Bonnie (Eve Duncan)

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9780312651220: Bonnie (Eve Duncan)

The truth has eluded her for years. . . . Now is she ready to face it?

When Eve Duncan gave birth to her daughter, she experienced a love she never knew existed. Nothing would stand in the way of giving Bonnie a wonderful life---until the unthinkable happened and the seven-year-old vanished into thin air. Eve found herself in the throes of a nightmare from which there was no escape. But a new Eve emerged: a woman who would use her remarkable talent as a forensic sculptor to help others find closure in the face of tragedy. Now with the help of her beloved Joe Quinn and CIA agent Catherine Ling, Eve has come closer than ever to the truth. But the deeper she digs, the more she realizes that Bonnie’s father is a key player in solving this monstrous puzzle. And that Bonnie’s disappearance was not as random as everyone had always believed . . .

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

Iris Johansen is the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Night, Blood Game, Eve, and Eight Days to Live, among others. She began writing after her children left home for college, and first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, she began writing suspense historical romance novels, and in 1996 she turned to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

CHAPTER
1

Atlanta, Georgia
The Past
 

“WHAT STAR IS THAT, MAMA?” Bonnie lifted her hand to point at a brilliant orb in the night sky. “It’s shining so bright.”
“That’s not a star, it’s a planet. It’s Venus.” She cuddled her daughter closer on her lap. “I’ve told you about Venus, Bonnie.”
“I guess I forgot.” She leaned back against Eve’s shoulder in the big rattan chair. “Or maybe it’s because everything seems so … different tonight.”
“Different? We sit out here on the porch almost every night, baby.” It was a precious time for both of them. After supper, they came out on the front porch and looked at the night sky. Eve had even bought a book on astronomy so that she could point out the constellations to Bonnie. “What’s different?”
“I don’t know.” Bonnie’s gaze never left the glittering night sky. “They just seem … closer. As if I could reach out and touch them. As if they want me to come and touch them.”
Eve chuckled and gave her a hug. “Maybe that’s what you should do when you grow up. Would you like to be an astronaut and go from planet to planet?”
Bonnie giggled. “That might be fun. Like Star Trek. But I don’t have ears like Mr. Spock.”
“It could still work.” She smiled as she leaned her head back and gazed up at the sky. “But those stars are very far away, and you don’t know what you’ll find there. Would you be afraid, baby?”
Bonnie was silent, her eyes fixed on the stars.
“Bonnie?”
“I won’t be afraid, Mama.” She turned her head and looked Eve directly in the eye. “And don’t you be afraid either. I’ll be fine.”
Eve’s smile faded. There was something in Bonnie’s expression that was making her uneasy. In that instant, she didn’t look like her seven-year-old little girl any longer. Bonnie’s expression was serene, oddly adult.
Nonsense. It had to be imagination. “I won’t.” Eve gave Bonnie a kiss on the tip of her nose. “Because I think we’ll keep you here on Earth. No skipping from planet to planet. Your grandma and I would miss you too much.” She tugged at Bonnie’s ear. “And you’re right, your ears don’t look at all like Spock’s.” She hugged her again. “And now it’s time for your bath. Didn’t you tell me that your school picnic is tomorrow? Run in to Grandma and have her start your bath, and you decide what to wear.”
“Just one more minute.” Bonnie put her head back on Eve’s shoulder. “I don’t want to leave you yet.”
Eve didn’t want to leave Bonnie either. That instant of uneasiness was still with her. Why not stay here until it faded away. “One minute. You’re not the only one who has school tomorrow. I have to study for my English Lit test when you go in for your bath.”
“But tonight is special, tonight is … different,” she whispered. “Don’t you feel it?”
Every day, every minute, was special with Bonnie. From the moment Eve had given birth to her, she had been the center of her world. But maybe there was something strange and beautiful about their closeness tonight. Something that Eve didn’t want to give up until she had to do it. The thought brought an odd sense of panic. “I feel it.” Her arms tightened around Bonnie’s small body. “Yes, I feel it, baby.”
*   *   *
BONNIE CAME RUNNING into Eve’s bedroom in her yellow pajamas with the orange clowns all over them. Her wild red curls were bouncing, and her face was lit with her luminous smile.
“Mama, Lindsey says her mother is going to let her wear her Goofy T-shirt to the park tomorrow for the school picnic. Can I wear my Bugs Bunny T-shirt?”
Eve looked up from her English Lit book open on the desk in front of her. “It’s not can, it’s may, baby. And you may wear Bugs tomorrow.” She smiled. “We wouldn’t want Lindsey to put you in the shade.”
“I wouldn’t care. She’s my friend. You said we always had to want the best for our friends.”
“Yes, we do. Now run along to bed.”
Bonnie didn’t move. “I know you’re studying for your test, but could you read me a story?” She added coaxingly, “I thought maybe a very, very short one?”
“Your grandmother loves to read you stories, baby.”
Bonnie came closer, and whispered, “I love Grandma. But it’s always special when you read it to me. Just a short one…”
Eve glanced at her Lit book. She’d be up until after midnight as it was, studying for that exam. She looked at Bonnie’s pleading face. Oh, to hell with it. Bonnie was the reason Eve was working for her degree anyway. She was the reason for every action Eve took in life. Why cheat either one of them? “Run and choose a storybook.” She pushed her textbook aside and stood up. “And it doesn’t have to be a short one.”
Bonnie’s expression could have lit up Times Square. “No. I promise.…” She ran out of the room. She was back in seconds with a Dr. Seuss book. “This will be quick, and I like the rhymes.”
Eve sat down in the blue-padded rocking chair that she’d used since Bonnie was a newborn. “Climb up. I like Dr. Seuss, too.”
“I know you do.” Bonnie scrambled up in her lap and cuddled close. “But since it’s such a short book, can—may I have my song, too?”
“I think that’s a reasonable request,” Eve said solemnly. The two of them had their little traditions, and every night since she was a toddler, Bonnie had loved to share a song with Eve. Eve would sing the first line, and Bonnie would sing the next. “What’s it to be tonight?”
“‘All the Pretty Little Horses.’” She turned around on Eve’s lap and hugged her with all her might. “I love you, Mama.”
Eve’s arms closed around her. Bonnie’s riot of curls was soft and fragrant against her cheek, and her small body was endearingly vital and sturdy against Eve. Lord, she was lucky. “I love you, too, Bonnie.”
Bonnie let her go and flopped back around to cuddle in the curve of her arm. “You start, Mama.”
“Hushabye, don’t you cry,” Eve sang softly.
Bonnie’s thin little voice chimed. “Go to sleep, little baby.”
The moment was so precious, so dear. Eve’s arms held Bonnie closer, and she could feel the tightening of her throat as she sang, “When you wake, you shall have cake.”
Bonnie’s voice was only a wisp of sound. “And all the pretty little horses…”
*   *   *
SHE SHOULD GET BACK to her studies, Eve thought.
Not yet. She couldn’t pull herself away yet. Bonnie had been so loving tonight. She had seemed to be reaching out for Eve.
She stood looking down at Bonnie curled up asleep in her bed. She looked so small, she thought with aching tenderness. Bonnie was seven, yet she looked younger.
But sometimes she seemed to have a wisdom far beyond her years. She had always been a special child from the moment Eve had given birth to her. Bonnie was illegitimate, born when Eve was only sixteen. Her passionate affair with John Gallo had lasted only four weeks but had given her Bonnie.
And she had thought that she might give her up for adoption, Eve remembered wonderingly. Gazing down at her daughter it seemed impossible to even contemplate. From the moment she had seen her in the hospital, she had known that they had to be together forever.
Forever.
Those teasing words they’d spoken on the porch had only underscored the fact that Bonnie would be growing up and leaving her someday.
Pain.
She didn’t have to think of that yet. Bonnie was still her baby, and she would have her for years to come. Until then, she would cherish every moment as she had done tonight.
She bent down and brushed her lips on Bonnie’s silky cheek. “Sleep well, baby,” she whispered. “May all your dreams be beautiful.”
“Dreams…” Bonnie’s lids lifted drowsily. “Dreams are so wonderful, Mama. You can reach out and touch…” She was asleep again.
Eve turned, and the next moment, she was silently closing the door to Bonnie’s room behind her.
“She’s asleep?” Eve’s mother was standing in the hall. “I would have put her to bed, Eve. You told me you had that test tomorrow.”
“I’ll be okay, Sandra.” She’d called her mother Sandra since she was a child. Sandra had been sensitive about appearing older, and so she had never been Mother to Eve, always Sandra. It was just a sign of how much she loved Bonnie that she accepted her calling her Grandma. “I needed a break anyway.” She smiled. “And I don’t get a chance to put her to bed every night.” She headed back down the hall toward her room. “I wish I did.”
“You go to school. You work to support her. You can’t do everything.”
“I know.” She stopped at the doorway and looked back at her mother. “But I was just thinking how lucky I am to have her.”
“How lucky we are,” Sandra said.
Eve nodded. “I know how much you love her.” And Eve would have had an even rougher time keeping Bonnie if it hadn’t been for her mother. She had been with them since Bonnie had been born. “She has a school picnic at the park...

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