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Martin Stillwater has a vivid imagination. It charms his loving wife, delights his two little daughters, and gives him all the inspiration he needs to write his highly successful mystery novels. But maybe Martin’s imagination is a bit too vivid… One rainy afternoon, a terrifying incident makes him question his grip on reality. A stranger breaks into his house, accusing Martin of stealing his wife, his children—and his life. Claiming to be the real Martin Stillwater, the intruder threatens to take what is rightfully his. The police think he’s a figment of Martin’s imagination. But Martin and his family have no choice but to believe the stranger’s threat. And run for their lives.
But wherever they go—wherever they hide—he finds them…
the dirt lane toward the county road, Marty used the cellular phone, which he’d brought in from the car, to try yet again to reach his folks back in Mammoth Lakes. “Daddy,” Charlotte said as he punched in the number, “I just thought—who’s going to feed Sheldon and Bob and Fred and the other guys back home while we’re not there?” “I already arranged with Mrs. Sanchez to take care of that,” he lied, for he hadn’t yet found the courage to tell her that all of her pets had been killed. “Oh, okay.
boughs of the evergreens could soften the rising voice of the wind. The gradually dimming light of the day’s last hour was the steely shade of ice on a winter pond. Every sight and sound was cold and seemed to exacerbate the chill that pressed into her from the granite. She began to worry about how long she could hold out before she would need to return to the cabin to get warm. Then a deep-blue Jeep station wagon came uphill on the county road and made a hard, sharp turn into the driveway. It
resurrection, for they are not merely the killers of his real family but a threat to the world. The thought occurs to him that, if he survives, these terrifying experiences will provide him with material for a novel. He surely will be able to get past the opening sentence, an accomplishment of which he was incapable yesterday. Though his wife and children are lost to him forever, he might be able to salvage his career from the ruins of his life. Slipping and sliding, he hurries toward the gap
tragedy of it. —One Dead Bishop, Martin Stillwater One 1 “I need . . .” Leaning back in his comfortable leather office chair, rocking gently, holding a compact cassette recorder in his right hand and dictating a letter to his editor in New York, Martin Stillwater suddenly realized he was repeating the same two words in a dreamy whisper. “. . . I need . . . I need . . . I need . . .” Frowning, Marty clicked off the recorder. His train of thought had clattered down a siding and
for the singing of tires and the air-cutting whoosh of passing traffic on the interstate, the silence was as oppressive as it must be in the vacuum of deep space. A copse of tall pines stood as backdrop to the entire rest area, and, in the windless darkness, their heavy boughs drooped like swags of funeral bunting. He craved the hum and bustle of urban streets, where ceaseless activity offered continuous distractions. Commotion provided escape from contemplation. In the city, the