Sooner or Later

( 5 )


She saw him in the shadows.  She felt him watching her.  She knew he was going to get her...

The killer always left a signature on his X carved in their flesh.  But he'd spent the last twenty years in a mental hospital.  Long enough for the world to forget him.  But not long enough for him to forget the rich old woman who had him committed—or her ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)
$7.99 price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (85) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $4.40   
  • Used (76) from $1.99   
Sooner or Later

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99 price


She saw him in the shadows.  She felt him watching her.  She knew he was going to get her...

The killer always left a signature on his X carved in their flesh.  But he'd spent the last twenty years in a mental hospital.  Long enough for the world to forget him.  But not long enough for him to forget the rich old woman who had him committed—or her pretty granddaughter.

Now he's been set free.

Ellie Duveen was busy running her own restaurant and tenderly watching over her fragile grandmother.  Then she met former cop Dan Cassidy, the owner of a local vineyard, and Ellie's hectic life slowed just enough to let her fall in love.

So Ellie didn't notice when police found a dead body marked with a grisly X.  She only felt someone watching her.  Following her.  And as a terrifying secret came back from the past to haunt her, Ellie needed an ex-cop's instincts and more.  She needed her own unshakable courage to outsmart a killer's deadly, twisted plan.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Exhilarating...Adler delivers an ending with a punch."
—Publishers Weekly

"Fast-paced, suspenseful."
—Library Journal

"Adler is a true genius."
—Affaire de Coeur

"Sensuous...swift plotting."
—Kirkus Reviews

An Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild and the Doubleday Book Club

Library Journal
Adler has written a fast-paced, suspenseful romance that is easy but fun reading. Ellie Duveen, with "misty blue-gray eyes and curly red hair worn long and flowing," lets us know that she is too busy for a relationship as she struggles to make her California caf a success. Dan, an NYPD homicide detective, "dark-haired and blue-eyed, built tall and rangy," starts a new life after taking a medical retirement and moving to California to open a winery. Buck Duveen, with a "fine head of copper-red hair, dark eyes and a lean-jawed, handsome face," is a genius psychopath obsessed with Ellie, whom he last saw more than 20 years ago when she was a child. Guess who gets out of the insane asylum? Guess who is the family secret? Guess who walks into Ellie's caf? And guess where this all leads? For public libraries.J. Sara Paulk, Coastal Plain Regional Lib., Tifton, Ga.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440224655
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 652,367
  • Product dimensions: 4.14 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Adler is the bestselling author of Sooner or Later, Now or Never, The Secret of the Villa Mimosa, and other internationally acclaimed novels.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Dan backed his brand-new white Explorer into a tight spot on Main Street.  The California sun blazed down, bronzed people in shorts and T-shirts whizzed by him on rollerblades or simply took it easy at sidewalk cafes, and the parking meter still had half an hour left on it.  It was early April and he'd seen the weather back east on TV: they'd just had another two inches of snow.  Feeling that life wasn't too bad after all, he strolled into Ellie's Place.

The red-haired young woman behind the coffee machine gave him a dazzling smile of welcome that seemed to spread from one pretty diamond-studded ear to the other.

"Be right with you," she called.  "The coffee machine's acting up again though, so if it's caffeine you're after, you might want to try Starbucks.  It's on the next block."

"Juice is fine.  It's eggs I really want, scrambled with a toasted bagel."

"Okay." She wrote the order and headed toward the kitchen in the back.

It was just a tiny storefront cafe done out like a Parisian bistro.  The mirrors covering the walls were old and foggy, the bronze sconces were verdigrised, the tables were marble and the chairs cane.  A scattering of fresh sawdust covered the tile floor and lace curtains hung from a brass rail halfway up the window, on which the name Ellie's Place was inscribed in green shadowed with gold.

Cute, he thought.  Like the waitress.  She came back carrying cutlery, napkins and a basket of fresh bread covered with a green-checked cloth, and he quickly amended that statement.  You could never call a woman as tall as she was "cute."  And she was no cookie-cutter California girl either.

She gave him another glancing smile as she set the bread in front of him and he noticed a smudge of flour on her cheek.  Her eyes were the pale bluish-gray of opals, her nose was freckled and her red hair was bunched through a black baseball cap in a long curly ponytail.  It was odd, but he felt he'd seen her somewhere before.  He guessed it was because she looked a bit like Julia Roberts.

"Out here on vacation?"  She arranged the tablemat and cutlery and folded the green-checkered napkin.  Her voice was deep and soft as melted chocolate.

"How do you know I don't live here?"

She put her hands on her hips, regarding him.  "It's that East Coast pallor.  It's a dead giveaway.  Most people out here have a tan, even if it's fake."

Dan laughed.  "You mean I'll have to apply bronzer in order to qualify as a native?"

Her long legs covered the distance to the counter in three strides.  She picked up the glass of juice and brought it to him.  "Oh, a couple of days at the beach and you'll be fine.  Better watch it though.  I know it's only April, but the sun is strong."

He watched her walk back to the kitchen to get the eggs.  "How come you're so pale then?"

"That's my grandmother's doing.  She always made me wear a hat when I was a kid, never let me sunbathe.  She said with my red hair and freckles it would be like frying myself.  And you know what?  She was right.  Now I'm older and wiser, I thank her every time I look in the mirror.  No lines, no sunspots.  I'm a lucky woman."

Ellie smiled at him again as she put the plate of eggs in front of him.  Back behind the counter, she cast him a speculative glance.

Cute, she thought, if you could call a guy that rugged "cute."  Deep blue eyes that looked as though they had seen it all; thick dark hair, a hawkish nose and blue-stubbled jaw.  Lean, broad-shouldered, muscular.

She shrugged regretfully.  She didn't have time for men anyway. A career girl was what she was now, and forever would be.  She was determined to make her way in the world.  Ellie's Place was only her first venture into the restaurant trade; she already had steps two and three planned.

Dan finished his eggs in record time.  He glanced at his watch, then went to pay his check.  "Thanks," he said with a smile, "I enjoyed it."

"Enjoy your vacation," she called as he strode to the door.

He stood on the sidewalk, hands in his pockets, taking in the street scene before getting into the white Explorer.  Ellie thought he surely had a great walk, confident, sexy.

Putting the thought of sex determinedly from her mind, she concentrated on the problem of the coffee machine.  She had already been on the phone twice yesterday, this would make the third call.  Maybe today they would send someone out to fix it.

When Jake arrived, she had to dash to Kinko's with the menu.  Then she had to go over the week's orders, find out why there was so much waste in the fresh produce.  Then there would be the busy lunch trade.  After that she would set up the tables for dinner and check with Chan to make sure he was coming in.  She would help with the preparations, take a half-hour break for coffee and a muffin, go home, shower, change, and be back at five for the evening stint as waitress, wine steward, dish stacker, and any other job that nobody else wanted.

Sometimes she wondered if she was in the right business.  Then when she'd had a good week, or even a good day, she knew she was.  And every night when she fell into bed, exhausted—and alone—she told herself it would all be worth it and that, one day, she would be the owner and proprietor of a Michelin-starred restaurant.

So there was absolutely no time, or room, in her life for a cute, blue-eyed rugged guy just passing through on vacation.  Or anyone else for that matter.  She had her grandmother to take care of and she definitely didn't need a man to complicate her life.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is the second time that I read this book and still enjoyed it. Elizabeth Adler has a nice writing style where she tells a story without going off on tangents. The plot of this book was unique and there was never a dull moment. The characters were all likable with the exception of the psycho killer. Definitely worth reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2003

    I was not that enamoured with this story.

    Ellie Parrish Duveen was five when the brakes of her parents' Bentley convertible failed and the car plunged off a steep California road. Or had the brakes been tampered with? The orphaned Ellie survived, her forehead only scarred, and she grew up under the care of wealthy grandmother Lottie. But as it happened, Ellie's father had a son, Buck, from an earlier marriage. Buck was strictly psycho, and although he dressed and comported himself like Cary Grant, he had the lousy habit of strangling prostitutes during sex. Arrested for such indulgences, Buck beat a jail rap and wound up in a private New York hospital for rich sickos. After 20 years, his grandmother's money ran short and Buck was booted out, essentially for nonpayment. He still had a small sum in the bank, though, which by now had accrued to $35,000 traveling money. Set free, Buck kills another prostitute to get back in shape and goes to California, where he learns that Ellie has opened a restaurant. He then begins to consider recovering his part of the family property and fortune through murder. This puts him directly in Ellie's sphere, and the suspense builds from there.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2000



    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2000

    Mystery and Romance - all in one place

    This was my first Elizabeth Adler read. I don't usually go for mysteries but the book jacket got my attention...and it didn't fail to please!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)