Hope to Die by James Patterson
WHEN MARCUS SUNDAY ARRIVED at Whodunit Books in Philadelphia around seven that evening, the manager told him not to expect much of a crowd. It was the Tuesday after Easter, lots of people were still away on vacation, and it was raining.
But Sunday and the manager were pleasantly surprised when twenty-five people showed up to hear him read and discuss his controversial true-crime book The Perfect Criminal.
The manager introduced him, saying, “Marcus Sunday, who has a doctorate in philosophy from Harvard, has hit bestseller lists around the country with this book, a fascinating look at two unsolved mass-murder cases explained by a truly original mind focused on the depths of the criminal soul.”
The crowd clapped, and Sunday, a tall, sturdy man who looked to be in his late thirties, stepped to the lectern wearing a black leather jacket, jeans, and a crisp white shirt.
“I appreciate you coming out on a rainy night,” he said. “And it’s a pleasure to be here at Whodunit Books.”
Then he talked about the killings.
Seven years earlier, two nights before Christmas, the five members of the Daley family of suburban Omaha had been slain in their home. Except for the wife, they were all found in their beds. Their throats had been cut with a scalpel or razor. The wife had died similarly, but in the bathroom, and naked. Either the doors had been unlocked, or the killer had had a key. There had been a snowstorm during the night, and any tracks were buried.
Fourteen months later, in the aftermath of a violent thunderstorm, the Monahan family of suburban Fort Worth was discovered in a similar state: A father and four children under the age of thirteen were found in their beds with their throats slit; the wife, also with her throat slit, was found naked on the bathroom floor. Once more, either the doors had been unlocked or the killer had had a key. Again, owing to the storm and the killer’s meticulous methods, the police found no usable evidence.
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