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Randy Wayne White

Haunted

Randy Wayne White Haunted
$7.99 New
 
Out of stock but available. Should ship within 1 to 3 weeks.

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Series:

A Hannah Smith Novel

Biographical note:

Randy Wayne White is the author of twenty-one Doc Ford novels, including Bone Deep; the Hannah Smith novels Gone and Deceived; and four collections of nonfiction. He lives on Sanibel Island, Florida, where he was a light-tackle fishing guide for many years.

Excerpt from book:

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

Copyright © 2014 by Randy Wayne White

 


1

In Florida, hundred-year-old houses have solid walls, so I guessed wrong when I heard my friend Birdy Tupplemeyer make a bleating noise downstairs. I figured she’d snuck a man into her room, which was unfair of me, even though Birdy admits to being free-minded when it comes to romance.

On windy October nights my imagination prefers love to spiders, I guess. That is my only excuse.

I was in a hammock on the second floor in what had once been a music room. Birdy, who lacks camping experience, had chosen a downstairs room for her air mattress because it was closer to the front door.

“I’d have to hang off the balcony to pee,” she had reasoned, which made sense even before the wind freshened and the moon rose. The house was abandoned; no electricity or water, and the spiral staircase was in bad shape. I myself, after too much tea by the fire, was debating whether to risk the balcony or those wobbly steps when, through the floor, I heard a thump, another thump, and then a mewling wail that reminded me of a cat that had found companionship.

She’s with that archaeologist, I thought, and buried my face in a pillow, but not my ears—a guilty device. My curiosity has always had an indecent streak. I also had a reason. That afternoon we had met Dr. Theo Ivanhoff, an assistant professor with shaggy black hair: late twenties, khakis low on his skinny hips and wearing a Greek fisherman’s cap. He was on the property mapping artifacts from a Civil War battle that had taken place before the house was built. Theo had struck me as an aloof know-it-all and a tad strange, but it had been a month since Birdy’s last date so her standards had loosened. Later, by the campfire, the two of us sitting with tea and marshmallows, she had shared some bawdy remarks including “hung like a sash weight” and “Professor Boy Toy,” referring to a man only a few years younger than us.

Naturally, I felt supportive of my friend, not alarmed. Until I heard: “My god . . . what is that?” which could have meant any number of things.

Guilt battled my curiosity. I turned an ear to the floor just to be on the safe side. Then shattering glass and a shattering scream tumbled me out of the hammock and I was on my knees, feeling around for a flashlight that had tumbled with me.

Birdy’s voice again, more piercing: “Bastard . . . get off.”

Panic, not passion. I ran for the stairs. Thank heavens I was barefoot, so I knew it was a flashlight I kicked it across the room. Bending to grab the thing, I clunked my head, then stubbed my toe going out the door. In the hall, the flashlight’s white beam bounced among cobwebs and a dusty piano while Birdy screamed my name.

“Hannah . . .”

I hollered back, “I’ve got a gun!” which was true, but the gun was locked in my SUV, not in my hand. Then I put too much weight on the banister as I catapulted down the stairs—a brittle pop; the banister fell. I spiraled down a few steps on my butt, caught myself, then raced the banister to the bottom. The banister won. I shoved it aside and was soon standing outside Birdy’s door, which was locked. That scared me even more.

I yelled, 

“Breathtaking, harrowing, and immensely suspenseful.”—Florida Weekly

“Action-packed.”—Naples Daily News

“Readers will be breathless.”—Tampa Bay Times


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