The perfect life
A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she's built in New York--including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past. But when an innocent man is framed for murder, she knows that she can't let him pay for the real killer's crimes.
The perfect lie
Nina's secret life began 18 years ago. She had looks to die for, a handsome police-officer husband, and a carefree life in Key West. When she learned she was pregnant with their first child, her happiness was almost overwhelming. But Nina's world is shattered when she unearths a terrible secret that causes her to run for her life and change her identity.
The perfect way to die
Now, years later, Nina risks everything she's earned to return to Florida and confront the murderous evil she fled. In a story of wrenching suspense, James Patterson gives us his most head-spinning, action-filled story yet--a Hitchcock-like blend of unquenchable drama and pleasure.
|Publisher:||Grand Central Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||4.38(w) x 7.38(h) x 1.02(d)|
About the Author
James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels , the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
Hometown:Palm Beach, Florida
Date of Birth:March 22, 1947
Place of Birth:Newburgh, New York
Education:B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
Read an Excerpt
Now You See Her
By Patterson, James
Little, Brown and CompanyCopyright © 2011 Patterson, James
All right reserved.
LIES AND VIDEOTAPE
I’D ALREADY TOSSED the driver a twenty and was bouncing up and down like a preschooler last in line for the potty when my taxi finally stopped across from the Hudson hotel on West 58th. I didn’t wait for change, but I did nearly get clipped by an express bus as I got out on the street side and hightailed it across Eighth Avenue.
I didn’t even look at my iPhone as it tried to buzz out of my jacket pocket. By this point, with my full workday and tonight’s party of all parties to plan, I was more surprised when it wasn’t going off.
A sound, deafening even by midtown Manhattan standards, hammered into my ears as I made the corner.
Was it a jackhammer? A construction pile driver?
Of course not, I thought, as I spotted a black kid squatting on the sidewalk, playing drums on an empty Spackle bucket.
Luckily I also spotted my lunch appointment, Aidan Beck, at the edge of the crowded street performance.
Without preamble, I hooked elbows with the fair, scruffily handsome young man and pulled him into the chic Hudson. At the top of the neon-lit escalator, a concierge who looked like one of the happy, shiny cast members of High School Musical smiled from behind the Carrara marble check-in desk.
“Hi. I called twenty minutes ago,” I said. “I’m Mrs. Smith. This is Mr. Smith. We’d like a room with a large double bed. The floor or view doesn’t matter. I’m paying cash. I’m really in a rush.”
The clerk took in my sweating face and the contrast between my sexy office attire and my much younger companion’s faded jeans and suede jacket with seeming approval.
“Let’s get you to your room, then,” the über-happy concierge said without missing a beat.
A cold wind hit me as I came out of the hotel with Aidan an hour later. I looked up at the New York spring light glistening off the blue-tinged towers of the Time Warner Center down the block. I smiled as I remembered how my daughter, Emma, called it the world’s largest glass goalpost.
I looked at Aidan and wondered if what we just did was right. It didn’t matter, did it? I thought as I dabbed my eyes with the sleeve of my knockoff Burberry jacket. It was done.
“You were amazing. You really were,” I said, handing him the envelope as I kissed his cheek.
He gave a theatrical little bow as he tucked the thousand into the inside pocket of his suede car coat.
“Hey, it’s what I do, Nina Bloom,” he said, walking off with a wave.
“It’s Mrs. Smith to you,” I called as I hailed a taxi back to my job.
“OK, MOM. You can open your eyes now.”
My daughter, Emma, stood before me in our cozy Turtle Bay apartment in her sweet sixteen party dress. I took in her luminous skin and ebony hair above the sleeveless black silk and began to cry for the second time that day as my heart melted.
How had this magical, ethereal creature come out of me? She looked absolutely knockdown amazing.
“Really not bad,” I said, catching tears in my palms.
It wasn’t just how beautiful Emma was, of course. It was also that I was so proud of her. When she was eight, I encouraged her, as a lark, to take the test for Brearley, Manhattan’s most prestigious girls’ school. Not only did she get in, but she was offered an almost complete scholarship.
It had been so hard for her to fit in at the beginning, but with her charm and intelligence and strong will, she stuck it out and now was one of the most popular, beloved kids in the school.
I wasn’t the only person who thought so, either. At a classmate’s birthday party, she’d wowed the mom of one of her friends so much with her love of art history that the gazillionaire socialite MOMA board member insisted on pulling some strings in order to get Em into Brown. Not that Em would need the help.
I was practically going to have to get a home equity loan on our two-bedroom apartment in order to pay for tonight’s 120-person party at the Blue Note down in the Village, but I didn’t care. As a young, single mom, I had practically grown up with Em. She was my heart, and tonight was her night.
“Mom,” Emma said, coming over and shaking me back and forth by my shoulders. “Lift up your right hand and solemnly swear that this will be the last time you will puddle this evening. I agreed to this only because you promised me you’d be Nina Bloom, très chic, ultrahip, cool mom. Hold it together.”
I raised my right hand. “I do so solemnly swear to be a très chic, ultrahip, cool mom,” I said.
“OK, then,” she said, blowing a raspberry on my cheek. She whispered in my ear before she let go, “I love you, Mom, by the way.”
“Actually, Emma, that isn’t the only thing,” I said, walking over to the entertainment unit. I turned on the TV and the ten-ton VCR that I’d dragged out of the storage bin when I came home from work. “You have another present.”
I handed Emma the dusty black tape box that was on top of the VCR.
“TO EMMA,” it said on the index card taped to its cover. “FROM DAD.”
“What?” she said, her eyes suddenly about the size of manhole covers. “But I thought you said everything was lost in the fire when I was three. All the tapes. All the pictures.”
“Your dad put this in the safety deposit box right before he went into the hospital for the last time,” I said. “I know how badly you’ve been dying to know who your dad was. I wanted to give this to you so many times. But Kevin had said he wanted you to get it today. I thought it would be best to honor his wishes.”
I started out of the room.
“No, Mom. Where are you going? You have to stay and watch it with me.”
I shook my head as I handed her the remote. I patted her cheek. “This is between you and your dad,” I said.
“Hey, Em. It’s me, Daddy,” a deep, warm, Irish-accented voice said as I left. “If you’re watching this, it must mean you’re a big girl now. Happy Sweet Sixteen, Emma.”
I turned back as I was closing the door. Aidan Beck, the actor I’d hired and filmed with a vintage camcorder at the Hudson that afternoon, was smiling from the screen.
“There are a few things I want you to know about me and about my life, Em,” he said in his brogue. “First and foremost is that I love you.”
DOWN THE HALLWAY, I went into a large closet, otherwise known as a Manhattan home office, and shredded the script I’d written to fool my daughter. I sifted the confetti through my fingers and let out a breath as I heard Emma start to sob.
No wonder she was crying. Aidan Beck had performed the script impeccably. Especially the accent. I’d met and hired the young off-Broadway actor outside the SAG offices the week before.
As I sat there listening to my daughter crying in the next room, some part of me knew how cruel it was. It sucked having to be a Gen-X “Mommie Dearest.”
It didn’t matter. Emma was going to have a good life, a normal life. No matter what.
The ruse was elaborate, I knew, but when I spotted Emma’s Google searches for Kevin Bloom on our home computer the week before, I knew I had to come up with something airtight.
Kevin Bloom was supposed to be Emma’s idyllic, loving father who had died of cancer when she was two. I’d told Emma that Kevin had been a romantic Irish cabdriver/budding playwright whom I’d met when I first came to the city. A man with no family, of whom all trace had been lost in a fire a year later.
The fact, of course, was that there was no Kevin Bloom. I wish there were more times than not, believe me. I could have really used a romantic Irish playwright in my hectic life.
The truth was, there wasn’t even a Nina Bloom.
I made me up, too.
I had my reasons. They were good ones.
What I couldn’t tell Emma was that nearly two decades ago and a thousand miles to the south, I got into some trouble. The worst kind. The kind where forever after, you always make sure your phone number is unlisted and never ever, ever stop looking over your shoulder.
It started on spring break, of all things. In the spring of 1992 in Key West, Florida, I guess you could say a foolish girl went wild.
And stayed wild.
That foolish girl was me.
My name was Jeanine.
Excerpted from Now You See Her by Patterson, James Copyright © 2011 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved reading this wonderful book! It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours. I didn't mind paying a little more so that I could read it on my Nook. It's better for the environment.
I am an avid Patterson fan so I've read many of his books, but this one is by far one of his best! The twists and turns in this book had me second-guessing myself all the way to the last page. I cannot remember the last time I've devoured a book in one day, but I could not put this book down! Just when I thought I'd figured things out, I would be surprised by something new! What a page-turner!!!! My only disappointment is that I finished it so quickly. Now I have to wait for the next book!
Very few books have kept me up reading til early hours of the morning on a work night because i cant even think about putting it down! THIS was one of these books....heart pounding and awesome twists and turns that seem to just keep coming!
this book was phenomenal! I only wish more people would stop yelping about how there cheep and review this wonderful story, if you want to complain about the Nook or whatever it was, go do it elsewhere. review the book becasue its a book! not cause of the price.
First ... You should not be able to write a review and slam a book if you haven't even bought it. All those 1 start reviews complaining about the price are ridiculous. The book is the same price on iBooks and on Kindle. It's $14.99, if you don,t want to pay that, then don't buy it. It's as simple as that. Second ... This was Patterson's best book since Along Came A Spider. I have read almost all of his books (except the teen novels) and enjoyed this one the most. I literally finished the book in 2 sittings, I couldn't put it down. It's a definite "must buy" for those that aren't cheap.
This is not the place to complain about prices! I come on here to read reviews about the book and depend on the star rating. Those of you who rate books because you are mad at B&N are doing an injustce to the author and potential readers. You are being selfish. Take your complaints to a forum or wrire to B&N! At least rate the book and talk about your thoughts if you read it. Otherwise don't rate! BTW Loved the book, one of his best!
This book was awesome. For those of you and you know who you are, that are always whining about the cost of the e-books, enough is enough. Did you buy the nook or whatever e-reader for cheap books or to help save the environment? I don't know about you but I got the nook so that I could have whatever I wanted to read right at my finger tips and not clutter my home with all those read books. I know that I was told when I bought my Nook, that there were thousands of free books and a lot at $9.99 but not all would be at that price. So stop the whining and lets use this space to rate & review the books and not to bash the e-readers!!!!
Great quick read, unable to put it down it was so good!
Do you people really think barnes and noble employees read these. Stop complaining and if you are that unhappy return the nook or sell it on ebay. I dont mind paying for the books and it keeps the cluter of them out of my house. I wait for them to go on sale and haved never paid over 10 bucks. I want to hear about this book and hope to see some real reviews!!!! Thanks
I used to really enjoy and look forward to Pattersons book but they have been getting more and more disappointing. This story line was so ridiculous, under developed and the ending had no substance. It was as if the writer got bored with the story and just stopped it. I read this in a few hours and even at that it was a waste of time not to mention a total waste of money.
Great read cant wait for sequel!!
I was immediately drawn in to the story of Jeanine/Nina. Very enjoyable!
So disappointed. This storyline was predictable, unbelievable and suspenseless.
A police department in Key West that didn't know a potential officer had been suspected of murdering his wife? Now he's in New York hob nobing with the FBI. Do you realize how deeply researched police applicants are? Maybe Mr. Patterson should go back to writing his own books, and pay attention to the details!
This would be a great movie if the script was written as events were written in the book! Couldn't put it down!
The book starts out good but ends with such violence i was very disappointed. Goes to show where humans have gone for entertainment; the disgraceful mind of a serial killer.
Couldn't put it down! Read the whole book in one sitting!
This book capped the month of June as my thriller month. All the stories are good---from Black Rain, Triple Agent Double Cross and finally James Patterson's Now You See Her. It is an enjoyable read here. Crafted with a unique style and smooth flow, the story has what it takes to strike a chord with its target readership. It is very original and written with a lyrical and witty touch that made reading it fascinating.The plot is also gripping and the scope of the setting attests to the depth of Patterson's imaginative mind.Overall, this is a well-crafted story.
I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and a good story. The problem I had is it cost almost $15.00 which is a lot for a nook book, and it was only about 300 pages. I was able to read it in two days. When I pay that much for a nook book I like it to be a little longer. I have had 99cent books that take longer to read. I liked the story, but it ended too soon. Anyway if you don't mind spending that much it is a good book.
Could NOT put this book down!
I won't buy another book where James Patterson co-writes with someone else. This was so predictable there was no excitement at all.
Yet another awesome story from James Patterson. This was my favorite from him in awhile. Keeps you involved and on the edge of your seat the whole time. Highly recommended!
I agree with many whom have commented- this is one of the best of James Patterson's books couldn't put it down
I wait for the "next Patterson" book with excitement and anticipation. This one disappointed me. The story drags about half way through, and then suddenly everything comes together, the mystery is solved. However, the resulting solution is based on nothing from the story itself. It's just thrown together and makes little sense. When I got to the ending, I thought, "Really!!?!! Where did all this come from?" Doesn't seem to follow the "Patterson pattern". Further, I agree with everyone else that the ebooks are costing too much. I bought my Nook to save money, trips to the library, trips to the bookstore --- If I have to overpay, the rest means nothing.