I held the phone even tighter, and heard myself shout.
"What did I do? What are you talking about?"
"You know what you did. I have the boy."
The line went dead.
Lucy plucked harder.
"Who was it? What did they say?"
I didn't feel her. I barely heard her. I was caught in a yellowed photo album from my own past, flipping through bright green pictures of another me, a much different me, and of young men with painted faces, hollow eyes, and the damp sour smell of fear.
Lucy pulled harder.
"Stop it! You're scaring me."
"It was a man, I don't know who. He says he took Ben."
Lucy grabbed my arm with both hands.
"Ben was stolen? He was kidnapped? What did the man say? What does he want?"
My mouth was dry. My neck cramped with painful knots.
"He wants to punish me. For something that happened a long time ago."
Excerpted from The Last Detective by Robert Crais Copyright© 2003 by Robert Crais. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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