eBook Details

Drive Time

By: Hank Phillippi Ryan | Other books by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Published By: MIRA
Published: Oct 15, 2012
ISBN # 9780778327974
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Categories: Romance>Suspense/Mystery/Thriller Fiction Suspense


Investigative reporter Charlotte McNally is an expert at keeping things confidential, but suddenly everyone has a secret--and it turns out it is possible to know too much.

Her latest scoop--an exposé of a dangerous car scam, complete with stakeouts, high-speed chases and hidden-camera footage--is ratings gold. But soon that leads her to a brand-new and diabolical scheme. Charlie's personal and professional lives are on a collision course, too. Her fiancé is privy to information about threats at an elite private school that have turned deadly.

Charlie has never counted on happy endings. But now, just as she's finally starting to believe in second chances, she realizes revenge, extortion and murder may leave her alone again--or even dead....

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I can't wait to tell our secret. And I'll get to do it if we're not all killed first.

We're ten minutes away from Channel 3 when suddenly the Boston skyline disappears. Murky slush splatters across our windshield, kicked up from the tires of the rattletrap big rig that just swerved in front of us on the snow-slick highway. Eighteen wheels of obstacle, stubbornly obeying the Massachusetts Turnpike speed limit.

I brace myself once again. During this afternoon's teeth-clenching, bone-rattling, knuckle-whitening drive, I've learned how J.T. feels about speed limits.

"Fifty-five is for cowards!" he mutters. My new photographer powers our unmarked car into the passing lane, sloshing what's left of my coffee and almost throwing me across the backseat. Franklin, seemingly oblivious to our icy peril, is in the front seat clicking on his newest phone gizmo. As usual these days, my producer's deep into texting.

"Thanks, I'm fine back here," I call out, blotting the milky spill from my just dry-cleaned black coat. I don't even attempt to keep the sarcasm out of my voice. J.T. Shaw may be a hotshot when it comes to news video, but he apparently learned his driving skills chasing headlines in the network's Middle East Bureau. Now, even though he's back stateside shooting my investigative stories, he still thinks he's driving in Beirut. Where they don't have ice. Or speed limits.

Eight minutes away from Channel 3. Eight minutes away from the rest of my life. I hope I make it.

I look at the still-unfamiliar emerald-cut diamond on my third finger, left hand. Even in the fading winter light, it glistens, catching the January sunset, fire in the center. I'm strapped into the backseat of a deathtrap news car, but memories still spark the beginnings of a smile. Josh handing me the heart-stoppingly iconic robin's-egg-blue box. The creak of the tiny hinges as I opened it. The twinkle, the love, the passion in his hazel eyes as Josh slipped the glittering surprise onto my finger. Charlotte McNally, soon-to-be married lady. The family of investigative reporter Charlotte Ann McNally, age forty-seven, of Boston, announces her engagement to BexterAcademy professor Joshua Ives Gelston, fifty-two, ofBrookline...

"Charlotte! Get the license number!"

Snapped out of my bliss by the squeal of brakes, I look up to see Franklin twisted over the front seat, pointing out the back window. And then I hear a skid. Metal on metal. A horn blaring. Then another one. Then silence.

"It looks like a--blue? Black? What kind of car?" Franklin's squinting through his newest pair of eyeglasses, these rimless, almost invisible. He's jabbing a finger toward the highway behind us. We're going at least seventy now, speeding away from whatever he's looking at. "Over there, across the Pike. Right lane."

I follow his finger, unsnapping my seat belt and yanking my coat so I can face backward on the seat, knees tucked under me. My turn to squint. "The guy in the--? I think it's blue. Some sort of sports car? Going too fast-- he's crazy. All I can see is taillights. What happened?"

Then I see what's on the side of the road. The puzzle pieces snap together. And the big picture means J.T.'s Indiana Jones driving ability may come in handy. Problem is, we're going in the wrong direction.

"J.T.! Check it out in your rearview." Using one finger, I poke him in the shoulder. "Behind us. Other side of the Pike. Looks like a hit-and-run. A car ran into the guardrail. Any way to get us there? Like, right now?"

I grab the leather strap above my seat, preparing for the...

Drive Time

By: Hank Phillippi Ryan