Silent Partner: An Alex Delaware Novel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
At a party for a controversial Los Angeles sex therapist, Alex Delaware encounters a face from his own past—Sharon Ransom, an exquisite, alluring lover who left him abruptly more than a decade earlier. Sharon now hints that she desperately needs help, but Alex evades her. The next day she is dead, an apparent suicide.
“A complex and haunting story of tangled personalities, deeply buried family secrets, and of violence lying thinly under the surface . . . hits the reader right between the eyes.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Driven by guilt and sadness, Alex plunges into the maze of Sharon’s life—a journey that will take him through the pleasure palaces of California’s ultrarich, into the alleyways of the mind, where childhood terrors still hold sway.
“How are things in Vegas?” He didn’t answer, just moved his lips the way denture wearers do. “Shut up,” said Trapp, pointing the gun at my face. “Put your hands behind your head and don’t move.” “Friends of yours?” I said to Hope Blalock. She shook her head. Her eyes were electric with fear. “We’re here to help you, ma’am,” said Hummel. His voice was badlands basso profundo, coarsened by smoke and drink, and desert air. Ramey came in, all spotless black serge and starched white. “It’s all
support. Finally he was able to speak, but so softly I had to lean forward to hear: “Good people. They’d worked for me. I knew they could be trusted. The arrangement was supposed to be temporary—a way to buy time for Sharon until I came up with something else.” “A way to wipe out her identity,” I said. “For her sake!” His whisper was harsh, insistent. “I’d never have done anything to harm her.” Hand to mouth, again. Uncontrollable coughing. He placed a silk handkerchief to his lips, spit
too hard to talk. Several miles later he said, “Have you reached a decision, Doctor?” “About what?” “About probing further.” “My questions have been answered, if that’s what you mean.” “What I mean is, will you continue to stir things up and ruin what’s left of a very ill young woman’s life?” “Not much of a life,” I said. “Better than any alternative. She’ll be well taken care of,” he said. “Protected. And the world will be protected from her.” “What about after you’re gone?” “There are
hand was a snifter of something pink and redolent of strawberries. It obscured her perfume—no spring flowers. The house was brightly lit. Before I could speak she pulled me inside and pressed her mouth against mine, worming her tongue between my teeth and keeping us fastened by pressing one hand hard to the back of my head. Her breath was sharp with alcohol. It was the first time I’d seen her drink anything other than 7-Up. When I commented on it, she laughed and hurled the glass at the
introduction will make you happy?” “Don’t be an ass, Sturgis. I haven’t aimed for happy in a long, long time. But it might frigging placate me.” Milo swore under his breath. “C’mon,” he told me. “One more try.” We retraced our steps. The old man looked away from us, worked his jaws and tried hard to maintain dignity. The boxer shorts interfered. “Ellston,” said Milo, “this is Dr. Alex Delaware. Alex, meet Mr. Ellston Crotty.” “Incomplete,” huffed the old man. “Detective Ellston Crotty.”