by brandon spacey
Fiction, Romance, Thriller
ISBN: 978-1492903277 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1301592500 (ebook)
Richie Rainwater is tasked with giving clients new identities through the Witness Security Act. But when a mysterious woman comes into his office one morning, he finds himself running to try to protect her - and himself. And through the brief but tenacious relationship he forms with her, Richie finds he may too be in need of a new identity.
This is Spacey's third novel. Independent characters, standalone story.
When they awoke the next morning, they checked out of the hotel. Within minutes, they were heading east on the highway, blowing well into New Mexico by noon. And by two o'clock, they began seeing the signs for Albuquerque and Kirtland Air Force Base.
They slid through a Dairy Queen and went in, munching on steak fingers and gravy before they hit the road again, and by the time they reached the city limit, it was almost four o'clock.
Richie wondered how it was all going to play out once they pulled into the gates. There was fifteen minutes' worth of driving left to do, and he had a lot rolling through his mind. They had not spoken much in the morning, and even when they had, it had been the trivial formalities of waking in the same room together. He had slept on the small couch, conceding the bed to Sadie. Richie knew there was a lot more to Sadie's story than she had let on yet, and felt disappointed that he would not get to know who she really was before they whipped her out of the car and threw her in a steel cage.
Every military installation had procedures for those under duress to follow, were they being held against their will. If, for instance, Sadie had a pistol under her coat, pointing at Richie, and told him to take her on base, he could alert the guard when he stopped them at the gate. If Richie used any one of a number of 'duress words', they would know he was in trouble. These code words changed about once a month, and were the same at every site. Even if he did not know this month's words, they would still catch on if he said last month's. It seemed to Richie an inhumane way to secure her, but he had little option. If he were to tell her that he was about to turn her in, he reckoned it would be much like trying to put a cat in the toilet.
Suddenly, something changed. Richie could feel the tension building in the cab of the pickup. He had not said anything. Perhaps it was his tight grip on the steering wheel that had cued her in to what was about to happen. It was just a sudden change in atmosphere that he could not help notice. And just as suddenly, he knew that she had sensed his awareness of it.
Sadie looked at him with a tilted head, a curious inquisition taking place in her eyes, as if she understood the weight of the situation before her. "Richie, I'm not a spy."
His heart stopped briefly, and he nearly lost his breath. He looked over at her, wide-eyed and seemingly estranged from reality. She had no doubt seen the incredulity on his face, and the perplexity beneath, because she said it again.
"I'm not a spy, Richie."
He exhaled quickly. "Okay," he said, drawing out the long A.
"That wasn't me in the packet. But I'm not a spy." Beyond Sadie through the window, a sign reading "Kirtland AFB Next Right" blew past the car.
"Who are you then?" he said. "How did you get into that packet? How'd you get into the building?"
"I can't tell you, Richie, but I need you to trust me! I didn't do anything wrong!" she pleaded.
"We can't do that anymore, Sadie. Everything you've told me so far has been sketchy and incomplete. Or completely false."
Another thing you'll find in Spacey's novels that is present here in full force is a suspense that keeps you turning the pages. It's present in creative action sequences as well as in expectant romantic tension between the characters. In fact, this book has enough romantic tension to make me have to label this as a guilty pleasure type of read. · full review
Kellie Shedding Sadness is one of Spacey's best books. The suspense is incredible. It will keep you wanting for more. · full review