Excerpt from Billy Straight by Jonathan Kellerman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Billy Straight

By Jonathan Kellerman

Billy Straight

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Would he come back? That would be stupid, but there are always surprises. She sure found that out.

I can't help her. I have to put this all out of my mind.

I'll sit here for ten more minutes - no, fifteen. Twenty. Then I'll get my Place Two stuff together and move.

Where to? Place One, up near the observatory, is too far, and so are Three and Four, even though Three would be good 'cause it has a stream for washing. That leaves Five, in the fern tangle behind the zoo, all those trees. A little closer, but still a long walk in the dark.

But it's also the hardest one to find.

Okay, I'll go to Five. Me and the animals. The way they cry and roar and smash against their cages makes it hard to sleep, but tonight I probably won't sleep anyway.

Meantime, I sit here and wait.

Pray.

Our Father in heaven, how about no more surprises?

Not that praying ever got me anything, and sometimes I wonder if there's anyone up there to pray to or just stars - humongous balls of gas in an empty black universe.

Then I get worried that I'm blaspheming.

Maybe some kind of God is up there; maybe He's saved me lots of times and I'm just too dumb to know it. Or not a good enough person to appreciate Him.

Maybe God saved me tonight, putting me behind the rocks, instead of out in the open.

But if he had seen me when he drove up, he probably would've changed his mind and not done anything to her.

So did God want her to ...

No, he just would've gone somewhere else to do it ... whatever.

In case You saved me, thank You, God.

In case You're up there, do You have a plan for me?




Monday, 5 a.m.

When the call came into Hollywood Division, Petra Connor was well into overtime but up for more action.

Sunday, she'd enjoyed unusually peaceful sleep from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., no gnawing dreams, thoughts of ravaged brain tissue, empty wombs, things that would never be. Waking to a nice, warm afternoon, she took advantage of the light and spent an hour at her easel. Then, half a pastrami sandwich and a Coke, a hot shower, and off to the station to finalize the stakeout.

She and Stu Bishop rolled out just after dark, cruising alleys and ignoring minor felonies; they had more important things on their minds. Selecting a spot, they sat watching the apartment building on Cherokee, not talking.

Usually they chatted, managed to turn the boredom into semi-fun. But Stu had been acting weird lately. Remote, tight-lipped, as if the job no longer interested him.

Maybe it was five days on graveyard.

Petra was bugged, but what could she do - he was the senior partner. She put it aside, thought about Flemish pictures at the Getty. Amazing pigments, superb use of light.

Two hours of butt-numbing stasis. Their patience paid off just after 2 a.m. and another imbecilic but elusive killer hooked up.

Now she sat at a scabrous metal desk opposite Stu, completing the paperwork, thinking about going back to her apartment, maybe doing some sketching. The five days had energized her. Stu looked half-dead as he talked to his wife.

It was a warm June, well before daybreak, and the fact that the two of them were still there at the tail end of a severely understaffed graveyard shift was a fluke.

Petra had been a detective for exactly three years, the first twenty-eight months in Auto Theft, the remaining eight in daytime Homicide with Stu.

Her partner was a nine-year vet and a family man. Day shift suited his lifestyle and his biorhythms. Petra had been a nighthawk from childhood, before the deep blue midnights of her artist days, when lying awake at night had been inspirational.

Use of this material may be made only for the purpose of promoting Billy Straight by Jonathan Kellerman with no editing - except for length - or additions whatsoever, and must be accompanied by the following copyright notice: Copyright © 1998 by Jonathan Kellerman. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...
  • Book Jacket: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    by Gabrielle Zevin
    I feel like Gabrielle Zevin wrote this wonderful book, about a lonely New England bookstore owner ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.