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Now You Die Mass Market Paperback – October 25, 2005

4.1 4.1 out of 5 stars 59 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Now You Die

By Christiane Heggan


Copyright © 2005 Christiane Heggan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0778322289

"Give it back, you worthless, miserable piece of junk!"

Muttering under her breath, Zoe Foster tried in vain to dislodge the heel of her very expensive, black anklestrap pump from one of Manhattan's infamous sidewalk vents. Exasperated that her efforts were getting her nowhere, she gave a vicious yank and let out a cry of dismay as the shoe came loose, but not the heel.

"Those things ought to be banned from all city sidewalks." Grumbling, she went down on all fours and jiggled the broken heel. After about a minute, it finally came loose, but it wasn't looking very pretty. The black velvet hung in shreds, and there was a deep gouge in the wood beneath.

Zoe slid the battered heel into her coat pocket, then, with one leg now shorter than the other by three inches, she limped to the curb and raised her arm at an approaching cab. "Taxi!"

Although empty, the car sped by, sending a spray of slush on her new shoes. Could tonight get any worse? "Hey," she shouted at the disappearing vehicle. "Ever heard of road etiquette?"

She looked up and down First Avenue in the hope of spotting another cab, and let out a sigh. Who was she kidding? In this weather and time of night, her chances of getting a taxi were practically nil. She should have accepted E.J.'s offer to take her home in his limo. Her boss had made the vehicle available to anyone who didn't mind waiting until the Christmas party was over. A few had agreed to wait, but Zoe, who had been up since dawn working on her new comic strip, had chosen to leave.

Lifting the collar of her white coat around her neck, she started walking, a little awkwardly because of the broken shoe, and headed for Houston Street, where her chances of finding transportation would be better. As she passed the alley next to the Herald building, something, a glimmer, caught her eye.

She turned her head and let out a gasp.

A woman in a long black coat and black boots lay on the ground. She appeared to be sleeping. Zoe hurried to her and squatted by her side. She was beautiful, with long blond hair that cascaded over her shoulders, a fair, unblemished complexion and a sexy red mouth. Her left arm rested on her midriff. Around her wrist was the object that had caught Zoe's eye — a shiny gold cuff bracelet.

"Miss?" Zoe touched the woman's shoulder. "You shouldn't be sleeping here." When there was no response, she shook her gently. "Miss, are you hurt? Can you hear me?"

The woman remained still. Filled with a sudden sense of foreboding, Zoe slid two fingers inside the blonde's coat collar and pressed them to her throat. There was no pulse.

She started to reach for her cell phone, then remembered that she hadn't been able to fit it into her tiny evening clutch and had left it at home.

Her heart racing, she sprung to her feet, ran back the way she had come and burst into the Herald"s lobby. "Aaron, quick," she said to the night guard as he looked up. "Call 911. There's a dead woman in the alley."

Aaron's thick white eyebrows lifted in shock, but he didn't waste time in unnecessary questions. He picked up the phone and dialed. While he talked to the police, Zoe picked up his cell phone, which he always kept on the counter, and dialed the Herald, not sure anyone would bother to answer. At the seventh ring, Eddy, the mailroom clerk picked up. He had to shout over the loud party noise.

"The Herald. Happy holidays."

"Eddy, it's Zoe Foster," she spoke rapidly. "Get me Mr. Greenfield, please. It's an emergency."

Seconds later, E.J. was on the line, sounding worried. "Zoe, what is it? Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, but you need to come down right away. I found a dead woman in the alley next to our building."

"Dear God. Is it anyone we know?"

"I've never seen her before."

"Have you called the police?"

"Aaron is doing that now."

"I'll be right down."

A few minutes later, the owner and editor in chief of the New York Herald stepped out of the elevator. A worried crease between his brows had replaced his earlier happy expression. Elijah James Greenfield, fondly known to his staff as E.J., was a short, rotund man with a moonshaped face, twinkling blue eyes and sparse gray hair. Zoe adored him and so did everyone who had ever been fortunate enough to work for him.

"Where is she?" he asked. Then, as Zoe limped toward him, he looked down. "What's wrong with your foot?"

"Nothing. I broke my heel." As she started to lead the way toward the alley, a patrol car pulled up in front of the building and two uniformed officers jumped out. Zoe and E.J. walked out to meet them.

"Good evening," the older cop said. "I'm Officer Curtis. This is Officer Barnes." He looked at E.J. "You're the one who called about a body?" He spoke calmly, as though answering a call about a dead body was a daily occurrence. Considering this was New York City, it probably was.

Zoe stepped forward. "I did. She's in there." She pointed toward the alley, but when she started to lead them to the scene of the crime, the officer stopped her. "We'll check it out, ma'am. You wait here."

E.J. turned to Zoe. "Are you sure you never saw her before? Gene just hired two new secretaries. I didn't see either one at the party."

"She didn't look familiar." Zoe looked up the tall building.

He followed her gaze. "I know what you're thinking. Forget it. People don't fall from windows in New York City anymore." "They do if they're pushed."

E.J. was about to reply when the two policemen returned. Officer Curtis, who seemed to be in charge, spoke first. This time his tone was sharper as he addressed Zoe.

"Is this some kind of joke, ma'am?"

Zoe and E.J. exchanged glances. "I beg your pardon?" Zoe asked.

"There's no dead body — in the alley or anywhere in the vicinity."

Excerpted from Now You Dieby Christiane Heggan Copyright © 2005 by Christiane Heggan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ MIRA; Original edition (October 25, 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0778322289
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0778322283
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.19 x 1.03 x 6.63 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 4.1 out of 5 stars 59 ratings

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