Read If I Should Die Online

Authors: Allison Brennan

If I Should Die

Praise for
Kiss Me, Kill Me
“[A] riveting new series … Lucy continues to be a fascinating and enticing character, and her ongoing development adds depth to an already rich brew of murder and mystery. Brennan rocks!”

RT Book Reviews
Praise for
Love Me to Death
“A world-class nail-biter … Brennan is in the groove with this one.”

New York Times
bestselling author L
EE
C
HILD
“This pulse-ratcheting romantic suspense from Brennan delivers intense action, multifaceted characters, and a truly creepy bad guy … [A] fast-paced, engrossing read.”

Publishers Weekly
“Twists and turns in this dark drama make it creepy and compelling in the extreme!”

RT Book Reviews
(starred)
Praise for
Original Sin
“Brennan shows a deft command of all things both normal and otherworldly in crafting one of the best tales of its kind since Dean Koontz and Stephen King were still writing about monsters. There is no shortage of those here and the result is a new genre classic.”

Providence Journal
Praise for
Fatal Secrets
“A master of suspense, Brennan does another outstanding job uniting horrifying action, procedural drama and the birth of a romance—a prime example of why she’s tops in the genre.”
—Top Pick,
RT Book Reviews
“A fast-paced, action-packed romantic suspense.”
—Romance Junkies
Praise for
Sudden Death
“Brennan knows how to deliver.”

New York Times
bestselling author L
ISA
G
ARDNER
“This very satisfying read presents loads of action that keeps the pages flying—and makes one wonder how much is pure fiction and how much of it could really happen.”
—BookLoons
Praise for
Tempting Evil

Tempting Evil
is an old-fashioned potboiler in all the right ways, chock-full of tried and true hallmarks of the genre.”

The Providence Journal

If I Should Die
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2011 by Allison Brennan
Love Is Murder
by Allison Brennan copyright © 2011 by Allison Brennan
All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

B
ALLANTINE
and colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Rench Audio for permission to reprint an excerpt from “Big Branch” music by Rench, lyrics by Tomasia, performed by Gangstagrass featuring Tomasia. Available at
www.renchaudio.com
. Reprinted by permission.

Love is Murder
was originally published as an ebook in 2011.

eISBN: 978-0-345-52042-5

Cover design by Scott Biel
Cover photograph (woman): Tom Grill/Getty Images

www.ballantinebooks.com

v3.1

Contents

Cover
Title Page
Copyright
Epigraph

Prologue

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five
Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-Seven
Chapter Twenty-Eight
Chapter Twenty-Nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-One
Chapter Thirty-Two
Chapter Thirty-Three
Chapter Thirty-Four
Chapter Thirty-Five
Chapter Thirty-Six
Chapter Thirty-Seven
Chapter Thirty-Eight
Chapter Thirty-Nine
Chapter Forty
Chapter Forty-One
Chapter Forty-Two
Dedication
Acknowledgments
Other Books by This Author
Love Is Murder
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Who’s the outlaw, quick on the draw
Cast the first stone if you don’t have a flaw
Who fills the jails, who lives above the law
White collar, black market, who’s rich, who’s poor
—“Big Branch,” Gangstagrass feat. Tomasia

PROLOGUE

Three months ago

Guilt led him down the dark, cold passage many times that winter.

The weeks of unrelenting snowfall kept most people indoors, huddled in houses with poor insulation and roofs threatening to cave under the pressure of snow and ice. TV newscasters called this an epic winter, though upstate New York had seen it all before.

Jamming his ski poles into the deep snow, he slid to a halt at the main entrance of the abandoned Kelley Mine. The sun inched over the smooth, round mountains, chiseled against the blue sky. He stared at the entrance, frozen in fear and deep pain, as the clear February morning crept up to minus twenty degrees as dawn broke.

The rock and wood barrier appeared impassable, but a hollow spot to the left—visible from only one angle—gave easy access to the mine. He removed his skis and slipped through the opening into the dark tunnel, storing his equipment in an alcove off to the right.

Numbing cold had already seeped into his bones through the many layers of clothing, but he was used to it. Trekking down the main tunnel, he hunched over to avoid hitting his head, a flashlight illuminating the area right in front of him.

The only sounds were his footfalls on the frozen ground and the blood pumping through his veins, its relentless roar an echo in his head. As the tunnel slowly led him deeper into the mountain, his anxiety fueled his imagination. She wasn’t there. She was a ghost. She would seek revenge.

He bit back a strangled sob. In life, she had been kind and smart and forgiving. Would she be different in death?

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