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By John T Lescroart

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It’s in the attic,” she said. ” Debra Schiff climbed the stepladder and ducked through the small opening in the upper half of the closet wall and straightened up into a warm and humid room baking in a grow-light glow. She found a light switch next to the opening and flicked it, then spoke back over her shoulder to Darrel, on the steps of the ladder right behind her. ” Bracco poked his head into the opening. “Lordy Lordy,” he said. The attic space the size of the house’s footprint was filled with plants in various stages of growth, from just-germinated little shoots in cardboard egg cartons to full-blown, six-foot-high plants in raised planter boxes.

Whatever he did, it’s over now. ” But Bracco wasn’t of a mind to do that. “What else did he do, Mr. ” Wayne looked to his daughter and shook his head. “Why can’t they know what he really was, Jansey? That he wasn’t much of a father to Ben? ” She turned to Schiff, met her eyes. “He didn’t beat me,” she repeated more softly. ” Bracco asked. “A couple of weeks ago, we talked about this marijuana thing and he got mad at me. But it wasn’t really a fight. He just got physical for a minute. ” “He was under a lot of stress then,” Jansey said.

I don’t know when Dylan went to work. ” “I said I didn’t know the time for sure. ” After the inspectors left, Tripp followed them outside to make sure they were leaving. When the car started up and headed down the street, he walked to the back door, opened it, and walked inside. ” 38 J O H N L E S C R OA RT In a minute she was in the hallway coming toward him and then she was in his arms. They held each other for a long moment until finally Tripp pulled out of the embrace. “At the very least,” he said, “they suspect.

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