Excerpt from 1st To Die by James Patterson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

1st To Die

by James Patterson

1st To Die
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2001, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2002, 480 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"And not after that?"

"I know this isn't exactly your terrain, Boxer," Jacobi said. He broke into a grin. "But generally people don't see the bride and groom for a while after the party."

I smiled thinly, stood up, looked back across the large, lavish suite. "So surprise me, Jacobi. Who springs for a room like this?"

"The groom's father is some Wall Street big shot from back east. He and his wife are down in a room on the twelfth floor. I was told it was quite a shindig downstairs. Up here, too. Look at all these goddamn roses."

I went back over to the groom and spotted what looked like a gift box of champagne on a marble console near the door. There was a spray of blood all over it.

"Assistant manager noticed it," Jacobi said. "My guess is, whoever did this brought it in with him."

"They see anyone around?"

"Yeah, a lot of people in tuxes. It was a wedding, right?"

I read the champagne bottle label. "Krug. Clos du Mesnil, 1989."

"That tell you something?" Jacobi asked.

"Only that the killer has good taste."

I looked at the blood-smeared tuxedo jacket. There was a single slash mark on the side where the fatal knife wound had gone through.

"I figure the killer must've stripped it off after he stabbed him." Jacobi shrugged.

"Why the hell would he do that?" I muttered out loud.

"Dunno. We'll have to ask him."

Charlie Clapper was eyeing me from the hallway to see if it was okay to get started. I nodded him in. Then I went back to the bride.

I had a bad, bad feeling about this one. If it's not about money...then...sex.

I lifted the fancy tulle lining of her skirt. The coldest, bitterest confirmation sliced through me.

The bride's panties had been pulled down and were dangling off one foot.

A fierce anger rose in my chest. I looked into the bride's eyes. Everything had been ahead of her, every hope and dream. Now she was a slaughtered corpse, defiled, possibly raped on her wedding night.

As I stood there, blinking as I stared down at her face, I suddenly realized that I was crying.

"Warren," I said to Jacobi, "I want you to speak with the groom's parents," I said, sucking in a breath. "I want everyone who was on this floor last night interviewed. If they've checked out, I want them traced. And a list of all hotel staff on duty last night."

I knew if I didn't get out now, I couldn't hold back the tide any longer. "Now, Warren. Please ...now."

I avoided his eyes as I skirted past him out of the suite.

"What the hell's wrong with Boxer?" Charlie Clapper asked.

"You know women," I heard Jacobi reply. "They always cry at weddings."



 

Chapter 7

PHILLIP CAMPBELL was walking along Powell Street toward Union Square and the Hyatt. The police had actually blockaded the street, and the crowd outside the hotel was growing quickly. The howling screams of police and emergency vehicles filled the air. This was so unlike civilized and respectable San Francisco. He loved it!

Campbell almost couldn't believe he was headed back to the crime scene. He just couldn't help himself. Being here again helped him to relive the night before. As he walked closer and closer on Powell, his adrenaline surged, his heart pounded, almost out of control.

He edged through the mob that populated the final block outside the Hyatt. He heard the rumors swirling through the crowd, mostly well-dressed businesspeople, their faces creased with anguish and pain. There were rumors of a fire at the hotel, a jumper, a homicide, a suicide, but nothing came close to the horror of the actual event.

Finally, he got close enough so that he could watch the San Francisco police at work. A couple of them were surveying the crowd, looking for him. He wasn't worried about being discovered, not at all. It just wasn't going to happen. He was too unlikely, probably in the bottom 5 percent of the people the police might suspect. That comforted him, thrilled him, actually.

Copyright © 2001 by James Patterson.

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: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...

First Impressions

  • 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

  • Book Jacket

    The Secret Language of Stones
    by M. J. Rose

    "A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss and intrigue."
    – Melanie Benjamin

    Read Member Reviews

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

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

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!