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Fortunes of the Dead

Fortunes of the Dead

A Novel

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Marking the highly anticipated return of popular crime-busting heroine Lena Padget, Fortunes of the Dead is the finest novel to date from award-winning author Lynn Hightower.

Private investigator Lena Padget has seen far too many women and children fall through the cracks of the legal system, and she has made it her life's work to redeem as many of them as she can. She and her lover, homicide detective Joel Mendez, have just moved into their dream cottage, signifying the beginning of a committed relationship. But Lena and Joel are soon torn by the need to balance personal trust with professional commitment when they find themselves working different ends of the same case.

For two months running, Joel has immersed himself in an investigation full of dead ends: the disappearance of college intern Cheryl Dunkirk. Cheryl's sister, Miranda, has turned to Lena for help. Just as Lena agrees to look into the case, Joel is teamed with Los Angeles ATF Agent Wilson McCoy, whose investigation of the Branch Davidian cult holocaust in Waco, Texas, cuts right into the heart of Joel's case. It will take all three ofthem -- Lena, Joel, and Wilson McCoy -- to track down the killer. A killer who has been flying under the radar and threatens to slip away again; whose brutality will make you turn away. A killer who will keep you awake at night, contemplating the struggle for death and redemption.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416573722 | 
  • August 2007
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I have had nightmares all my life. I do not know if this is unusual. But sometime late last September, when the leaves were on the verge of turning, and the sun was still strong in the afternoons, I started sleeping the night through. Gone were the two A.M. sweats; the late nights surfing the Net; flipping channels to catch a movie at four A.M.

It felt like happiness.

I stood on the front porch of a gray stone cottage on a gentrified and tree-lined street. I held a newly made key in my right hand, a bucket of paint in my left. The wind blew rain at my back and a sudden gust toppled the Sold sign in the middle of... see more

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