Excerpt from 24 Hours by Greg Iles, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

24 Hours

by Greg Iles

24 Hours
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2001, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Jesus Christ," Joe said through clenched teeth. He turned over his forearm and glanced at his watch. He wore it on the inside of his wrist so that Margaret couldn't see the time.

"I think I'm going to be sick," she said.

"Again?" He punched a number into the BMW's cell phone. As he waited for an answer, he muttered, "I do believe this has been the worst twenty-four hours of my life to date. And that includes our little party."

She flinched.

"Hey," he said into the phone. "You in your spot?...Okay. Wait about a minute, then do it."

Margaret jerked erect, her eyes wide, searching the nearby cars. "Oh my God. Peter! Peter!"

Joe picked up the gun and jammed the barrel into her neck. "You've come this far, Maggie. Don't blow it now. You remember what we talked about?"

She closed her eyes and nodded.

"I didn't hear you."

Tears rolled down her cheeks. "I remember."

A hundred yards from Margaret McDill's BMW, Peter McDill sat in an old green pickup truck, his eyes shut tight. The truck smelled funny. Good and bad at the same time, like just-cut grass and old motor oil, and really old fast food.

"You can open your eyes now."

Peter opened his eyes.

The first thing he saw was a McDonald's restaurant. It reassured him after his night of isolation. The McDonald's stood in the middle of a suburban strip mall parking lot. As Peter panned his eyes around the mall, he recognized the stores: Office Depot, Barnes & Noble, the Gateway 2000 store. He'd spent hours in that store. It was only a few miles from his house. He looked down at his wrists, which were bound with duct tape.

"Can you take this off now?"

He asked without looking up. The man behind the wheel of the truck was hard for him to look at. Peter had never seen or heard of Huey before yesterday, but for the last twenty-four hours, he had seen no one else. Huey was six inches taller than his father, and weighed at least three hundred pounds. He wore dirty mechanic's coveralls and heavy plastic glasses of a type Peter had seen in old movies, with thick lenses that distorted his eyes. He reminded Peter of a character in a movie he'd seen on the satellite one night, when he sneaked into the home theater room. A movie his parents wouldn't let him watch. The character's name was Carl, and the boy who was Carl's friend in the movie said he sounded like a motorboat. Carl was nice, but he killed people, too. Peter thought Huey was probably like that.

"When I was a little boy," Huey said, peering thoughtfully through the windshield of the pickup, "those golden arches went all the way over the top of the restaurant. The whole place looked like a spaceship." He looked back at Peter, his too-big eyes apologetic behind the thick glasses. "I'm sorry I had to tape you up. But you shouldn't of run. I told you not to run."

Peter's eyes welled with tears. "Where's my mom? You said she was going to be here."

"She's gonna be here. She's probably here already."

Through the heat shimmering off the asphalt, Peter scanned the sea of parked cars, his eyes darting everywhere, searching for his mother's BMW. "I don't see her car."

Huey dug down into his front coverall pocket.

Peter instinctively slid against the door of the pickup truck.

"Look, boy," Huey said in his deep but childlike voice. "I made you something."

The giant hand emerged from the pocket and opened to reveal a carved locomotive. Peter had watched Huey whittling for much of the previous afternoon, but he hadn't been able to tell what Huey was working on. The little train in the massive palm looked like a toy from an expensive store. Huey put the carving into Peter's bound hands.

Reprinted from 24 Hours by Greg Iles by permission of Putnam Books, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2000 Greg Iles. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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!