Stolen in the Night: A Novel

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9781476738901: Stolen in the Night: A Novel
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Patricia MacDonald has won a worldwide audience of readers with her pageturning crime novels that expertly blend riveting suspense and powerful family drama. Now, she delivers the chilling story of a woman who discovers that her own eyewitness testimony about her sister's abduction led to the conviction and execution of the wrong man -- and that the real killer is still at large.

When Tess DeGraff was nine years old and on a camping trip in New Hampshire with her family, a stranger kidnapped and killed her sister Phoebe. Thanks to Tess's eyewitness testimony, a man named Lazarus Abbott was arrested and convicted for the heinous crime. But twenty years later, a test reveals that Abbott's DNA does not match that of Phoebe's murderer. Driven by her fear that she may have sent an innocent man to his death, Tess and her adopted son, Erny, return to the New Hampshire town in which it all happened years ago.

Stone Hill, New Hampshire, is still an idyllic New England town. Tess's courageous mother, Dawn, who suffered the violent loss of her daughter and the early death of her heartbroken husband, now runs the charming Stone Hill Inn. Tess's older brother, Jake, lives nearby with his wife, a local girl he fell in love with during the trial of his sister's killer. While Tess's family stands by her account of the crime, nerves are frayed throughout Stone Hill, and others in town accuse her of lying and view her as a murderer.

In a race against time to untangle the truth about her sister's murder, Tess encounters an anti-death penalty lawyer, Ben Webster, who infuriates her but who also might open her eyes and her heart; a biased police chief related to the Abbotts; and an unknown killer who has Tess and Erny in his sights. With fascinating characters and a host of shocking surprises, Stolen in the Night displays Patricia MacDonald's storytelling powers at an impressive new level.

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About the Author:

Patricia Macdonald's darkly hypnotic tales have captivated readers across America, as well as in France, where she is a #1 bestselling author. Her previous novels include Suspicious Origin, Stranger in the House, Not Guilty, and the Edgar Award-nominated The Unforgiven. She lives with her husband and daughter in New Jersey, where she is working on her next novel.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

CHAPTER 1

Holding her breath, nine-year-old Tess DeGraff ascended toward the shimmering green light, sparkling strands of bubbles streaming in her wake. She broke the surface and let out a shriek that was half yelp of pain, half pure exultation.

"Tess, Phoebe, swim closer to the dock," Dawn DeGraff called out to her daughters from where she sat on a blanket on the grassy bank. Dawn was cradling her youngest, three-month-old Sean, and talking with another couple who had arrived at the lake, their toddler in tow. But her attention never wandered far from her children.

Tess looked around and caught the eye of her thirteen-year-old sister, Phoebe. Phoebe's wet blonde hair was plastered to her head. The bliss in her eyes mirrored Tess's. They exchanged a conspiratorial glance and both began to dog paddle ineffectually in the direction of the dock.

All of a sudden, Tess felt something tugging her ankle, dragging her down, and she screamed. The tug gave way, and her father surfaced beside her with a wide grin.

"Dad, you scared me!" Tessa cried, pummeling his broad chest with her small fists. Rob DeGraff laughed and caught both of his slippery, squealing daughters up in his arms. For a moment the three of them clung together, suspended in the cold waters of the peaceful lake. Tess could see gooseflesh on Phoebe's downy arms, and the pink beginnings of a sunburn across her nose. Phoebe smiled, keeping her lips together to cover her braces. But her eyes gleamed and danced.

"My beautiful fishies," Rob said.

Phoebe, too old at thirteen to linger long in a parental embrace, wriggled free and began to do the backstroke across the dark surface of the lake. Her long blonde hair floated around her like golden tentacles.

Tess redoubled her grip on her father's neck and surveyed the mirrored surface of the icy lake waters, reflecting the jagged, deep green trees of the forest on the mountainside. Above them the August sun was bright and the air as hot as it ever became in New Hampshire's White Mountains. Her gaze traveled the shoreline and came to rest on a group of teenagers, girls in bikinis and boys in swim trunks or blue jean shorts, clustered on boulders at the water's edge. They all seemed to know one another except for one, goodlooking, muscular young man, Tess's sixteen-year-old brother Jake. A beautiful blonde girl in the group gasped with delight, and an overweight, red-haired kid led the jeers as Jake swung out over the lake on a rope tied to a tree branch, let go with a whoop, and pulled off an aerial somersault before plunging into the sparkling water. On the other side of the lake a few fishermen in boats floated on the placid surface. Otherwise the whole beautiful expanse of Lake Innisquam seemed to belong only to her.

"I love it here," Tess whispered in her father's ear.

"Me, too, Tess," Rob said contentedly as they hung linked together in the water, their legs treading.

They had left their apartment in Boston early that morning eager for the journey. They were a family with more energy and curiosity than money, and camping was their travel and vacation solution. Rob and Dawn had married when they were both students at Boston University. Now Rob was an assistant professor of physics at MIT. The family still lived in the sunny, book-filled, rambling apartment on Commonwealth Avenue that the couple had once shared with an assortment of roommates. Dawn had her own business making whole-grain baked goods for a university co-op, and the children were used to negotiating city life, but they were also experienced campers.

Today they had arrived at their National Forest campsite a little after noon and set up their area with an efficiency born of experience. This year Dawn was occupied with the baby but the girls were able to take up the slack. While Tess and Phoebe pumped up air mattresses and gathered wood for the campfire, Rob enlisted his grumbling sixteen-year-old son to help him set up the tents. Jake had reached a rebellious age. He showed no interest in his studies, despite the fact that academics were so important to his father, and he could hardly be persuaded to come along on this trip. He had a summer job on a constuction crew and he insisted that his boss couldn't spare him. Only Dawn's pleas that he come with them on one last camping trip had finally elicited a begrudging grunt of acquiescence.

Rob and Jake pitched two tents alongside each other.

"Why do I have to sleep with those two?" Jake had complained.

"So that Sean won't wake you kids in the night. And so that the girls will have you there to look out for them."

Jake continued to grumble, but his father did his best to ignore the mutterings.

By the time Dawn had pronounced their campsite homey and served lunch on the red cedar trestle table, everyone was tired, sweaty, and in a hurry to get to the lake. They tramped through the woods to the lakeshore together, but as soon as they arrived, Jake spotted the group of teenagers and boldly headed in their direction.

Tess looked over again at the boulder that Jake was scrambling up, wresting another turn at the rope from a pale-skinned boy with black hair. "How come Jake's over there with those kids?" Tess asked. "He doesn't even know them."

"He just wants to be with kids his own age," Rob said.

"How come he's screaming like that?" Tess asked.

"Cherchez la femme," Rob said, smiling.

"What does that mean?"

"I think he's trying to impress the girls," said Rob.

Tess frowned disapprovingly at the shrieking teenagers. She glanced up at her mother on the hillside, her tanned legs extended in front of her as she chatted with the woman on a neighboring blanket while the woman's husband, looking pirate-like with long black hair, stood nearby, watching their toddler play at the water's edge. "Who are those people Mom's talking to?" Tess asked.

"I don't know. Probably some other campers. Hey, what do you say we give Mom a chance to get in the water?" Rob suggested.

Tess nodded, and she and her father pointed themselves toward shore and began to swim.

On the blanket, under the shade of a maple tree, Sean was dozing while Dawn and the other young woman, a fair-skinned blonde, chatted. Tessa and Rob came up the grassy bank to where they sat.

"Hey, you two," said Dawn, her broad smile lighting up her face. "Annette, this is my husband, Rob, and my daughter Tess. Annette and her husband, Kenneth, own that inn we passed near the entrance to the campground."

"Oh really," said Rob, reaching out to shake her hand. "You run the place yourselves?"

"I run it, mainly," said Annette. "Ken's trying to write, so when my parents left us the inn, we decided to move up here so he could have more time to work."

"I think that's everybody's fantasy, to own an inn like that," said Dawn.

"It's a lot of work," said Annette with a small sigh.

The black-haired man strode to the water's edge, swung his protesting toddler up in his arms, and climbed the grassy hill to rejoin the adults. "Kenneth Phalen," he said, setting the toddler on the ground and extending a hand to Rob.

"And Lisa," his wife reminded him, pointing to the little girl.

"Nice to meet you both," said Rob. "Your wife says you're a writer. What do you write?"

Ken shook his long hair back. "Well, I've had a couple of short pieces published in magazines. But now I'm working on a novel."

He seemed ready to launch into a long explanation but Annette interrupted, turning to Rob. "Dawn tells me you're a professor at MIT? That's impressive."

"Assistant," Rob demurred.

"Still," she said.

Bored with their grown-up conversation, Tess was watching the pink-cheeked Lisa as she began to lurch, in the toddler's side-to-side gait, across the grass. Tess wished she had her camera to take a picture of her. She was cute as a doll, her ringlets shining in the hot afternoon sun. Tess squinted up at the puffy clouds gathering in the sunny afternoon sky. Soon the beautiful day would be over. She looked over at her mother beseechingly and caught her eye.

"What is it, Tess?" she asked.

"Will you come in the water, Mom?" she pleaded.

Dawn smiled at her, bemused. "Is it cold?"

Tess shook her head, wide-eyed. "No. Really."

"Go ahead, hon," Rob said. "I'll keep an eye on Sean."

Dawn was not the sort of person who needed to be coaxed to have fun. As Rob toweled off and flopped down on the blanket beside his new son, Dawn took Tess's hand. "Okay, let's go," she said, tucking her dark brown hair behind her ear and smiling. " 'Scuse us."

Tess waded back into the water, leading the way. Phoebe stood up, waist high in the lake, and began to splash.

"Honey, don't splash me," said Dawn. "It's going to take me a minute to adjust."

Phoebe shrugged but desisted. Tess slipped back into the cold lake like a seal, but her mother entered more gingerly, rubbing her arms and saying "brrr" until suddenly she inhaled a deep breath, extended her arms, and dove in, emerging a few moments later out past where Phoebe stood, laughing. Dawn waved to Rob and the other couple on the shore and they all waved back.

Tess swam to her mother's arms. Dawn glanced over at the group of teenagers. Jake was seated among them on the boulders now, loudly joining in the chatter. The pretty blonde was seated right beside him.

"Dad says he's trying to make the girls like him," Tess informed her mother.

Dawn smiled a little wistfully. "He's growing up on us."

"Well, I think he should stay with his family," Tess said.

"Oh, it won't be long till it's you over there," Dawn said.

"Not me," Tess insisted. "I'd rather be with you."

Dawn gave her a kiss on the forehead. "Hey, come on. Let's catch Phoebe. Pheebs," she cried, "we're coming to get you."

Phoebe, who was floating on her back, gazing at the brilliant blue sky and the puffy clouds, righted herself in the water. The sun flashed off the shiny surface of the "Believe" medallion, which she always wore on a silver chain around her neck. It had been a birthday gift from their godmother, and Tess had one exactly like it. She never wore hers swimming, however, for fear of losing it. "Wh...

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780743269568: Stolen in the Night: A Novel

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ISBN 10:  074326956X ISBN 13:  9780743269568
Publisher: Atria Books, 2007
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9780743269605: Stolen in the Night: A Novel

Pocket..., 2008
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9780739488430: Stolen in the Night (Large Print Edition)

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Book Description Gallery Books, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Patricia MacDonald has won a worldwide audience of readers with her pageturning crime novels that expertly blend riveting suspense and powerful family drama. Now, she delivers the chilling story of a woman who discovers that her own eyewitness testimony about her sister's abduction led to the conviction and execution of the wrong man -- and that the real killer is still at large. When Tess DeGraff was nine years old and on a camping trip in New Hampshire with her family, a stranger kidnapped and killed her sister Phoebe. Thanks to Tess's eyewitness testimony, a man named Lazarus Abbott was arrested and convicted for the heinous crime. But twenty years later, a test reveals that Abbott's DNA does not match that of Phoebe's murderer. Driven by her fear that she may have sent an innocent man to his death, Tess and her adopted son, Erny, return to the New Hampshire town in which it all happened years ago. Stone Hill, New Hampshire, is still an idyllic New England town. Tess's courageous mother, Dawn, who suffered the violent loss of her daughter and the early death of her heartbroken husband, now runs the charming Stone Hill Inn. Tess's older brother, Jake, lives nearby with his wife, a local girl he fell in love with during the trial of his sister's killer. While Tess's family stands by her account of the crime, nerves are frayed throughout Stone Hill, and others in town accuse her of lying and view her as a murderer. In a race against time to untangle the truth about her sister's murder, Tess encounters an anti-death penalty lawyer, Ben Webster, who infuriates her but who also might open her eyes and her heart; a biased police chief related to the Abbotts; and an unknown killer who has Tess and Erny in his sights. With fascinating characters and a host of shocking surprises, Stolen in the Night displays Patricia MacDonald's storytelling powers at an impressive new level. Seller Inventory # APC9781476738901

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Book Description Gallery Books, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Patricia MacDonald has won a worldwide audience of readers with her pageturning crime novels that expertly blend riveting suspense and powerful family drama. Now, she delivers the chilling story of a woman who discovers that her own eyewitness testimony about her sister's abduction led to the conviction and execution of the wrong man -- and that the real killer is still at large. When Tess DeGraff was nine years old and on a camping trip in New Hampshire with her family, a stranger kidnapped and killed her sister Phoebe. Thanks to Tess's eyewitness testimony, a man named Lazarus Abbott was arrested and convicted for the heinous crime. But twenty years later, a test reveals that Abbott's DNA does not match that of Phoebe's murderer. Driven by her fear that she may have sent an innocent man to his death, Tess and her adopted son, Erny, return to the New Hampshire town in which it all happened years ago. Stone Hill, New Hampshire, is still an idyllic New England town. Tess's courageous mother, Dawn, who suffered the violent loss of her daughter and the early death of her heartbroken husband, now runs the charming Stone Hill Inn. Tess's older brother, Jake, lives nearby with his wife, a local girl he fell in love with during the trial of his sister's killer. While Tess's family stands by her account of the crime, nerves are frayed throughout Stone Hill, and others in town accuse her of lying and view her as a murderer. In a race against time to untangle the truth about her sister's murder, Tess encounters an anti-death penalty lawyer, Ben Webster, who infuriates her but who also might open her eyes and her heart; a biased police chief related to the Abbotts; and an unknown killer who has Tess and Erny in his sights. With fascinating characters and a host of shocking surprises, Stolen in the Night displays Patricia MacDonald's storytelling powers at an impressive new level. Seller Inventory # APC9781476738901

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Book Description Gallery Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 384 pages. Dimensions: 8.0in. x 5.0in. x 1.0in.Patricia MacDonald has won a worldwide audience of readers with her pageturning crime novels that expertly blend riveting suspense and powerful family drama. Now, she delivers the chilling story of a woman who discovers that her own eyewitness testimony about her sisters abduction led to the conviction and execution of the wrong man -- and that the real killer is still at large. When Tess DeGraff was nine years old and on a camping trip in New Hampshire with her family, a stranger kidnapped and killed her sister Phoebe. Thanks to Tesss eyewitness testimony, a man named Lazarus Abbott was arrested and convicted for the heinous crime. But twenty years later, a test reveals that Abbotts DNA does not match that of Phoebes murderer. Driven by her fear that she may have sent an innocent man to his death, Tess and her adopted son, Erny, return to the New Hampshire town in which it all happened years ago. Stone Hill, New Hampshire, is still an idyllic New England town. Tesss courageous mother, Dawn, who suffered the violent loss of her daughter and the early death of her heartbroken husband, now runs the charming Stone Hill Inn. Tesss older brother, Jake, lives nearby with his wife, a local girl he fell in love with during the trial of his sisters killer. While Tesss family stands by her account of the crime, nerves are frayed throughout Stone Hill, and others in town accuse her of lying and view her as a murderer. In a race against time to untangle the truth about her sisters murder, Tess encounters an anti-death penalty lawyer, Ben Webster, who infuriates her but who also might open her eyes and her heart; a biased police chief related to the Abbotts; and an unknown killer who has Tess and Erny in his sights. With fascinating characters and a host of shocking surprises, Stolen in the Night displays Patricia MacDonalds storytelling powers at an impressive new level. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781476738901

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Book Description Gallery Books, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Patricia MacDonald has won a worldwide audience of readers with her pageturning crime novels that expertly blend riveting suspense and powerful family drama. Now, she delivers the chilling story of a woman who discovers that her own eyewitness testimony about her sister's abduction led to the conviction and execution of the wrong man -- and that the real killer is still at large. When Tess DeGraff was nine years old and on a camping trip in New Hampshire with her family, a stranger kidnapped and killed her sister Phoebe. Thanks to Tess's eyewitness testimony, a man named Lazarus Abbott was arrested and convicted for the heinous crime. But twenty years later, a test reveals that Abbott's DNA does not match that of Phoebe's murderer. Driven by her fear that she may have sent an innocent man to his death, Tess and her adopted son, Erny, return to the New Hampshire town in which it all happened years ago. Stone Hill, New Hampshire, is still an idyllic New England town. Tess's courageous mother, Dawn, who suffered the violent loss of her daughter and the early death of her heartbroken husband, now runs the charming Stone Hill Inn. Tess's older brother, Jake, lives nearby with his wife, a local girl he fell in love with during the trial of his sister's killer. While Tess's family stands by her account of the crime, nerves are frayed throughout Stone Hill, and others in town accuse her of lying and view her as a murderer. In a race against time to untangle the truth about her sister's murder, Tess encounters an anti-death penalty lawyer, Ben Webster, who infuriates her but who also might open her eyes and her heart; a biased police chief related to the Abbotts; and an unknown killer who has Tess and Erny in his sights. With fascinating characters and a host of shocking surprises, Stolen in the Night displays Patricia MacDonald's storytelling powers at an impressive new level. Seller Inventory # LIE9781476738901

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