Whirlpool

Whirlpool

by Elizabeth Lowell

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - New Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060511135
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 299,797
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Lowell's acclaimed suspense novels include the New York Times bestsellers Blue Smoke and Murder, Innocent as Sin, The Wrong Hostage, Always Time to Die, The Color of Death, Die in Plain Sight, Running Scared, and Moving Target, as well as four books featuring the Donovan family: Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. She has more than thirty million books in print. She lives in Arizona and Seattle, Washington, with her husband, with whom she writes mystery novels under a pseudonym.

Carrington MacDuffie is a voice actor and recording artist who has narrated over two hundred audiobooks, received numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards, and has been a frequent finalist for the Audie Award, including for her original audiobook, Many
Things Invisible.
Alongside her narration work, she has released a new album of original songs, Only an Angel.

Date of Birth:

April 5, 1944

Place of Birth:

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Education:

B. A., University of California, 1966

Read an Excerpt

Whirlpool

Chapter One

Laurel Swann touched the gleaming pebble, with the tip of her index finger. The stone was as smooth and cool as the ocean. She wished that all of life were half as pleasing to her senses.

But it wasn't. Even the agate reminded her of past unhappiness and present uncertainty; there was a single band of pale amber in the stone that was the exact color of her father's eyes, and her own. Seeing the color made her wonder where Jamie Swann was, if he was well or sick, thin or well fed, free or captive in some country whose name changed with every headline.

"Don't think about it," Laurel told herself, speaking aloud in the manner of someone who spends much of the time alone. "There's nothing you can do. He's old enough to know better. Hell, he's old enough to retire, get a cat, and write his memoirs."

The thought of it made Laurel smile. Like her dead mother, Laurel couldn't stop caring about the man whose cheerful grin and guarded eyes had shaped her life.Still smiling, Laurel picked up the agate and turned it slowly. Light from the north window of her weathered A-frame cottage spilled over her workbench, making the stone glow as if it held all the sunshine it had gathered during countless years of being tumbled by surf on a California beach.

As a professional jewelry designer, Laurel had much more valuable stones—diamonds and opals, rubies and sapphires and citrine—in the safe in her workshop. But she still took real pleasure in finding a clear agate on the beach in front of her house.

To Laurel, a good beach agate was a small gift from God, a memento of the forces that shaped the earth, themingling of enduring rock and restless ocean.

The stone on Laurel's palm was a good agate. Looking into its clear depths was like looking through a window into another world. The agate's radiant golden amber color gave way to a lightly marbled transparence at one end. The stone was flecked with dark inclusions, tiny bits of the agate's history preserved in a crystalline frame.

The flaws made the stone more interesting to Laurel than mere perfection would have been. Turning the pebble slowly in the light, she automatically began creating a design in her mind, a simple, flowing framework of gold that would show off the agate to its best advantage. Stones were as unique and individual as people; a setting could enhance the natural beauty of a stone or all but destroy it.

For Laurel, that was the endless fascination of making jewelry. Each design was her own answer to the silent challenge of the stones that she create a frame for them which was as unusual and enduring as their beauty.

The rattle of a truck turning into Laurel's steep driveway broke her concentration. Frowning, she set aside the agate and looked out the ground floor window of her small house. A delivery van was idling just outside. The driver had thoughtfully driven down to the garage, savingLaurel a trip upstairs to the street level. Even so, she wasn't happy to see the truck.

"Damn," Laurel muttered. "What's this? I'm not expecting any new orders. I'm not expecting any back, either, but that doesn't mean I won't get some."

Laurel headed from her workroom and opened the small door that connected to the garage. The living area of the house was overhead, on the same level as the street. It was an odd, cramped arrangement common to Cambria houses that had begun life as weekend cabins and been transformed into full-time residences when land prices soared.

Outside, the driver hopped down from the van and headed toward the open garage door. He had a clipboard gripped in his right hand. Under his left arm he carried a rectangular box. The box was big enough to be awkward, but it wasn't particularly heavy.

"Hi, Tom," Laurel said as he approached.

"Hello, Miss Swann."

Though Tom tried to be casual, he spent too long looking at Laurel. He started at her cap of shiny black hair, took in the loose man's shirt she wore knotted to one side, and lingered on the jeans, whose snug fit was the result of countless washings.

Though Laurel had spent no time trying to catch a man's eye, there was an essential sensual femininity to her that was more alluring than the overproduced blondes that California turned out with numbing regularity.

"Is it your birthday?" Tom asked.

"Nope."

"This week, maybe ?

"Nope."

Though Laurel smiled pleasantly enough, she didn't say anything more.

Tom sighed, accepting that this contact was going to be like all the rest. Business, plain and simple. He began flipping through papers, finding the one for Laurel Swann to sign.

Laurel waited with outward patience. She sensed that Tom, like other men whose lives crossed hers, wanted to progress from a professional contact to a personal one. She was so accustomed to keeping men well beyond arm's length that she hardly noticed any longer that she was doing it.

Watching her parents cope with love, anger, regret, rage, despair, and finally divorce had taught Laurel that diamonds might be forever, but a relationship wasn't.

And if it wasn't forever, it wasn't worth the pain.

"Well," Tom said, "this must be your lucky day. Some body's sending you a big present."

Laurel made a sound that could have meant anything. Like most jewelry makers, she shipped her work materials without fanfare. She hid gold and even parcels of precious stones in plain sight beneath plain brown wrapping paper and ordinary packing tape.

But she had just gotten a shipment of gold from her Armenian metals broker on Hill Street in Los Angeles. She was expecting nothing of interest at the moment.

"Here you go," Tom said.

Laurel took the box in both hands. Ten pounds. Perhaps more. Certainly not much less.

"Need any help?" Tom asked.

"No, thanks. I handle heavier stuff all the time."

Whirlpool. Copyright © by Elizabeth Lowell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

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Whirlpool 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
Whirlpool mixes suspense, mystery, and romance with a little intrigue and deceit. Elizabeth Lowell is a great writer and this book is no exception. The plot is multi-faceted and held my interest throughout. I found some parts a little too longwinded and descriptive for my taste in suspense. At times, it was a like taking the scenic route home. But overall this is a very enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoy reading Elizabeth Lowell's books this one as much as any others
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. The playful bantering between the two main charachters will keep you addicted to this book. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who loves romance.
wispywillow on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Not bad, not great. My weakness is art, so the fact that the plot was based around a piece of art definitely held my interest.I agree with the review that mentions there are some cliches in this story. The one I found most annoying was the shoot-out scene early in the book. "Even though I only met you five minutes ago and there are bullets whizzing over our heads, my usually practical female brain is focused only on the scent of your man-flesh!"Yes, yes, I'm paraphrasing... but I would imagine that if someone is trying to kill you, you can find a later time in which to fall for your protector.Other than that, though, the plot was interesting.
Darcia on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Whirlpool mixes suspense, mystery, and romance with a little intrigue and deceit. Elizabeth Lowell is a great writer and this book is no exception. The plot is multi-faceted and held my interest throughout. I found some parts a little too longwinded and descriptive for my taste in suspense. At times, it was a like taking the scenic route home. But overall this is a very enjoyable read.
Sackler on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I'm always willing to read E.Lowell; that's my bias. This one moves right along. The hero is more or less tortured; the heroine is virtuous, talented, torn; the hero elicits a depth of passion the heroine hadn't known existed. As is so often the case with Lowell, the novel focuses on a work of art, this time a Faberge egg. Yes, a little cliched, but mostly fun. The real weaknesses: too many players, and villains so repellent you want to skip the sections involving them (that really wrecks the plot line).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't have you numbered. To me, you all are number 1.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish there were more of them in this series.
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Anyone want to chat!:-)
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Hi
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:)
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Hey its cheyenne
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Hey:)
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Heeeeellllllllpppppp!!!!!
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?...
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*looks for mari*
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Hi
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Still locked out?