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Keeper of the Bride

Keeper of the Bride

3.8 39
by Tess Gerritsen, Montana Chase (Read by)

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Had she survived because of fate, coincidence or just luck?

If Nina Cormier's wedding had taken place, she would be dead. But after the bride was left at the altar, the church stood empty when the bomb went off. It wasn't until a stranger tried to run her car off the road, however, that she realized someone wanted her dead.

But who?


Had she survived because of fate, coincidence or just luck?

If Nina Cormier's wedding had taken place, she would be dead. But after the bride was left at the altar, the church stood empty when the bomb went off. It wasn't until a stranger tried to run her car off the road, however, that she realized someone wanted her dead.

But who?That's what Detective Sam Navarro needs to find out . . . fast. As a cop, he knows better than to become attached to the woman he's trying to protect. But as a man . . .

With a nightmare unfolding around them, Sam and Nina decipher the stunning truth. Now they're at the mercy of a brilliant madman who plays for keeps . . .

Editorial Reviews

San Jose Mercury News
Tess Gerritsen . . . throws one twist after another until the excitement is almost unbearable.
"This fast-paced story, boasts some nice plot twists and two likable protagonists. Sandra Brown readers will love it.”
From the Publisher

"Tess Gerritsen is an automatic must-read in my house." -Stephen King

"Tess Gerritsen...throws one twist after another until the excitement is almost unbearable." -San Jose Mercury News

"Ms. Gerritsen is a master!" -RT Book Reviews

"Gerritsen's romances are thrillers from beginning to end." -Portland Press Herald

"Tess Gerritsen brings us action, adventure and compelling romance." -RT Book Reviews

"Riveting... Gerritsen knows how to fashion credible, dimensional characters."-Los Angeles Times

"Tess Gerritsen writes some of the smartest, most compelling thrillers around." -Bookreporter

"Gerritsen is tops in her genre." –USA TODAY

Library Journal
An ER nurse finds herself the target of a lethal bomber and is drawn to the detective on the case in this tantalizing, well-plotted story that keeps readers on edge as the puzzle pieces gradually fall into place. First published as a Harlequin Intrigue in 1996, this early Gerritsen foreshadows her later medical suspense thrillers.

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
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7.30(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Keeper Of The Bride

By Tess Gerritsen

Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Copyright © 2002 Harlequin Enterprises Limited
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1551669358

North Dade County Detention Center, Miami, Florida Halloween - Friday, October 31

Del Macomb wiped the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his shirt. The stiff cotton of his uniform stuck to his back, and it was only nine in the morning. How could it be this hot and humid in October? He had grown up just north of Hope, Minnesota. Back home, ice would be forming at the edges of Silver Lake. His daddy would be writing his sermons while watching the last of the snow geese pass overhead. Del pushed wet strands off his forehead. Thinking about his daddy reminded him that he needed a haircut. Crazy stuff to be thinking about. Even crazier that it was stuff that could still make him homesick.

"So who's the fucking asshole we're chaperoning today?" Del's partner startled him. He winced at Benny Zeeks's language, then glanced over at the barrel-chested ex-marine to see if he had noticed. He certainly didn't need another lecture - not that he didn't have a lot to learn from Benny.

"Guys said his name is Stucky." He wondered if Benny had heard him. He seemed preoccupied.

At North Dade County Detention Center Benny Zeeks was somewhat of a legend, not only because he was a twenty-five-year veteran, but because he had spent most of that time working up in Starke on death row andeven on X Wing. Del had seen his partner's scars from scuffles he'd won over X Wingers trying to avoid the coffin-like solitary confinement.

He watched Benny shove his shirtsleeves up over his veiny forearms, not bothering to fold or roll them, revealing one of those legendary scars. It intersected a tattoo, a Polynesian dancer who now had a jagged red line across her abdomen as if she had been sliced in half. Benny could still make the dancer dance, flexing his arm and sending the lower half of her into a slow, sexy sway while the other half - the top half - froze in place, disconnected. The tattoo fascinated Del, intriguing and repulsing him at the same time.

Now his partner climbed into the armored truck's passenger seat, concentrating on negotiating the narrow steps up into the cab. The man moved slower than usual this morning, and Del immediately knew his partner had another hangover. He swung up into the driver's seat, buckling himself in and pretending, once again, not to notice.

"Who'd you say this asshole is?" Benny asked, while he twisted his thermos lid, the short stubby fingers desperate to get at the coffee. Del wanted to tell him the caffeine would only compound his problem, but after four short weeks on the job, he knew better than to try to tell Benny Zeeks anything.

"We're taking Brice and Webber's run today."

"What the hell for?"

"Webber's got the flu and Brice broke his hand last night."

"How the fuck do you break a hand?"

"All I heard was that he broke it. I don't know how. Look, I thought you hated the monotony of our regular route. Plus, all the traffic just to get to the courthouse."

"Yeah, well, there better not be more paperwork," Benny shifted restlessly as if anticipating the dreaded change in his routine. "And if this is Brice and Webber's run, that means this asshole's headed up to Glades, right? Puttin' him in close custody until his fucking hearing. Means he's some big-time fuckup they don't want down here in our wussy detention lockup."

"Hector said the guy's name is Albert Stucky. Said he's not such a bad guy, pretty intelligent and friendly. Hector says he's even accepted Jesus Christ as his savior."

Del could feel Benny scowling at him. He turned the key in the ignition and let the truck vibrate, then rumble to a slow start while he braced himself for Benny's sarcasm. He turned the air-conditioning on, blasting them with hot air. Benny reached over and punched it off.

"Give the engine some time, first. We don't need that goddamn hot air in our faces."

Del felt his face grow red. He wondered if there would ever be anything he could do to win the respect of his partner. He ignored his simmering anger and rolled down the window. He pulled out the travel log and jotted down the truck's odometer and gas tank readings, letting the routine calm him.

"Wait a minute," Benny said. "Albert Stucky? I've been reading about this guy in the Miami Herald. Feebies nicknamed him The Collector."


"Yeah, FBI. Jesus, kid, don't you know anything?" This time Del could feel the prickle of red at his ears. He turned his head and pretended to be checking the side mirror.

"This Stucky guy," Benny continued, "he carved up and slaughtered three or four women, and not just here in Florida. If he's the guy I'm thinking of, he's one badass motherfucker. And if he's claiming he's found Jesus Christ, you can bet it's because he wants to save his sorry ass from being fried by Old Sparky."

"People can change. Don't you believe people can change?" Del glanced at Benny. The older man's brow was beaded with sweat and the bloodshot eyes glared at him.

"Jesus, kid. I bet you still believe in Santa Claus, too." Benny shook his head. "They don't send guys to wait for their trial in close custody because they think he's found Jesus-fucking-Christ."

Benny turned to stare out the window and sip his coffee. In doing so, he missed Del wince again. He couldn't help it. Twenty-two years with a daddy for a preacher made it an instant reaction, like scratching an itch. Sometimes he did it without even knowing.

Del slipped the travel log into the side pocket and shifted the truck into gear. He watched the concrete prison in his side-view mirror. The sun beat down on the yard where several prisoners milled around, bumming cigarettes off each other and enduring the morning heat. How could they enjoy being outside if there was no shade? He added it to his mental list of unfair treatment. Back in Minnesota, he had been quite the activist for prison reform. Lately he'd been too busy with the move and starting his new job, but he kept a running list for when he had more time. Little by little he'd work his way up to battling causes like eliminating Starke's X Wing.

As they approached the final checkpoint he glanced at the rearview mirror. He almost jumped, startled to find their prisoner staring back at him. All Del could see through the thick slit of glass were the piercing black eyes, and they were looking directly at him in the mirror.

Del recognized something in the prisoner's eyes, and a knot tightened in his stomach. He had seen that look years ago as a boy, on one of his trips accompanying his father. They had visited a condemned prisoner, who Del's father had met at one of his prison fellowship meetings. During that visit, the prisoner had confessed all the horrible, unimaginable things he had done to his own family before he murdered them - a wife, five children, and even the family dog.

As a boy, the details Del heard that day had been traumatizing, but even worse was the evil pleasure the prisoner seemed to get from retelling each detail and watching the impact on a ten-year-old boy. Now Del saw that same look in the eyes of the man in the back of the armored truck. For the first time in twelve years, he felt as if he was looking straight into the eyes of pure evil.

He made himself look away and avoided the temptation to glance back. He pulled out from the last checkpoint and onto the highway. Once they got on the open road, he could relax. He enjoyed driving. It gave him time to think. But when he took a quick left, Benny, who had appeared to be lost in his thoughts, suddenly became agitated.

"Where the hell you going? I-95's the other direction."

"I thought we'd take a shortcut. Highway 45 has less traffic, and it's a much nicer drive."

"You think I fucking care about nice?"

"It's shorter by about thirty minutes. We get the prisoner delivered, and then we'll have an extra half hour for lunch."

He knew his partner wouldn't argue with an extended lunch hour. In fact, he had hoped Benny would be impressed. Del was right. Benny leaned back in his seat and poured another cup of coffee. He reached over and punched the AC. This time, cool air began filling the cab, and Benny rewarded Del with a rare smile. Finally, he had done something right. Del sat back and relaxed.

They had left Miami's traffic and had been on the road only thirty minutes when a thump rattled the back of the truck. At first Del thought they had dropped a muffler, but the thumping continued. It came from the back of the truck but inside, not underneath.

Benny slammed his fist against the steel partition behind them. "Shut the fuck up."

Excerpted from Keeper Of The Bride by Tess Gerritsen Copyright © 2002 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Tess Gerritsen is a physician and an internationally bestselling author. She gained nationwide acclaim for her first novel of suspense, the New York Times bestseller Harvest. She is also the author of the bestsellers Ice Cold, The Keepsake, The Bone Garden, The Mephisto Club, Vanish, Body Double, The Sinner, The Apprentice, The Surgeon, Life Support, Bloodstream, and Gravity. Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine.

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Keeper of the Bride 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeper of the Bride is the 12th stand-alone novel by best-selling American author, Tess Gerritsen, and is the 2nd book of the Her Protector series. When her fiancé leaves her stranded at the altar, Nina Cormier is sure things can’t get any worse. Then the church explodes and she faces hours of questioning before a stiff, unfeeling automaton from the Portland Bomb Task Force, Sam Navarro, subjects her to more of the same. As Sam tries to determine for whom the bomb was meant, Nina is almost run off the road by another car. Before long Sam has a list of facts to churn over: a cancelled wedding, an attempted murder, a missing Church janitor and a bomb. And he finds himself attracted to the bride, a woman he is charged with protecting from harm. Even if the hero is a bit slow figuring out why his charge has been targeted, this is still a good example of Gerritsen’s early forte, romance/intrigue. The plot is original and has a few twists; the characters have a bit of depth and charm; and, while the use of car phones does rather date the story, the climax is dramatic. Good Gerristen reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is captivating from the beginning. Well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy the "I'm a gorgeous damsel in a tough situation who can prove she's strong to her new hunky hero" genre, this is a book for you. If you enjoy the "Rizzolli and Isles" style of Tess Gerritsen writing, this book will disappoint.
pamijoPS More than 1 year ago
This really is a good read. Action from the start to finish!
Anonymous 5 months ago
The story and suspense were good but the back and forth doubts of their feelings for each other was a little tiresome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
typical love story
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kath3k More than 1 year ago
A good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am normally not a harlequin romance kinda reader BUT mix in some murder and bombings and it just became my kind of book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book and story line. First book I've readb by this writer.
MA76 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It didn't quite come up with her breathtaking plots of her other books. It seemed more like a romance novel. But it read fast and kept my attention.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a boring romance
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept my attention all the way to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As all of Tess' books, this one does not disappoint. She is one of my favorite authors. This is a great mixture of mystery and romance. I like the fact that her books are not the same story lines. She really knows how to entertain!!
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