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Dedication

For all of the many friends I met during twenty-one years in the newspaper business.




Chapter 1



JESS McELROY eased her car into the right lane of traffic on the interstate highway and scanned her mirrors. A small, red convertible rushed up behind her. “Hey, the speed limit is sixty-five,” she said aloud, even though she knew the other driver couldn’t hear her.

The car swerved into the left lane and pulled up beside her. The woman driving the car had a cell phone pressed against her ear. The vehicle swayed a little too close for comfort. Without thinking, she jerked the steering wheel to the right. Her tires grazed the shoulder of the road. Adrenalin rushed through her chest. Her knuckles turned white from their grip on the steering wheel.

“I hate people who talk on cell phones while driving.”

She maneuvered her tires back onto the pavement and shot another glance toward the other driver. The woman turned toward her. Dark sunglasses obscured her eyes, but her lips formed a tight, thin line. She kept her car parallel to Jess’s for a few moments before speeding forward and cutting into the right lane. She missed Jess’s front fender by inches. Jess shoved her palm into the soft center of her steering wheel and let her horn blare. “So you think you and your fancy little sports car own the road, do you?” The woman accelerated, putting several car-lengths between them in a matter of seconds.

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