The Wrong Man: A Novel
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Scott Freeman is a man of reason–a college professor grounded in the rational and practical. But he becomes uneasy after finding an anonymous love letter hidden in his daughter’s room: “No one could ever love you like I do. No one ever will. We will be together forever. One way or another.” But the reality of Ashley’s plight far exceeds Scott’s worst suspicions.
One drink too many had led Ashley, a beautiful, bright art student, into what she thought was just a fling with a blue-collar bad boy. But now, no amount of pleading or reasoning can discourage his phone calls, ardent e-mails, and constant, watchful gaze.
Michael O’Connell is but a malignant shadow of a man. His brash, handsome features conceal a black and empty soul. Control is his religion. Cunning and criminal skill are his stock-in-trade. Rage is his language.
The harder Ashley tries to break free, the deeper Michael burrows into every aspect of her life, so she turns in desperation to her divorced parents and her mother’s new partner–three people still locked in a coldly civilized triangle of resentment. But their fierce devotion to Ashley is the common bond that will draw them together to face down a predator.
For Ashley’s family, it is a test of primal love that will drive them to the extreme edge–and beyond–in a battle of wills that escalates into a life-or-death war to protect their own.
From the bestselling master of suspense, John Katzenbach, The Wrong Man is an elegantly crafted and breathtakingly intense read that asks the question, “How far would you go to save the child you love?”
From the Hardcover edition.
wish I’d done.” “I suppose,” Sally said, “that now it is time for us to engage the authorities.” Catherine coldly added, “Well, that’s what the local policeman told me outside my house, after my little get-together with Mr. O’Connell.” “You don’t sound like you think much of that idea,” Hope said. “I don’t.” Beneath her breath, Catherine added, “When the hell have ‘the authorities’ ever helped anyone?” Scott turned to Sally. “Sally, you’re the lawyer. I’m sure that in your professional
wedding gifts. In turn he’d received a broken nose that spoiled his handsome face when it was set improperly and more than once had to stare down his wife when she waved a kitchen knife in his direction. It was a steady and all-toofamiliar pattern of abuse, violence, and forgiveness that would have continued forever, except for two events: the father fell, and the mother grew sick. The senior O’Connell slipped from a work spot thirty feet in the air, slamming into a steel girder when he tumbled.
shake of his head. “About as cheap as you can find. Manufactured by some company in Ohio that machine-stamps out each part of the weapon and then screws it together, sticks it in a box, and ships it off to some disreputable dealer. A good gun shop would never carry crap like this. And no real professional would ever use it.” “Still, it works.” “Sort of. Twenty-five automatic. Small caliber. Lightweight. Professional killers-and we don’t get a whole lot of those around here as you might
he whispered, “Now I know you.” And then, just as abruptly, the elevator doors slowly crept shut. There was no urgency this time, when I called her. She seemed curiously blank, as if she had already played out my questions and her answers in her mind, and as if I was following a script. “I’m not sure that I understand Michael O’Connell’s behavior. I think I’m getting a feel for him, and then…” “He does something you find unexpected?” “Yes. The dead flowers, there’s an obvious message, but…”
she were having a panic attack. Her fists balled up 94 and she felt a sudden jab of pain. Her heart was racing in her chest, her temples throbbing, and she seized a nearby wall to steady herself. Sally told herself to be orderly, to be organized. Get control, she insisted. Her car was where it always was, in the parking garage. She buttoned her coat and slowed her breathing to normal, feeling the pressure in her chest and in the pit of her stomach diminish. But as she regained control over