A Face at the Window

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  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2009-11-24
  • Publisher: Bantam
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It starts with a phone call that reopens a painful chapter in Jake Tiptree's past. After years of delay, the man who murdered Jake's mother is finally scheduled to stand trial--until he vanishes into thin air. Maybe the only thing worse about Ozzie Campbell's disappearing is that Jake has a terrible foreboding of just where he'll turn up next. With her family away, Jake had hoped to savor a few days of unaccustomed solitude. Now, without warning, her cozy, well-loved home in Eastport, Maine, seems more like a death trap ready to snap shut. Suddenly Jake feels that her house--and her life--has far too many windows. And in any one of them she might see the face of her killer.

Author Biography

Sarah Graves lives with her husband in Eastport, Maine, where her mystery novels are set. She is currently working on her twelfth Home Repair Is Homicide novel.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter One

Discovering that Marky Larson had brought a gun along on the trip to Maine changed everything for Anthony Colapietro.

"Shut up," snarled Marky. It was the hundredth time he'd said it, or maybe the thousandth, since the two of them left New Jersey in Marky's old dark blue Monte Carlo nine hours earlier.

"I didn't say anything," Anthony protested. Not yet six in the morning, they'd been on the road all night, and his eyes felt sore and gritty from lack of sleep.

"You don't have to," retorted Marky from behind the wheel. "I can hear you thinking. You think I don't know what a punk like you is thinking? Quit thinking, you punk."

Marky believed, because he was a hardened twenty-four years old to Anthony's wet-behind-the-ears twenty-one, that he could call Anthony a punk.

"Got your face stuck up to the freakin' window," said Marky. "What if a cop drives by, gets a load of your face?"

There were no cops around here. But there was also no sense trying to tell Marky that. Anthony had wondered how he got picked for this job, but now he figured someone must've thought he could put up with Marky without blowing a gasket.

He stared at the water that appeared intermittently between the tall trees as the Monte rounded another curve in the narrow blacktop. The ocean was blue and glittery, flat as a plate; as he watched, a big bird lifted from it with a slow rhythm of wings.

"I just never saw it before is all," said Anthony.

Marky glanced over at him in contempt. "Never saw the ocean? What're you, a dope? Lived a coupla miles from it all your life, you never freakin' even been on the boardwalk?"

Anthony shook his head. "Uh-uh. Ma wouldn't let me."

Not as a little kid, anyway, and by the time she died he'd been in the juvie home six months already. From there, visiting the boardwalk was about as likely as visiting Mars.

Marky grimaced, showing small, even, white teeth. He was a good-looking guy with thick, curly black hair, a small, tightly constructed body, and what the girls called bedroom eyes.

Anthony didn't call them that, though, not even in his head. When he met Marky's gaze, which he'd already learned not to do very often, he got the strong, unmistakable sense that something unpleasant was in there, peering out at him.

Unpleasant and . . . different. Several times Anthony had looked over from the passenger seat at Marky and glimpsed something that chilled him. A lizard, maybe, cold-blooded and primitive, dressed in a Marky Larson suit.

But that must be just his imagination. Some jealousy too, maybe, because Marky was flash, Anthony had to admit. Thick gold chains hung over the white T-shirt he wore under a black leather jacket; stolen, probably, along with the fancy wristwatch. Crisp new blue jeans, new sneakers on his feet; Air Jordans, it used to be, back when Anthony was helping boost them off of trucks, the drivers standing by knowing the score.

But that was years ago. Anthony's own jacket was a Jersey Devils warm-up he'd bought at a thrift shop for a few bucks, only because it was warm and cheap. He didn't even know what the in-demand sneaker was now. He'd never read a map before, either, and it was this that had Marky so annoyed.

"I think we should turn here," Anthony said as they came up on an intersection.

Well, not a real intersection like he was used to. More like a crossroads. Intersections had street signs. Stop lights.

And traffic. Other cars and people, neither of which were in evidence here on this empty, tree-lined road out in the middle of nowhere. This crossroads only had an old stone mile-marker.

No wonder there were no cops. "Well, should I or shouldn't I?" Marky demanded. "I mean who the freak've I got navigating for me, here, Chuckles

Excerpted from A Face at the Window: A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery by Sarah Graves
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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