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  • Published: 12 April 2022
  • ISBN: 9781529125481
  • Imprint: Century
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $32.99

Death of the Black Widow


Could a building sweat?

If someone were to ask him, Walter O’Brien would say no. But that was exactly what the square brick structure on the corner of Park and Woodward in downtown Detroit appeared to be doing. The faded red brick had a dull sheen on it, the moisture reflecting the streetlights, the neon from the sign above, and the headlights of the cars as they rolled by, oblivious to what was coming.

Walter wanted to throw his damn binoculars. “Why is there traffic? Shut that shit down.” Lincoln Sealey’s gruff voice replied in his earbud a moment later. “We can’t.

“Why not?”

Because nothing’s happened yet.

They’d had this argument more times than Walter could count, and as much as he felt like he could win this time, it wasn’t worth the aggravation. Something would happen soon enough.

He looked at his watch.

Nine fifty-two.

The neon sign continued to blink on and off, pink and purple reflecting off the surrounding buildings and glowing in the street.


Eight minutes.

At fifty-seven, Walter shouldn’t be out here. He heard the various pops and creaks of his joints as he stood and looked out over the edge of the rooftop. His damn leg screamed. Gripping his cane, his palm was greasy with sweat.

Five stories up.

Across the street from the club.

Direct line of sight to the front entrance.

What passed for music these days churned from inside, seemed to rattle the air. This unforgiving thump, thump, thump, thump, with no break between what could loosely be defined as songs. He missed guitars. Melodies. Harmonies. He remembered when Detroit was all about the music. Music and cars. Now it was someplace you only visited if you were looking for cheap real estate.

A bouncer stood at the entrance, checking IDs with a penlight while another worked his way back through the line of about thirty people waiting behind a faded red rope. His job was apparently to pluck the best-looking girls from the wait and escort them directly in. Both bouncers were ridiculously large. The biceps on the one at the door looked bigger than Walter’s head. He had some kind of tattoo that started behind his left ear and crawled up his bald scalp. Walter couldn’t tell what it was. The tattoo seemed out of place with the man’s three-thousand-dollar suit.

Walter spotted Sealey on the roof of the federal building kitty-corner. Dressed all in black, lying on his stomach, propped up on his side so he could scan the crowd through the scope of his rifle positioned in a break meant for storm drainage. The rifle was a Paratus-16, a folding semiautomatic takedown sniper rifle that traveled in a case not much larger than a lunch box.

Death of the Black Widow James Patterson

A stunning stand-alone thriller following a Detroit cop's hunt for a serial killer like no other

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