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Secret Sisters
Cover of Secret Sisters
Secret Sisters
No one does romantic suspense better than Jayne Ann Krentz. Now, the New York Times bestselling author of Trust No One and River Road delivers a novel that twists and turns into a read that will leave you breathless.

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother's hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn't be bothering them anymore...ever. Still their lives would never be the same.
Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother's mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man's last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.
Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain's new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts...and wants.
Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack's brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth....
No one does romantic suspense better than Jayne Ann Krentz. Now, the New York Times bestselling author of Trust No One and River Road delivers a novel that twists and turns into a read that will leave you breathless.

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother's hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn't be bothering them anymore...ever. Still their lives would never be the same.
Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother's mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man's last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.
Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain's new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts...and wants.
Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack's brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth....
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  • From the book

    Chapter Five

    Tom Lomax was dying. Blood and other matter draining from the terrible head wound soaked the threadbare carpet. His thin, wiry body was crumpled at the foot of the grand staircase that once upon a time had graced the lobby of Aurora Point Hotel.

    He looked up at Madeline with faded blue eyes glazed with shock and blood loss.

    "Maddie? Is that you?"

    "It's me, Tom. You've had a bad fall. Lie still."

    "I failed, Maddie. I'm sorry. Edith trusted me to protect you. I failed."

    "It's all right, Tom." Madeline held her wadded-up scarf against the terrible gash on Tom's head. "I'm calling nine-one-one. Help will be here soon."

    "Too late." Tom struggled to reach out to her with a clawlike hand that had been weathered and scarred from decades of hard physical labor. "Too late."

    The 911 operator was asking for information.

    ". . . the nature of your emergency?"

    "I'm at the Aurora Point Hotel," Madeline said, automatically sliding into her executive take-charge tone. "It's Tom Lomax, the caretaker. He's had a bad fall. He needs an ambulance immediately."

    "I've got a vehicle on the way," the operator said. "Is he bleeding?"

    "Yes."

    "Try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure."

    Madeline looked at the blood-soaked scarf she was using to try to stanch the flood pouring from the wound.

    "What do you think I'm doing?" she said. "Get someone here. Now."

    She tossed the phone down on the floor so that she could apply more pressure to Tom's injury. But she could feel his life force seeping away. His eyes were almost blank.

    "The briefcase," he whispered.

    Another shock wave crashed through her.

    "Tom, what about the briefcase?"

    "I failed." Tom closed his eyes. "Sunrise. You always liked my sunrises."

    "Tom, please, tell me about the briefcase."

    But Tom was beyond speech now. He took one more raspy breath and then everything about him stopped. The utter stillness of death settled on him.

    Madeline realized that the blood was no longer pouring from the wound. She touched bloody fingertips to Tom's throat. There was no pulse.

    A terrible silence flooded the lost-in-time lobby of the abandoned hotel. She knew that Tom was gone, but she had read that the first responder was supposed to apply chest compressions until the medics arrived. She positioned her hands over his heart.

    Somewhere in the echoing gloom a floorboard creaked. She froze, her gaze fixed on the broken length of balcony railing that lay on the threadbare carpet beside the body. For the first time she noticed the blood and bits of hair clinging to it.

    There were probably several scenarios that could explain the blood and hair on the broken railing, but the one that made the most sense was that it had been used to murder Tom.

    The floorboards moaned again. As with the blood and hair on the strip of balcony railing, there were a lot of possible explanations for the creaking sounds overhead. But one of them was that Tom had, indeed, been murdered and the killer was still on the scene.

    She listened intently, hoping to hear sirens, but the wind was picking up now, cloaking sounds in the distance.

    The floorboards overhead groaned again. This time she was almost certain she heard a footstep. Her intuition was screaming at her now.

    Instinctively she turned off the phone so that it would not give away her location if the operator called back. She scrambled to her feet.

    Somewhere on the floor above, rusty door hinges squeaked. One of the doors that allowed access to the upstairs veranda had just opened.

    She looked down at Tom one last time and knew...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 12, 2015
    In bestselling author Krentz’s gripping new romantic thriller, hotel heiress Madeline Chase returns from Arizona to the spooky abandoned Aurora Point Hotel, on one of the San Juan Islands of Washington State, to find the caretaker dying from a head wound and the assailant stalking her. Madeline and Edith, her grandmother, fled the island 18 years ago, after 12-year-old Madeline was attacked. Only five people know the gruesome details of the incident, including the caretaker and Edith, who are now dead; the others are Madeline, her friend Daphne, and Daphne’s mother. Madeline brings in Jack Rayner, a former FBI consultant and the head of her hotel security team, and together they pursue their own investigation, though Jack has a secret of his own. Krentz (Trust No One) expertly introduces plausible suspects, weaving in sexual tension between Jack and Madeline and terrifying uncertainty as someone strikes to eliminate the remaining secret-holders. Krentz scores another winner with complex characters and seamless plotting. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency.

  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2015
    Eighteen years after she was attacked by a pedophile, Madeline Chase's past is haunting her, and while she knows the man is dead, a recent murder lets her know his dangerous secrets have not been forgotten. Still grieving the recent loss of her grandmother in a fire and navigating her new role as chief of the small hotel chain she's inherited, Madeline is surprised when she's summoned to the site of her grandmother's first hotel, the scene of the attack on her when she was 12, by the abandoned property's caretaker, Tom. She arrives to find him dying from what looks like a fall, but when a shadowy figure comes after her, she realizes Tom was murdered and she could have been too, if not for her quick thinking. Calling her sexy head of security, Jack Rayner, to the area, the two begin digging into the long-buried secrets of the man who attacked Madeline all those years ago and who was killed by Tom and Madeline's grandmother before he could rape her. There were some mysteries that everyone thought had gone to the grave with the attacker, but someone has clearly discovered them, and Madeline and Jack have to try to figure out what they are in order to protect Madeline and Daphne, her childhood best friend who was with her the night of the attack and with whom she's reconnecting after all these years. The more they dig, the more perilous their situation becomes; it's unclear exactly who the enemy is, but the assaults seem to be escalating and coming from a variety of directions. The complex mystery gets a little implausible at times, but overall the characters are engaging, and the story is intriguing. Krentz delivers another twisty, plot-driven romantic suspense novel, with two satisfying love stories in the mix.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    July 1, 2015
    Madeline and Daphne were once best friends. But when she was 12 years old, Madeline suffered a vicious attack at her father's hotel, and though her attacker was presumably put out of commission, both girls eventually moved away. Now, 20 years have passed, her father has just died, and Madeline returns to her hometown, only to discover that her attacker is still around--and as bloodthirsty as ever. Of course she calls on Daphne. With a 250,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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