, it left me thirsty for more, all the intricate plots and twists definitely fitted together toward the end into one big puzzle. Jane Whittaker is definitely a winsome character; this book is worth buying.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 7, 2002
This was my first Joy Fielding book, and now I am definitely a fan. The story was unique with lots of twists and turns. I didn't want to put the book down. It has also been made into a movie, which is very well done. I highly recommend this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2001
I love this book. It is the first Joy Fielding book I read and I am now a committed fan. This book leaves you spellbound. I couldn't wait to get to the end. Way better than M H Clark!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2001
This book was the best! With every turn of the page, it got better and better. When I found out why she was wandering, it rocked me to the core. This book is a must-read for anyone who loves suspense.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2001
Posted October 17, 2000
Posted December 21, 1999
I just couldn't stop reading altough I'm not a very big reader, but the story was great and I just loved it. I would recommend to everybody: raed it and you'll love it!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.