Excerpt from Alice in Jeopardy by Ed McBain, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Alice in Jeopardy

by Ed McBain

Alice in Jeopardy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Farraday. No, ma'am. I reached him at home."

"Well, I...can you let me have his number, please?" She listens as Phoebe reads off Farraday's number, writing it onto a pad on the counter. "Thank you," she says. She puts the phone back on its cradle, hesitates for a single uncertain instant...

"What is it?" Rosie asks again.

...and is reaching for the phone again when it rings, startling her.

She picks up the receiver.

"Hello?" she says.

A woman's voice says, "I have your children. Don't call the police, or they'll die."

There is a click on the line.

Alice puts the receiver back on the cradle. Her hand is trembling. Her face has gone pale.

"What is it?" Rosie asks.

"Someone has the children."

"Oh my God!"

"She told me not to call the police."

"A woman?"

"A woman."

"Call them anyway," Rosie says.

"No, I can't."

"Then what...?"

"I don't know."

The house seems suddenly very still. Alice can hear the clock ticking in the living room. A big grandfather clock that used to belong to Eddie's mother.

"A blue car," she says. "A woman driving a blue car."

"Call the police," Rosie says.

"No. Do you know anyone who has a blue car?"

"No. Call the police."

"I can't do that! She'll kill them!"

"Did she say that?"

"Yes."

"What else?"

"Nothing. Nothing. She just hung up. Oh my God, Rosie, she's got the children!"

"What'd she sound like?"

"I...I don't know. A woman. I..."

"White? Black?"

"I don't know. How can anyone tell...?"

"Everyone can tell. Was she white or black?"

"Black. Maybe. I'm not sure."

"How old?"

"In her thirties maybe."

"Call the police. Tell them a black woman in her thirties has your kids. Do it now, Mrs. Glendenning. A bad situation can only get worse. Trust me on that."

"I can't take that chance, Rosie."

"You can't take any other chance."

The women look at each other.

"Call them," Rosie says.

"No," Alice says.

"Then God have mercy on your soul," Rosie says.



Alone in the house now, Rosie gone in a flutter of dire predictions, Alice first begins blaming herself. I should have bought Ashley the cell phone, she thinks, and remembers her daughter arguing like an attorney for the defense.

"But, Mom, all the girls in the fifth grade have cell phones!"

Oh, sure, the same way all the girls in the fifth grade are allowed to wear lipstick and all the girls in the fifth grade are allowed to date, and...

"No, Ashley, I'm sorry, we can't afford a cell phone just now."

"But, Mom..."

"Not just now, darling, I'm sorry."

Thinking now, I should have bought her the phone, how much would it have cost, anyway? If Ashley had a cell phone, she'd have called me at the office before getting in a car with a strange woman -- what on earth possessed her? How many times had Alice told them, her and Jamie both, never to accept anything from a stranger, never, not candy, not anything, never even to stop and talk with a stranger, certainly never to get in a car with a stranger, what was wrong with them?

No, she thinks, it isn't their fault, it isn't my fault, it's this woman's fault, whoever she is, this woman driving a blue car, do I know anyone who drives a blue car? She tries to remember. She's sure she must know someone who drives a blue car, but who remembers the color of anyone's car unless it's yellow or pink? A blue car, she thinks, a blue car, come on, who drives a blue car, but she can't think of a single soul, and her frustration leads once again to unreasoning anger. Anger against herself for not having bought the goddamn cell phone, anger at her children for getting into a car with a strange woman, but especially anger at this undoubtedly crazed person, whoever she is, this woman who probably has no children of her own, and who has now stolen from Alice the only precious things in her life, I'll kill her, she thinks. If ever I get my hands on her --

From Alice in Jeopardy, chapter 1, pages 3-23. Copyright © 2005 by Hui Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

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: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...
  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!