Secret Sisters

Free Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

Book: Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jayne Ann Krentz
years ago Tom was something of a hoarder. Also, he had a passion for photography. He never threw any of his photos away.”
    â€œI’ve been warned,” Jack said.
    Madeline opened the door and moved into the shadows of the tiny front room. She flipped a switch. Somewhere in the shadows a dim light came on. A dank, musty miasma swirled amid the accumulated clutter of decades.
    â€œUgh.” Madeline wrinkled her nose.
    Jack glanced at her. “Don’t worry, it’s not the kind of smell you get when there’s a dead body around.”
    She flicked him a quick, startled glance. “Good to know. Thanks for that cheery observation. Should I ask where you learned about the difference between the smell of a hoarder’s house and a dead body?”
    â€œI used to do some consulting work for the FBI, remember?”
    â€œGrandma mentioned it. I got the impression you didn’t profile folks engaged in art fraud or Internet gambling.”
    â€œSometimes. But not often enough. The company I was with specialized in behavioral analysis of other kinds of bad guys.”
    Madeline whistled soundlessly. “Serial killers.”
    â€œI changed career paths a while back.”
    â€œI can certainly understand why.”
    He looked mildly surprised. “Thanks. Not everyone does understand.”
    â€œThey watch too much TV.” She swept a hand out to indicate theinterior of the cottage. “What does all your experience tell you about this place?”
    Jack surveyed the interior. “I’d say Lomax’s hoarding tendencies did not improve in the past eighteen years. And I see what you mean about the photography thing.”
    The cottage had clearly been furnished with leftovers from the hotel—a shabby armchair covered in worn leather, a floor lamp with a torn and badly yellowed shade, odd chunks of carpeting from assorted eras, and curtains decorated with faded floral prints.
    The room was crammed with the flotsam and jetsam of a life lived on the fringe of paranoia. Crumbling, yellowed newspapers were piled high in various corners. Books and magazines were stacked everywhere. There were plastic containers filled with assorted lightbulbs and small batteries that were probably no longer viable. Boxes held frayed extension cords and small tools. What looked like a century’s worth of mail—bills, catalogs, and requests for charitable donations—overflowed old packing boxes.
    And everywhere there were photographs of all descriptions and every conceivable size—black-and-white, sepia toned, and full color. The subjects, as far as Jack could tell, were mostly Cooper Island scenes. There were dramatic shots of the northern lights over the island—brilliant images that captured the spectacle of waves of green and purple fire rippling across the night sky. Striking photos of fierce storms. Atmospheric scenes of the Aurora Point Hotel caught in various stages of renovation and decay.
    More than a dozen large prints had been framed and hung on the walls.
    â€œThose were his favorites,” Madeline explained, “the only ones he signed. He considered himself an artist. This was his own private gallery.”
    Only a few of the images featured human subjects, usually the same two people—young girls on the brink of womanhood. In some of the scenes they raced carelessly, wildly, across a rocky beach. Other images featured the pair in a more pensive mood, dreaming at the edge of the cliffs. In a few photographs they were silhouetted against sunsets and sunrises. But in every picture there were storm clouds gathering in the distance.
    The inescapable takeaway from every photo was the same. You knew that the innocence of girlhood would not last. Real life was bearing down on them in the form of a storm.
    Jack looked at Madeline. “You and Daphne?”
    â€œYes.” A wistful smile curved her mouth. “Tom was a brilliant photographer, but he

Similar Books

Obediently Yours

Bella Jackson

Ellen Tebbits

Beverly Cleary

Miss Buddha

Ulf Wolf

Wasted

Brian O'Connell

A Vampire's Rise

Vanessa Fewings

A Place Beyond

Laura Howard

When I Wasn't Watching

Michelle Kelly