A Taste From My New Book
A lot of people have been writing me, wanting to know more about Christine Taylor - the dead super-genius in my new novel, Poison Well.
To remind readers, the year is 1971...
Andrews Air Force Base
Camp Springs, Maryland
At the airfield, Josh pulled to a halt a hundred yards from a gray KC-135 transport. The four engines idled, shimmering jet blast into the morning air. Josh and Christine climbed out of the Ford, both leaning against the grill.
Andrews had a rather tragic recent history. A few years before, President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Houston, and his body was flown back to Andrews with his wife, Jacqueline. The tarmac they were parked on had been packed with thousands of grieving, shocked people – all there to see Kennedy on his final arrival.
Josh and Christine watched for a moment as cargo containers were loaded into the aircraft - tugs, fuel trucks and jeeps scurrying about the big plane like underfed rats. The landing and navigation lights had been left on, indicating to Christine that the jet was on a fast turnaround.
Josh shook his head. “I don’t know about this, Christine…cutting it real close here. The wedding is just a few days away.”
“You don’t think I am aware how close this cuts it? Chuffing hell! Are you mental? My parents are flying over from England, the dress took four months to get right, the caterers have been a nightmare, the electricians damaged your mum’s cherry-wood trim, the ice sculptor is a jackass, the flower girl is a whiny baby, the bridesmaids hate their dresses, the pastor is big di - ”
Josh held up a hand, chuckling. “I get it! I surrender! You understand the importance of the event.”
“Darn right I understand. Understand – in this context – happens to be the understatement of the century.”
“Okay, point taken. But it’s my wedding, too. How about what I want?”
Christine threw her head back and laughed manically. “Oh, Josh. You say the cutest things.”
Josh moved a little closer and touched her arm. Her pulse and senses quickened at the thought of their last time alone together, and she put it in the back of her mind. Time enough for that on their wedding night.
Christine had to stand on her tip-toes just to kiss him, and once she started, it was damn hard to quit. But tear herself away she did, and went to retrieve her travel bag.
“I love you…always. You know that, right, Josh?”
“Of course I do. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me. Well, besides my first car, and my first kiss, and m - ”
Christine punched him in the arm. Hard.
“I love you, Christine - to the ends of the Earth.”
Josh placed his hand on her face gently. “No matter what, you be careful over there. Come back to me safe and sound.”
Christine laughed and hefted her bag. “I will, but I’m not going to a warzone, you know. It’s Thailand, where soldiers go to unwind.”
“I don’t care. Promise me.”
“I promise I’ll be careful.” Christine said, sighing with a smile. “But seriously, what could possibly go wrong?”
There wasn’t language strong enough to express how much she would come to eat those words.