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The number-one blockbuster bestselling author delivers her most explosive and compelling novel yet, in which a woman must unlock the secrets of her own mind before she loses her life.
She has a gift of unspeakable power. . . .
He must control her or destroy her. . . .
For as long as she can remember, successful young physician Megan Blair has tried to silence the voices in her head---voices that bring her to the edge of madness and terror. Megan possesses psychic powers that have been dormant for years, hidden deep in the past she’s tried so desperately to forget. But now everything has come to a boiling point---someone is trying to kill her, and others are trying to use her, including the deadly and seductive Neal Grady. Shocking secrets about her life and her mother’s death bombard her as she fights to take control of her heritage and save herself and everything she believes in. Grady holds the key to understanding her future, a future in which Megan’s life will never be the same.
If she survives to have a future.
A fast-paced thrill ride, Pandora’s Daughter is Iris Johansen as you’ve never read her before.
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IRIS JOHANSEN is the New York Times bestselling author of Silent Thunder (w/Roy Johansen), Deadlock, Dark Summer, Pandora’s Daughter, Quicksand, Killer Dreams, On The Run, Countdown, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, No One To Trust, Blood Game, and more.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
ONETwelve years later St. Andrews Hospital Atlanta, Georgia"HE'S DEAD, MEGAN. CALL IT," Scott Rogan said as he looked at her over the body of the fourteen-year-old boy. "Give it up.""Tell that to his mother." She hit the paddles again to try to jump-start the boy's heart. Come on, Manuel. Come back to us. "I'm not going to do it without a fight.""We've been working on him for the last twenty minutes.""Then another few won't make a difference." She counted to three and then hit him again. "Live, Manuel," she whispered. "You have so much to do, so much to see. Don't let it end like this."But it had ended, she realized in helpless frustration after another two minutes. Dammit to hell. Poor kid.She ripped her gloves off as she turned away. "Document that the patient died at eleven-oh-five P.M.," she said jerkily to the nurse. She strode out of the ER to wash and change her bloodstained scrubs. She couldn't face the boy's mother like this. The woman was going to have a bad enough memory to carry for the rest of her life.Damn. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the jamb of the door for a minute. It shouldn't be like this. She should be able to do more."Are you okay, Megan?"She opened her eyes to see Scott standing beside her. "No." She straightened. "I wanted a miracle. I didn't get it.""You did your best. We're just doctors. We can't walk on water.""I can try. Every day I can try a little harder and maybe someday I'll be good enough to--" She rubbed her stinging eyes on the back of her hand and turned away. "I can't stand here talking. I have to talk to Manuel's mother.""Wait." He was hurrying after her. "I'll tell her, Megan."She shook her head. "My job. He was my patient." But, dammit, she didn't want to do this. It was always a painful responsibility but especially traumatic when it concerned the young. "Thanks anyway, Scott."He shrugged. "It's bad for me too. But it doesn't tear me up like it does you. Sometimes I wonder why you decided to become a doctor. You're too damn emotional. All that psychological training we were given in med school didn't get through to you.""I'll get used to it." Her gaze was fixed on the small Latina woman sitting in a chair across the waiting room. A deep pang of sadness surged through her. Dear God, the woman's hopeful expression as she saw Megan ...No, she'd never get used to it. Not in a million years. Then take it on the chin and go tell that mother her boy is dead.The woman was tensing, her eyes anxious. Megan could feel her pain and desperation as if it were her own. It was surroundingher, deluging her, drowning her. She braced herself, fighting to pull away from it."Megan," Scott murmured.She shook her head to clear it. "It's okay." She moistened her lips and forced herself to start across the room. Get it over with and try to offer the woman what comfort she could."Mrs. Rivera, I'm Dr. Megan Blair." She drew a deep breath. "I'm sorry to tell you that ..."
HE COULDN'T TELL WHO WAS suffering more, Scott Rogan thought, as he watched Megan take the woman in her arms. Megan should have let him do it."Stop worrying about her. You can't protect your little buddy for the rest of her life."Scott turned to see Hal Trudeau standing a few feet away. He hadn't been in the operating room, but by now the story of Megan's frantic efforts at reviving the kid was probably all over the ward. He wished to hell Hal had not been on duty tonight. Hal was highly competitive and he considered Megan a threat in his climb at the hospital. The first couple years out of medical school could sometimes be a make-or-break period for a doctor. Hal would like nothing better than to make Megan look unprofessional."I'm not worried," Scott said. "She's handling everything fine.""I hear she almost fell apart when the kid died.""She was upset. She didn't fall apart. She'd never risk a patient's life by losing her composure." He turned on his heel. "And everyonein that room will tell you the same thing. Don't try to stir up trouble over this. The only mistake she made tonight was caring too much and she didn't let it interfere.""That's open to argument. I've heard the chief administrator thinks she gives the impression of being unstable." Hal smiled maliciously. "But then you probably enjoy that emotional side of her. How is she in bed, Scott?""I wouldn't know.""Sure. That's why you trail behind her like a stud around a mare in heat. I bet she's one hot number when she needs to release some of that stored-up energy. I don't blame you for jumping her." Hal's gaze returned to Megan. "She's not bad-looking. I wouldn't mind screwing her myself. If she wasn't such a stuck-up bitch." He turned and walked away.Bastard.Scott smothered the surge of irritation that moved through him. He felt like decking the son of a bitch. Yeah, that's all Megan needed was to have the two of them brawling in the halls over her. Hal was right, the administration was keeping a close eye on Megan. They liked their hospital rolling on greased wheels and even a hint of instability in their personnel scared the hell out of them.And Megan was not unstable. No one worked harder. St. Andrews was lucky to have her. She'd been offered a job in a number of more prestigious hospitals in the Northeast before she'd graduated. The only reason she'd stayed in Atlanta was because she hadn't wanted to leave her uncle Phillip who had cared for her since her mother had died.Hell, Hal would probably have made a case against family feeling as well. Anything to bring her down.Including accusing her of sleeping around with a married man.The idea was oddly intriguing.What was he thinking? He and Jana had been married for only two years and they had been good years. Megan had been a good friend to him since med school. He would never have passed chemistry if she hadn't drilled him for almost a complete semester. After he'd married Jana, Megan had been there for both of them. Jana's young son, Davy, was crazy about her.She's not bad-looking, Hal had said.Understatement. She was damn good-looking with her slim, graceful body, glossy dark-brown hair, and those enormous hazel eyes. But none of those features were what drew men to her. Hal had hit the target when he'd mentioned that stored-up emotional energy that never left her. Even when she was relaxed Scott could sense the emotional turmoil that seemed to electrify her. It was ... interesting.And arousing.And he had better stop analyzing his responses to Megan. It wasn't fair to Jana. He would never be unfaithful but he was beginning to feel guilty.Yes, perhaps it would be better if he made an effort to keep Megan at a distance.
MEGAN'S HAND WAS SHAKING AS she unlocked the door of her SUV. She took a deep breath before she got into the vehicle and started the ignition. She should probably wait until she recovered a little before she left the parking lot but she wasn't going to do it. She wanted to get home to Phillip. She needed her uncle's quietsteadiness and gentleness. She was raw and hurting from those hours she had spent with Delores Rivera.It would be better once she got home. After a few hours, she would regain the balance she had lost in that waiting room. The pain that was rising, roaring, inside her would fade the longer she was away from that grieving woman.Now that was really adult and responsible, she thought with self-disgust. She was planning on running home and dumping all of this depressing angst in Phillip's lap. God knows she had been doing enough of that in the past few years. Get a grip and give the man a break.She rested her head on the steering wheel, blinking back the stinging tears. So many wild emotions had been hurled at her during those hours. Delores Rivera's blame and agony and guilt mixed with a dozen other incomprehensible feelings that had mounted until she had been overwhelmed.Don't think about it. Call Phillip and the sound of his voice would help to make everything all right.No, don't do that to him again. Live with it. Get through it on your own.She drove out of the parking lot and turned left at the light.
PHILLIP CALLED HER WHEN she was getting on the freeway. She pressed Connect on her cell phone earpiece for hands-free operation. "Everything all right? I don't want to be a worrywart but I knew you got off duty a couple hours ago. If you're out having a drink with Scott and Jana, just tell me to buzz off."Lord, she was glad to hear his voice. From the moment he hadwalked toward her at her mother's funeral, she had felt this warm sense of belonging whenever she was around him. "No, it was just a rough night. I had a few problems. I'll tell you about it when I get home. I'm on my way. What are you doing awake anyway? It's after two in the morning.""I was only dozing. The football game didn't end until midnight. We won in the last four seconds. I was too wired to relax.""Hoorah Falcons.""Damn right." He paused. "What kind of problems?""A fourteen-year-old boy died on the table. I couldn't save him.""Shit.""Yeah. How about having a cup of hot chocolate with me and you can tell me about the game?""Sounds good. I'll have it ready. How close are you?""I'm on the freeway. Twenty minutes." She frowned as blinding lights glared in her rearview mirror. "Cripes, I've got a tailgater. It's a truck, I think. He ...
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