Authors: Jayne Ann Krentz
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Suspense, #Paranormal
In Too Deep
Sizzle and Burn
All Night Long
Truth or Dare
Light in Shadow
Summer in Eclipse Bay
Smoke in Mirrors
Dawn in Eclipse Bay
Lost & Found
Eye of the Beholder
The Golden Chance
The Perfect Poison
The Third Circle
The River Knows
Lie by Moonlight
Wait Until Midnight
The Paid Companion
Late for the Wedding
Don’t Look Back
I Thee Wed
With This Ring
Canyons of Night
G. P. P
G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
Publishers Since 1838
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi–110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
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Copyright © 2012 by Jayne Ann Krentz
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Published simultaneously in Canada
Library of Congress Cataloging–in–Publication Data TK
Printed in the United States of America
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Book design by Meighan Cavanaugh
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
For Steve Castle, with love and thanks
for the background on rare earths.
Great brothers like you are even more rare.
Sure glad we made it into the same family.
THERE WAS NOTHING LIKE THE DRAMA OF A DEATHBED SCENE
to expose the skeletons in a family’s closet. You never knew what would fall out when you opened the door, the nurse thought. Lifelong conflicts, absolution, regret, long-held grudges, enduring love or unrelenting hatred, whatever had been hidden for decades or generations was suddenly made visible at the end.
The night-shift staff was gathered at the nurses’ station, drinking coffee, snacking on vending-machine munchies and speculating on the sexual orientation of the new orthopedic surgeon, when the dying man’s son arrived. Emotions in the small group ranged from cynical to relieved.
They had all watched patients die without family at the bedside. It happened more often than most people realized. Everyone who did this kind of work understood that family dynamics were often convoluted and messy and sometimes downright evil. There were often very good reasons why relatives turned their backs on a family member who was dying. And there was no getting around the fact that the patient
in 322 was seriously wasted not just from the cancer but from years of hard living and major addiction issues.
“Knox probably wasn’t anyone’s idea of a great father,” the orderly said. “Still, it’s about time someone from the family showed up.”
The middle-aged nurse watched the visitor disappear through the darkened doorway of 322. Then she checked the computer file.
“He signed in as Knox’s son,” she reported. “But there are no relatives listed on the chart.”
One of the orderlies popped a handful of potato chips into his mouth. “Guess it’s safe to say it’s not a close family.”
Lander Knox knew what the crowd at the nurses’ station was thinking.
The prodigal son shows up at last.
It amused him, but he had been careful not to let his reaction show. He understood that humor was not appropriate to the occasion.
He had learned long ago to fake the correct emotional responses for a wide variety of situations. His acting talent was worthy of an Oscar. He had gotten very good at pretending to be one of the sheep. He moved among the weak, emotional, easily duped creatures that surrounded him like the wolf he was.