To Tim, with love-
so that the whole world will know
how much you mean to me
If I could cast a spell, like some of my protagonists in this novel, it would be one to acquire unlimited knowledge.
After all, a novelist is only as good as her experts when it comes to learning about fields that are unknown to her. For
this reason, I
d like to thank the following people: my doctors and psychiatric personnel-on-call, David Toub, MD;
Jim Umlas, MD; Tia Horner, MD; Marybeth Durkin, MD; and Jan Scheiner; Betty Martin, for all toxicological
information; Detective-Lieutenant Frank Moran, for police procedure following a sexual assault; Chris Farina, who took
me behind the scenes at a diner; and Lisa Schiermeier, the DNA scientist who managed to teach a science-challenged
gal like me genetics. Thanks to Aidan Curran for the egg pickup line; to Steve Ives for all things baseball and a keen
editorial eye; to Diana and Duncan Watson for the BLT scene; to Teresa Farina for transcription under fire; and to Hal
Friend for a virtual tour of the Lower East Side. I am indebted to the works of Starhawk and Scott Cunningham, from
which I began to understand the Wiccan religion. Kiki Keating helped shape the beginnings of the judiciary plot here;
Chris Keating provided the most incredibly prompt legal answers for the book that grew out of it; and Jennifer Sternick
did such a fantastic job helping me craft the trial that I may never let her go as a legal consultant. Thanks to Laura
Gross, Camille McDuffie, and Jane Picoult for their contributions in shaping and selling this novel. My sincere
gratitude to JoAnn Mapson, whose private chapter-by-chapter workshop sessions made me believe in this book and
turned it into something better than I even imagined. And last, but not least, I
d like to sing the praises of Kip Hakala
and Emily Bestler at Pocket Books. If every author had the unflagging support and devotion of an editorial duo like
these two, publishing would be a wonderful world indeed.
S a l e m
F a l l s
S veral miles into his journey, Jack St. Bride decided to give up his former life.
He made this choice as he walked aimlessly along Route 10, huddling against the cold. He had dressed this morning in
a pair of khaki pants, a white shirt with a nick in the collar, stiff dress shoes, a smooth-skinned belt-clothing he
worn 5,760 hours ago, clothing that had fit him last August. This morning, his blue blazer was oversized and the
waistband of his trousers hung loose. It had taken Jack a moment to realize it wasn
t weight he
d lost during these
eight months but pride.
He wished he had a winter coat, but you wore out of jail the same outfit you
d worn in. What he did have was the
forty-three dollars that had been in his wallet on the hot afternoon he was incarcerated, a ring of keys that opened doors
to places where Jack no longer was welcome, and a piece of gum.
Other inmates who were released from jail had family to pick them up. Or they arranged for transportation. But Jack