Spiral

Spiral

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The creator of "exciting, thoughtful, wily fiction" (The Washington Post), Jeremiah Healy has won critical raves for his John Francis Cuddy novels, "a superior series" (The New York Times Book Review). Now Healy pushes the envelope of mystery writing with a soul-searching tale that plunges Cuddy into his own private nightmare.
Some mysteries have no answers -- like why an airplane falls out of the sky, and why the woman you love was onboard that flight. When unfathomable tragedy strikes Boston private investigator John Francis Cuddy, all he can do is begin to grieve. There's no revenge. No perp. And no cure except time.
But when Cuddy is jarred by a call for help from an old Vietnam-era comrade, time is a luxury he can't afford. Cuddy goes because he has to. And what he finds in Fort Lauderdale is a tragedy that rivals his own: a proud vet brought down by a stroke, searching for his granddaughter's killer.
The girl was found dead in Colonel Nicolas Helides' heavily guarded mansion on the Intracoastal Waterway. Thirteen years old and far from innocent, Veronica Helides was hardly protected by her family's wealth. Used by her own father to revive his music career and the fortunes of a band named Spiral, Veronica had been molded into a sexually provocative rock starlet. By the time someone drowned her at her grandfather's birthday party, murder was merely the last crime committed against her.
Now Cuddy is picking apart a cast of players in the life of Colonel Helides and the granddaughter everyone called "Very." From Helides' younger, depressive son to former groupies; from a mysterious spiritual advisor to the woman who married the colonel for his money and the license it would buy her, Cuddy is seeing the worst of human nature at a time when his own heart is broken in two. If that were not enough, the killing of a precocious victim may not have been the isolated act it first appeared.
In a powerful and mesmerizing novel of uncontrollable love, rage, and loyalty among families and friends, John Francis Cuddy isn't just trying to catch a killer -- he's trying to stop himself from free-falling into the ultimate human darkness.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671009557 | 
  • August 1999
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

From the passenger's seat, Nancy Meagher said, "Ted Williams used to play some sport, right?"

Behind the wheel of the Honda Civic, I didn't glance at her or the white-on-green traffic sign as I turned us into the new tunnel to Boston's Logan Airport. "Sacrilege, Nance."

"Because I insulted a public-works project?"

Even without looking, I could feel the playful smile, like a model on a postcard from County Kerry, as she needled me oh-so-subtly about the difference in our ages.

Traffic in the Ted was light, the reason we'd taken Nancy's car instead of mine on that cold Wednesday evening in early... see more

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