Cover image for Kill and tell
Title:
Kill and tell
Author:
Howard, Linda, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Atria Books, 2000.

©1998
Physical Description:
310 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
First published by Pocket Books in 1998.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780743453929
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"Some secrets need to be told..." Still reeling from her mother's recent death, Karen Whitlaw is stunned when she receives a package containing a mysterious notebook from her estranged father, whom she has barely seen since his return from the Vietnam War decades ago. Then, a shocking phone call: Karen's father has been murdered on the gritty streets of New Orleans. "Even if they lead to murder...." For homicide detective Marc Chastain, something about the case of a murdered homeless man just doesn't add up -- especially after he meets the victim's daughter. Far from the cold woman he expected, Karen Whitlaw is warm and passionate. She is also in serious danger. A string of "accidents" have shaken Karen to the core, and forced her into the protective embrace of the charming detective she vowed to resist. Together they unravel a disturbing storyof politics, power, and murder -- and face a killer who will stop at nothing to get his hands on her father's secrets.


Author Notes

Linda Howard was born on August 3, 1950. She went on to a small community college, as the only journalism major, but soon dropped out to work at a trucking company as a secretary. She sold her first book to Silhouette Books in 1980. She has written over 50 books including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, Dying to Please, Open Season, All the Queen's Men, Kill and Tell, Mr. Perfect, Son of the Morning, Troublemaker, and The Woman Left Behind. She has received several awards including the Romance Writers of America's RITA, the Silver Pen for Affaire de Coeur as well as the Romantic Time's Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Sensual Romance, the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award for Series, and the W.I.S.H. Award for her character Joe Mackenzie.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestselling author Howard (Son of the Morning) meshes hot sex, emotional impact and gripping tension in this perfect example of what romantic suspense ought to be. Shortly after her mother's death, nurse Karen Whitlaw receives a package from her long-estranged father and, unable to bring herself to explore it, she packs it away. Unknown to her, the package contains information that could destroy a U.S. senator, who would kill to get it. Six months later, police detective Marc Chastain summons her to New Orleans to identify the body of her murdered father. As the repressed Karen falls for the sexy detective, she finds herself being targeted by killers intent on recovering something she doesn't realize she has. Karen is a strong, likable heroine, and Marc manages the often-tried and rarely accomplished trick of being both tough and vulnerable. Minor characters are believable and fleshed-out, and the narrative is never bogged down by subplots or ill-advised red herrings. Howard, a gifted writer who has not always been in full control of her material, pulls it together in this one. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One February 13, Washington, D.C. Dexter Whitlaw carefully sealed the box, securing every seam with a roll of masking tape he had stolen from WalMart the day before. While he was at it, he had also stolen a black marker, and he used it now to print an address neatly on the box. Leaving the marker and roll of tape on the ground, he tucked the box under his arm and walked to the nearest post office. It was only a block, and the weather wasn't all that cold for D.C. in February, mid-forties maybe. If he were a congressman, he thought sourly, he wouldn't have to pay any freaking postage. Thin winter sunshine washed the sidewalks. Earnest-looking government workers hurried by, black or gray overcoats flapping, certain of their importance. If anyone asked their occupation, they never said, "I'm an accountant," or "I'm an office manager," though they might be exactly that. No, in this town, where status was everything, people said, "I work for State," or "I work for Treasury," or, if they were really full of themselves, they used initials, as in "DOD," and everyone was expected to know that meant Department of Defense. Personally, Dexter thought they should all have IDs stating they worked for the DOB, the Department of Bullshit. Ah, the nation's capital! Power was in the air here, perfuming it like the bouquet of some rare wine, and all these fools were giddy with it. Dexter studied them with a cold, distant eye. They thought they knew everything, but they didn't know anything. They didn't know what real power was, distilled down to its purest form. The man in the White House could give orders that would cause a war, he could fiddle with the football, the locked briefcase carried by an aide who was always close by, and cause bombs to be dropped and millions killed, but he would view those deaths with the detachment of distance. Dexter had known real power, back in Nam, had felt it in his finger as he slowly tightened the slack on a trigger. He had tracked his prey for days, lying motionless in mud or stinging weeds, ignoring bugs and snakes and rain and hunger, waiting for that perfect moment when his target loomed huge in his scope and the crosshairs delicately settled just where Dexter wanted them, and all the power was his, the ability to give life or end it, pull the trigger or not, with all the world narrowed down to only two people, himself and his target. The biggest thrill of his life had been the day his spotter had directed him to a certain patch of leaves in a certain tree. When his scope had settled, he had found himself looking at another sniper, Russian from the looks of him, rifle to his shoulder and scope to his eye as he tried to acquire them. Dexter was ahead of him by about a second, and he got his shot squeezed off first. One second, a heartbeat longer, and the Russian would have gotten off the first shot, and old Dexter Whitlaw wouldn't be here admiring the scenery in Washington, D.C. He wondered if the Russian had ever seen him, if there had been a split second of knowledge before the bullet blasted out all awareness. No way he could have seen the bullet, despite all the fancy special effects Hollywood put in the movies showing just that. No one ever saw the bullet. Dexter entered the warm post office and connected to the end of the line waiting for service at the counter. He had chosen lunch hour, the busiest time, to cut down on the chance of any harried postal clerks remembering him. Not that there was anything particularly memorable about him, except for the cold eyes, but he didn't like taking chances. Being careful had kept him alive in Nam and had worked for the twenty-five years since he had returned to the real world and left the green hell behind. He didn't look prosperous, but neither did he look like a street bum. His coat was reversible. One side, which he now wore on the outside, was a sturdy brown tweed, slightly shabby. The other side, which he wore when he was out on the street, was patched and torn, a typical street bum's coat. The coat was good, simple camouflage. Snipers learned how to blend with their surroundings. When his turn came, he placed the box on the counter to be weighed and fished some loose bills out of his pocket. The box was addressed to Jeanette Whitlaw, Columbus, Ohio. His wife. He wondered why she hadn't divorced him. Hell, maybe she had; he hadn't called her in a couple of years now, maybe longer. He tried to think when was the last time -- "Dollar forty-three," the clerk said, not even glancing at him, and Dexter laid two ones on the counter. Pocketing the change, he left the post office as unobtrusively as he had entered it. When had he last talked to Jeanette? Maybe three years. Maybe five. He didn't pay much attention to calendars. He tried to think how old the kid would be now. Twenty? She'd been born the year of the Tet offensive, he thought, but maybe not. 'Sixty-eight or 'sixty-nine, somewhere along through there. That made her...damn, she was twenty-nine! His little girl was pushing thirty! She was probably married, with a couple of kids, which made him a grandpa. He couldn't imagine her grown. He hadn't seen her for at least fifteen years, maybe longer, and in his mind he always pictured her as she had been at seven or eight, skinny and shy, with big brown eyes and a habit of biting her bottom lip. She had spoken to him only in whispers, and then only when he asked her a direct question. He should've been a better daddy to her, a better husband to Jeanette. He should have done a lot of things in his life, but looking back and seeing them didn't give a man the chance to go back and change any of them. It just let him regret not doing them. But Jeanette had kept on loving him, even when he came back from Nam so cold and distant, forever changed. In her eyes, he had remained the edgy, sharp-eyed West Virginia boy she had loved and married, never mind that the boy had died in a bug-infested jungle and the man who returned home to her was a stranger in all but face and form. The only time he felt alive since then was when he had a rifle in his hands, sighting through the scope and feeling that rush of adrenaline, the heightening of all his senses. Funny that the thing that had killed him was the only thing that could make him feel alive. Not the rifle; the rifle, as true and faithful a tool as had ever been fashioned by man, was still just a tool. No, what made him feel alive was the skill, the hunt, the power. He'd been a sniper, a damn good one. He could have come back to Jeanette if it had been only that, he sometimes thought, though he was years past trying to analyze things. He'd killed a lot of men, and murdered one. The distinction was clear in his mind. War was war. Murder was something else. He stopped at a pay phone and fished some change out of his pocket. He had already memorized the number. He fed in the change and listened to the ring. When the call was answered on the other end, he said clearly, "My name is Dexter Whitlaw." He had wasted his life paying for the crime he had committed. Now it was someone else's turn to pick up the tab. Copyright (c) 1998 by Linda Howington Excerpted from Kill and Tell by Linda Howard All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.