No Escape

No Escape

by Heather Lowell

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Overview

Death is the only exit ....

Kelly Martin is a frightened teenage runaway who made ascandalous accusation, then vanished, leaving Los Angeles prosecutor Tessa Jacobi with a ticking time bomb of a case on her hands. When the investigation leads her to chic nightclubs, shadowy business deals and whispers of sexual slavery, Tessa understands that she's out of her league. So she asks for help from a man whose contacts and experience can help her bring Kelly home.

Burned by the system in the past, private investigator LukeNovak plays by his own rules — and he's not about to change them to accommodate a smart, classy blonde from the D.A.'s office. But when a killer strikes frighteningly close to home, Tessa has nowhere to turn — except to Luke. Because somewhere in a neon underworld, a young girl is running for her life. And Tessa is determined to get her out, even if it means placing her own life in the hands of a renegade she has no choice but to trust ...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060542146
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/27/2004
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.08(d)

About the Author

Heather Lowell was born and raised in Southern California. She attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she began her love affair with foreign languages, international politics, and off-the-beaten-path travel. She's journeyed by bus, train, and boat throughout the developing world, meeting local people and practicing her language skills — the occasional face-to-face encounter with livestock was an added bonus. While her "list of things to do before settling down" is still quite long, Heather has already crossed off hiking the Andes, going up the Amazon River, backpacking through Australia and New Zealand, SCUBA diving, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, caving, and jumping out of an airplane.

In the 1990s, Heather studied in Brazil, volunteered as an English teacher in Hungary, and earned a Master's degree in International Development. She briefly considered becoming a professional traveler before deciding that defaulting on her student loans wasn't a lofty career goal. Instead, she served her time in a cubicle as a project manager in Information Technology, where her life closely paralleled that of the comic strip Dilbert. When the tech bubble burst and the stock market plummeted, Heather took it as a sign that she should get out of the corporate world and follow her dream of writing. She hasn't looked back since that day.

Despite an adventurous past, Heather Lowell now considers herself to be a dedicated homebody — with a car, mortgage, and dog to prove it. She currently lives in Arizona, where she is working on her next book.

Read an Excerpt

No Escape

Chapter One

Hollywood, California
Saturday, February 20
2:00 A.M.

If being raped by a hulking professional football player was the price she had to pay to make it big in Hollywood, Kelly Martin figured she should pull up stakes and head back to Kansas. Even working the Blizzard machine at Dairy Queen had to be better than what she had endured over the last few hours.

With a sideways glance at the huge man driving her home in his Hummer, Kelly pressed a hand low on her abdomen to quiet the burning, grinding pain there.

She was positive Britney never had to do anything like this to get her first recording contract.

Kelly felt tears well in her eyes and pushed the thought away. When that didn't work, she bit her lip hard. I will not let this jerk see me cry. At least not again.

Without turning her head, Kelly checked the position of the man next to her in the front seat, then decided she couldn't move farther away from him without opening the door and bailing out. Which she would do if he made a single move toward her.

She almost laughed out loud. All of her friends at Central High School in Hays, Kansas, would probably kill to be in her position -- being driven home in a luxury car after an evening spent in Hollywood with an all-American hero. Sledge Aiken was the most sought-after celebrity quarterback in the country, especially after his team's dramatic Super Bowl win last month in New Orleans.

With his slow Southern drawl, light brown hair, and wild green eyes, he would be considered a catch anywhere. When those were paired with six-feet-one inch of heavily muscled physique and a talent for football handed straight down from God, Sledge was the kind of man most girls dreamed of at night.

When Kelly had been offered a chance to go on a date with him, she'd taken it in a heartbeat. After all, every girl in the club was after him. And Jerry had told her going out with Sledge would increase her chances of being seen by celebrity photographers -- which in turn would boost her prospects for getting a recording contract.

But Kelly hadn't known the price she would have to pay. She flashed back to an hour earlier, to the terror and helplessness she'd felt when she realized that Sledge wasn't going to be stopped by her tears and pleas. When she'd realized that he was going to continue to press her slender body into his velvet couch and take away from her something she would never get back. Something he had no right to take.

Kelly's lip trembled, even though she still had her teeth clamped around it hard enough to draw blood. The car turned into a residential area and slowed to a stop in front of a modest single-level home.

"So, are you free next weekend?" Sledge's voice came out of the darkness, causing Kelly to jump visibly. She had hoped to go inside without having to say another word to him.

She shrugged her shoulders and brought her thumb up to her mouth, chewing on its lacerated cuticle.

Sledge took her silence for agreement. "Then I'll set things up with Jerry again, okay?"

Kelly shrugged once more and reached for the door handle. It was locked.

"Hey, wait a sec. I got something for you, sugar." At one time, Sledge's thick Alabama accent would have made her heart turn over. Right now, it made her skin crawl. If she'd had anything at all in her stomach, she was sure it would have come up right then. But she'd been so ill at Sledge's house after ... she bit harder on her cuticle, then tugged again on the door handle.

Sledge released the locks and held something out to her, causing her to flinch away from him.

"It's for you. And there's a lot more where that came from. You're a gen-u-ine firecracker, darlin'."

Kelly looked at the crisp hundred-dollar bill in Sledge's beefy hand. Then she raised her wounded gaze to his for the first time since they'd gotten into the Hummer. She looked into his eyes for guilt, apology -- anything. But when he smiled and winked at her she pulled the door open and bolted.

"Aren't you going inside?" Sledge called through his open window.

Kelly ignored him. She passed the house and continued running down the street in her high heels and cocktail dress, until she disappeared into the darkness of the night.

No Escape. Copyright © by Heather Lowell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

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No Escape 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No Escape is a sensational, riveting story of suspense and romance. Tessa Jacobi LA¿s Prosecutor is primed and ready for a big case. When one falls into her lab, she realizes the players are out of her league. A frighten young woman¿s life is at stake, so she turns to Luke Novak a well-known PI for help. Luke Novak at first turns down Tessa but when the danger increases he rushes to her aide. Luke and Tessa work together to help the victim, it takes them to the lowest form of criminal life in the city. As they delve deeper into this world, they find that they need to completely trust each other. This is especially hard for Tessa but she realizes Luke is not your ordinary man. I really enjoyed this book, you could really feel the tension mount. Tessa and Jake find a passion that is to be treasured, watching the relationship grow was a marvel to read. I am looking forward to the next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Prosecutor Tessa Jacobi runs into a scared Kelly Martin in a local park. When Tessa learns that Kelly has been raped by a high profile quarterback Sledge Aiken she asks for help from two local LAPD officers and a private detective, Lucas Novak. When Kelly disappears and Tessa¿s life is threatened, they learn that this case involves a whole lot more than they initially thought.

I give this book 4 stars. This is only her second book, and I feel she has a GREAT future in writing. Heather's plots are original and quite complex. Her writing style is wonderful and has a bit of a hard edge to it. I can't even begin to tell you how impressed I am with her ability to write such an in-depth book. She is definitely on the right track. Her books are well developed and involve a lot of research on her part. So if you are looking for a simple book with a simple plot then her work is not for you.

I liked the relationship between Tessa and Luke. The plot was great. There were a few times when the story did drag a bit, but the plot was so unique to me that I didn't have trouble staying interested. The book got real interesting after there was an attempt on Tessa's life. I couldn't put the book down after that.

Can't wait for her next book.

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Guest More than 1 year ago
LA Prosecutor Tessa Jacobi runs into a scared Kelly Martin and finds out the girl has been raped by a high profile quarterback named Sledge Aiken. Tessa, along with two police officers, who are also her friends, investigate the rape. When Kelly disappears, things start to get hairy. Tessa seeks help from Luke Novak who is a private investigator. Together they unravel a whole lot more than they bargained for.....

I give this book somewhere between 3 ½ and 4 stars. This is only her second book, and I feel she has a GREAT future in writing. Heather's plots are original and quite complex. Her writing style is wonderful and has a bit of a hard edge to it. I can't even begin to tell you how impressed I am with her ability to write such an in-depth book. She is definitely on the right track. Her books are well developed and involve a lot of research on her part. So if you are looking for a simple book with a simple plot then her work is not for you....

I liked the relationship between Tessa and Luke. The plot was great. There were a few times when the story did drag a bit, but the plot was so unique to me that I didn't have trouble staying interested. The book got real interesting after there was an attempt on Tessa's life. I couldn't put the book down after that. Can't wait for her next book.

harstan More than 1 year ago
In Southern California, DA Prosecutor Tessa Jacobi informs police detectives Veronica Harris and Ed Flynn that LA Waves superstar Quarterback Sledge Aiken raped Midwesterner Kelly Martin. She also informs the two cops that Kelly had numerous credit cards owned by men and a questionable wad of cash. The girl insists she was to give it all to her cousin Jerry who she is living with since she came to Hollywood from Colorado seeking a singing career. Ed suggests that the DA Office hire private detective Lucas Novak to investigate the credit cards because he can do things that the law cannot........................ Tessa updates her boss Carmen Ramirez who tells her to hire an outside investigator. Though estranged from her father she asks her dad, a former FBI director whom should she hire and he says Lucas.................... Tessa receives a phone call threatening her and her father overhears her side of the discussion. After she leaves, he calls Lucas and hires him to keep his daughter safe. Lucas informs Tessa that her dad hired him so she might as well use him to help her. As they investigate together, they fall in love, but Ed is murdered and Tessa and Luke could be next as the Ianelli mob is involved.......................... This police procedural romance stars two delightful protagonists and furbishes an incredible easy to understand and cleverly interwoven into the plot explanation of money laundering. The story line is fast¿paced from the moment Tessa brings in her police pals until the final confrontation though taking a risk just to buy underwear seems off kilter while too many other misfortunate events somewhat overwhelm the climax..................... Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so much love this, than ever i thought. seriously to death. A author is one of amazing write ever I've read. And You must read this, because Characters is impossible for me to read, by switch. Hmm.