Make Them Cry

Make Them Cry

by Kevin O'Brien

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Overview

Make Them Cry by Kevin O'Brien

Everyone Has Secrets. . .

The beautiful young judge. The hardworking waitress. The handsome college student.

Some Are Meant To Be Kept. . .

The victims are all different. . .but they will all have one gruesome detail in common. . .

But Others Can Kill. . .

A clever serial killer is stalking the streets of Seattle. Searching for this next victim. Creating a monument of madness that will be built victim by victim. . .piece by piece. . .bone by bone. . .

Praise for the Novels of Kevin O'Brien

"White knuckle action!. . .takes readers into the darkest corners of the human mind." —Tess Gerritsen on One Last Scream

"An authentically scary suburban tale of menace and mayhem." —The Seattle Times on Disturbed

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786031740
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 02/05/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 407,241
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

KEVIN O’BRIEN is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty suspense novels. Before his books landed him on the bestseller lists, he was a railroad inspector who wrote at night. He moved from the train tracks to become a full-time author in 1997 when his novel, Only Son, was picked up by Reader’s Digest and optioned for film. Since then, his books have been translated into fourteen languages. Born and raised in Chicago, O'Brien now lives in Seattle, where he is on the board of Seattle 7 Writers, a collective of bestselling, award-winning authors. He can be found online at KevinOBrienbooks.com/.

Read an Excerpt

Make Them Cry


By KEVIN O'BRIEN

PINNACLE BOOKS

Copyright © 2002 Kevin O'Brien
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7860-3174-0


Chapter One

Father Jack Murphy trotted around the asphalt track encircling the playfield by St. Bartholomew Hall at Our Lady of Sorrows seminary. On this cold April morning, he had the track all to himself.

The run was part of Jack's daily ritual. He was spiritual advisor for the twenty-four seminarians residing on the fourth floor, north wing of the freshman dormitory.

He lived with them in St. Bartholomew Hall: two dozen eighteen-year-old boys from all over the Pacific Northwest, Latin America, Vietnam, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and China. Jack welcomed any excuse to get the hell out of there for an hour—even if the hour was an ungodly one.

So every weekday, Jack crawled out of bed at five o'clock in the morning while his freshman charges remained cozy under their covers. They still had another two hours of sleep before starting their day with a greasy breakfast in the cafeteria. But Jack was brushing his teeth and throwing on his jogging clothes.

The local TV News at Sunrise was usually just background noise. The only item that had caught Jack's attention this morning was the latest on Judge Dorothy McShane. She'd been missing for over two months now. Apparently, last night the police had been led on a wild goose chase by a renowned clairvoyant. Her psychic powers had steered investigators to a ravine in Burlington, Washington, and the grave site of someone's pet dog. They hadn't said on the news, but by all indications, the police were giving up their search for Judge McShane.

They'd given up on Dorothy McShane at Our Lady of Sorrows, too. It had been weeks since they'd included her and her family in the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass.

Jack could see his breath as he jogged around the asphalt track. Because of his daily ritual, he was still in pretty good shape. In fact, he'd found out that he made quite an impression on the visiting mothers on Parents' Day last October. He'd even acquired a nickname, "The Silver Fox," because of his thick, wavy silver-gray hair. Jack had heard a couple of the mothers whispering, "Have you ever seen eyes so blue?" and "Oh, what a waste he's a priest."

It used to bother him when people went on and on about his looks. But now, Jack liked hearing that he was still attractive. His commitment to exercising was born out of that vanity—along with a healthy need for discipline and, yes, a flight from boredom and frustration.

As he rounded a curve in the track, Jack glanced up at St. Bartholomew Hall. The wall on this side of the five-story Gothic monstrosity was covered with dead ivy that still clung to the beige brick. All the windows were still dark.

St. Bart's had been the first hall built on the Our Lady of Sorrows campus back in 1913. According to the story, they discovered it had been erected on soft ground. The building sunk nearly half an inch in the first six months. Everyone blamed the architect, an up-and-comer named Gavin McAllister, for setting the freshman facility so close to Lake Leroy. Better soil for construction was found across the lake near the town of Leroy, where they built the rest of the college and the graduate school—using another architect's design.

Gavin McAllister's career was destroyed. On Easter Sunday, 1914, when called to dinner by his wife, the thirty-one-year-old architect stepped into his dining room with a double-barrel shotgun. He'd opened fire on his wife and six-year-old daughter, then pursed his lips around the end of those twin barrels and pulled the trigger.

Jack wasn't sure how much of the story was true, but a limerick had sprouted from the legend. Even after two world wars, most of the freshmen at Our Lady of Sorrows knew it:

    The guy who built this here jail
    In doing his job did fail
    So Gavin slew his kid and missus
    Then gave the end of his shotgun kisses
    And off the back of his head did sail.

The early statistics had said McAllister's building, which encompassed the freshman classrooms and a two-hundred-bedroom dormitory, would sink a little lower each year until the foundation finally crumbled.

But those statistics were wrong. The basement flooded during some of the Pacific Northwest heavy rains, but after nearly a century, St. Bartholomew Hall's foundation had settled only another inch into the earth.

Stretching the length of half a city block, St. Bart's stood alone—like an outcast child—across the lake from the rest of the campus. The turreted roof pierced the sky, dwarfing treetops from the surrounding forest. Along the top floor, staggered every six windows, the weather-worn statue of a martyred saint stood on a pedestal. Above the front doors, a slightly decrepit, cement likeness of Our Lady of Sorrows welcomed all who entered with her resigned, forlorn look and her hands folded in prayer.

An old cemetery lay between the outskirts of the forest and the playfield, where Jack now ran. It was a small graveyard, for dearly departed priests who had taught at the freshman school during its first two decades. There were only a couple of dozen headstones, the most recent dated 1937.

Across the lake, the church bell rang six times. As he tallied another lap around the playfield, Jack felt the perspiration flying off his forehead. His gray jersey clung to his back. He noticed two students, Ernesto Rodriguez and Art Vargas, emerging from the side door of St. Bart's Hall. They were among a dozen Hispanic freshman who came from the nearby city of Ferndale. The group hung out together, dubbing themselves the Spanish Mafia. Decked in sweatshirts and track shorts, Art and Ernesto waved at him, then started jogging toward a path that wound through the nearby forest.

The trail was known as Whopper Way, because after a half mile, it crossed over a tributary of Lake Leroy to the back lot of a Burger King. It was the quickest way by foot to town and the college campus. The seminarians would climb down to the creek, then tightrope-walk across a narrow, cracked slab of concrete that worked as a dam. Fall one way, and the St. Bart's fugitive was up to his armpits in Lake Leroy; tumble in the other direction, and he had a five-foot drop to the rocky, shallow stream. The treacherous shortcut was dubbed Mendini's Crossing, after Frank Mendini, a high-school junior in 1989 who'd fallen headfirst into the creek. According to the story, he spent several days in a coma, then woke up with such severe brain damage, his parents committed him to an insane asylum. Actually, Frank Mendini was unconscious for five minutes after the fall, and he took six stitches along his right temple. He stayed home that weekend, and managed to convince his parents that he didn't want to be a priest. So they took him out of Our Lady of Sorrows. Yet somehow, word swept around the school that the fall had left Frank comatose, then deranged.

Jack had used Mendini's Crossing himself—always on the sly, of course. He was supposed to set a good example for these students. But the other way to town—College Road, a two-lane drive that crossed over the creek—was a mile farther down and took twice as long. Another option was rowing across Lake Leroy in one of the boats available only to the faculty and students who had made special arrangements.

There wasn't much in the way of entertainment at St. Bartholomew Hall and on that west side of the lake—unless one was delirious about forests. There was a "social room" in the basement, open from six to ten nightly—when the cellar wasn't flooded. The room housed four archaic computers, where students—all deprived of telephone jacks in their rooms—had access to E-mail. There were two moldy pool tables, a TV with fickle reception bracketed to the wall, a couple of pinball machines which were usually out of order, four vending machines, and a bookshelf full of jigsaw puzzles and games ranging from chess to Monopoly. The torn corners of every faded box had been repeatedly taped up, and pieces were missing from each game and puzzle.

Small wonder the freshmen at St. Bart's Hall were willing to brave Mendini's Crossing for their escape. The other side of that lake offered all the splendor of a small college town: a minimall, a duplex movie theater, bowling alley, stores, pizza and burger joints—in other words, civilization and freedom.

It was no secret that some of the cooler freshmen ventured over Mendini's Crossing to party with the upperclassmen. After a few drinks, the safest way back was College Road—or, if weather permitted, a quick swim across the narrow part of Lake Leroy. It was a nice way to sober up a bit before sneaking back into St. Bart's Hall. But not too many freshmen tried it any more, because a boy had drowned a few years back while taking one of those midnight swims. Jack didn't know the details.

He watched Ernesto and Art head down Whopper Way, then disappear into the forest. The two of them were best friends, and almost as dedicated as Jack with their morning runs.

Jack wished he had a friend here, someone he could confide in, another priest maybe. The closest person to him right now was a freshman named John Costello. At times, St. Bart's seemed like a mental institution, and John the only other sane inmate there.

During his first week at the school, Jack had had some revelations about the other teachers and resident advisers at the freshman facility. "It's sort of a proving ground for new guys like you," a priest friend had warned him. "New priests and nutcases, that's who they have running these freshman dorms, Jack. It's SOP. They don't want any of these guys managing a parish. So they stick them with these poor, vulnerable teenage boys. It's sad, really."

Of the eleven other priests at St. Bartholomew Hall, four were definitely alcoholics. Some even taught classes while drunk; and the kids weren't dumb, they knew.

Most of the clergy were gay, which didn't matter to Jack. The ones who bothered him were the bullies; two priests in particular seemed to take pleasure in picking on the students. It was a weird sight, watching them hit or pinch these eighteen-and nineteen-year-old boys who probably could have taken them apart.

Jack guessed that just over half of the seminarians would actually become priests. For many students, this was a cheap college education with the archdiocese footing the bill. Still, a majority of the young men at St. Bart's had a true calling. However, a handful of them took it a bit too far, practicing self-flagellation or fasting for days at a time as a way of becoming closer to God. One student on Jack's floor woke up at dawn every morning to scrub out all the toilets and sinks in the bathroom on his floor. He said it made him happy. There were also several boys who took after those sadistic priests. They picked on their fellow students as a way of feeling powerful—or physically closer to them. All the unspoken crushes and furtive sexual activity among the boys caused one minidrama after another: fits of jealousy and contempt, friendships broken and rivalries started.

On their first day, all of Jack's residents had reported to him in St. Bartholomew Hall's basement "social room" for student orientation. It was a gorgeous, warm September day when the first of three groups were herded into that damp, musty cellar. The eight students were treated to a buffet lunch whipped up by the cafeteria staff: bologna sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly (bleeding through the bread), Fritos, Jell-O, and a choice of plain or chocolate milk. That was gourmet stuff compared to the usual fare in St. Bart's cafeteria. Jack once saw a refrigerated delivery truck unloading boxes by St. Bartholomew Hall's kitchen door. The boxes were labeled GRADE D CHICKEN—EDIBLE. The next day, he bought a minifridge and microwave oven. The cafeteria was run by a surly, chain-smoking Filipino woman named Valentina. Her staff consisted of two ancient nuns who belonged in a nursing home; Bob, a twentysomething mildly retarded man; and Valentina's creepy ex-reform-school son, a skinny, tattooed weasel named Angel who probably wasn't beyond spitting in the food when he had the chance.

None of them were in view for this desperately cheerful orientation luncheon. Jack found his first group waiting for him at their assigned table. Most of the students had arrived and unpacked the previous night. They wore their nametags, and among the eight were Peter Tobin and John Costello from Seattle. They were smart enough to forgo the cafeteria fare and split a pack of Hostess cupcakes from the vending machine.

It was hard not to single out John Costello. He was an extremely handsome kid, with straight black hair that occasionally fell over his blue eyes. Lean and tan, he looked very athletic in a white polo shirt and jeans. He didn't say much, and barely cracked a smile. The boys were supposed to introduce themselves, and talk a little about their interests and hobbies. The other newcomers were cooperating, chatting nervously about their scholastic or athletic endeavors, and how they'd spent their summer vacations.

When his turn came, John took a sip of milk, then, without looking across the table at Jack, he muttered: "I'm John Costello. I'm from Seattle, and this is my best friend, Pete."

Peter Tobin smiled and nodded at everyone around the table. Lanky and pale, with his brown hair in disarray, Pete came off as geeky beside his brooding, good-looking friend.

Jack had a list of questions he was supposed to ask—to "bring out" every freshman. It must have been drawn up in 1952, with real cornball queries such as What's your greatest accomplishment as a Christian? and Tell us about your last good deed. He consulted the list for a moment. "Um, John, do you have any hobbies or interests?"

John Costello rolled his eyes. "Not really."

"What did you do over the summer?" Jack pressed.

"I caddied at this cake-eater country club. It was pretty boring."

"How long have you known Pete here?"

"A few years."

Jack nodded. He decided to give up and turned to John's pal. "Pete, maybe you can tell us something about yourself."

"Yes, Father," Peter Tobin announced, clearing his throat. "Well, when I was just a baby, my parents and I went down in a plane crash over the Andes. They died, and I was raised by wolves...."

It took a moment for the boys at the table to realize that Peter was joking. Peter quickly went into his repartee. His sulky friend cracked a smile occasionally. In all likelihood, he'd heard the routine before.

Peter was trying a little too hard, and while the other boys were a good audience, they obviously sensed his desperation to please. Once the formal talk was over, they didn't approach him. For a few moments, Peter stood alone by the table—until Jack patted him on the shoulder. "Thanks for loosening everybody up," he said. "You really have a great sense of humor, Pete."

Most of the boys wanted to meet Peter's sullen, pouty friend, and they came up to shake John's hand. Jack figured this sullen punk was going to be a real problem.

He was scheduled for a one-on-one with him that night. Part of his job on this orientation day was to check with each boy at curfew to make sure he had settled in his room. Jack thought imposing a curfew on eighteen-year-olds was ridiculous. But he didn't make the rules.

Checking Peter Tobin's room, he found that Pete already had several of his drawings up on the walls. He was a talented artist. He let Jack see one of his sketch books, and even showed him his portable case of art supplies. It was stocked with paper, coloring pencils, and markers, and a box full of special fine-point pens from Calgary, Alberta: GOWER GRAPHIC, THE FINE POINT FOR FINE ARTISTS. He also demonstrated his juggling abilities for Jack, and admitted that he was a little homesick. So he was grateful to have his best friend, Johnny, just down the hall.

But John Costello wasn't down the hall. Jack knocked on his door, then waited—and waited. Finally, he used his pass key to let himself in. The room was empty, and the boy hadn't even unpacked yet. The sheets were still stacked and folded at the foot of his bare mattress.

Jack checked the bathroom down the hall, then glanced out the window at the end of the corridor. A full moon reflected on the lake's ripply surface, and he could see the silhouette of a young man sitting at the end of the boat dock.

Jack headed down the stairs and outside. He reached the dock, then stopped suddenly. Past the sound of water lapping against the breakers, he could hear John Costello quietly crying.

Jack stood there a moment. He cleared his throat and started down to the dock. "John?" John Costello glanced over his shoulder. He quickly brushed his sleeve beneath his nose. "Yeah?" he replied in a raspy voice. He stood up and turned around.

In the moonlight, Jack could see tears in his eyes. "Are you okay?" he asked.

"Fine," he muttered.

"Didn't you read the list of rules they gave you at check in?" Jack asked gently. "You're not supposed to be out of your room past eleven on weeknights—unless you have permission or you're using the bathroom."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Make Them Cry by KEVIN O'BRIEN Copyright © 2002 by Kevin O'Brien. Excerpted by permission of PINNACLE BOOKS. 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.

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Make Them Cry 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great read.
LC112648LC More than 1 year ago
Started a little slow for Kevin! However, it really got going after a few chapters! Thoroughly enjoyed this book - as usual hard to guess the killer - so many leads to so many people. Really make you think! You really feel like you're on the edge of your seat with this author. Very talented - he is not my favorite author!!! Read this book - you won't be sorry!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one that you can't put down. A lot of twists and turns and will keep you on edge until the very end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never liked to read books but i decided to give reading another try so i choose Make Them Cry, now reading is addictive. This book is the best book ive read in a long time. It makes you feel like your watching a tv show and never lets u leave. The book gives mysterious scares and keeps you wondering whats next. Truely a masterpiece from Kevin O'Brien
Anonymous 3 months ago
If you like a book about sexually frustrated priests, both homo and hetero, this is for you. Decent little twist at the end, but overall it was a chore to finish.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a great book that kept you guessing through most of it. however, you guess the killer about halfway through but it's pretty much confirmed about 3/4 the way through. It is an odd book but a good read. Very hard to put down nonetheless.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was good but it goes from some kids being killed cuz they're gay to they are martyered. I still dont understand who the guy was that was with Maggie at her house at the very end....If you like confusing, mysterious books this one is the one for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Stab you in the heart? This was a good book, but christ, stab you in the heart? I don't think so. Though a very thoughtful book, one won't surmise who actually did the deed until the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so boring I almost didn't finish it.I knew who the killer was almost as soon as he was introduced. The excuses for not calling in the police were laughable. Don't waste your time or money on this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book grabs every part of you mind and takes it for a ride. O'brien appeals to everyone of your senses and makes you think beyond belief. I do feal that this is one of the greater books out on the market. Once you read it you will want more and more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're one of the many people out there who are looking for a good scare, look no further! Make Them Cry will take your worst fears, sharpen them up, and stab you in the heart with them! I recommend that you read this book, but I dare you to keep your eyes open...until the end.