My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper

By:  Bill Benners  Completed
Language: English
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After his sister is brutally attacked and crippled investigating the rape of a thirteen-year-old, Richard Baimbridge rushes back to his hometown of Wilmington, NC, to assist in her recovery only to come face to face with his tormented past and a dark family secret. Serving as his sister's legs, he fights to stay above the flood of childhood trauma as he is drawn into the dark underside of this quiet coastal community where he becomes the primary suspect in the murders of Wilmington's young girls in this riveting suspense thriller that explores the special bond between a brother and sister. More than 500,000 copies sold worldwide. "Bill Benners is a fresh and welcomed new voice in crime fiction. My Sister's Keeper is a compelling and original psychological thriller. Awesome, powder-keg suspense!" --Andrew McAleer, Crimestalker Casebook/

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Maria Paz Ave-Mendoza
Page turning book.
2023-08-12 10:15:19
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sun sun
this book is very good
2022-07-22 11:14:08
60 Chapters
Chapter One
THOMAS WOLFE WAS RIGHT. You can’t go home again. And I wouldn’t have had it not been for my sister’s accident. I flew back to Wilmington, North Carolina, and sat vigil over her for weeks listening to the beeps and clicks of the machinery that kept her alive, pleading with her not to die. Martha was the one person in this world who had always been there for me, believed in me, looked up to me, and never failed me. And I, Richard Charles Baimbridge, could not survive without her.She kept me sane.Even in the darkness of her hospital room, I could see beyond the bruises on her face to the whimsical little girl with auburn hair and bright eyes that had grown up alongside me. The curious perfectionist turned investigative reporter who would not let go of a thing until she’d figured it out. Like the time a girlfriend of hers showed up with a Rubik’s Cube. Martha was only eight at the time, but she’d spun and twisted that
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Chapter Two
IN THE SOLITUDE OF MARTHA’S HOSPITAL ROOM, my mind drifted back to that summer day when a sixteen-year-old neighborhood bully named Jimmy Lassiter pulled a switchblade and tried to rob us. I was fourteen at the time and Martha was ten. Without hesitation, she snatched up a broken chunk of brick and hurled it, permanently blinding him in his right eye, and scarring me internally for the rest of my life. Coward!Why couldn’t I be more like my sister?As I watched over her and prayed for her life, I promised God that night that if he’d let Martha live, no matter how badly she was injured, I’d take care of her for the rest of her life if needed. I hadn’t kept many promises I’d made to God, but that was one promise I did intend to keep.When Martha finally did emerge from her coma and I realized how much rehabilitation she was going to need, I went back to New York City, packed up my Tribeca photography s
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Chapter Three
THE LAST THING I EXPECTED was to be accosted by a couple of women. One was blond with dark eyebrows, the other had dark hair piled high in a bee-hive with a tattoo on her neck—some kind of Chinese symbol. They wore jeans, t-shirts with the sleeves and midriff area ripped off, and metal studs in both their navels and lips—like many of the women you’d run into at Walmart. I saw Martha’s hand moving slowly toward her cell phone.I cleared my throat. “We’re working undercover here. You’d better run along if you don’t want to get in trouble.”The blond smacked a wad of gum and pointed a finger at Martha. “Just keep your hands where we can see them, Sweetie. And you—” She looked at me. "What did Sam Jones tell you, Baimbridge?"Sam Jones? “He—told us to stay away.”“Right. And he don’t like it when you don’t listen.”“We…just&mda
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Chapter Four
"MISTER BAIMBRIDGE?”The woman at the back door held a black umbrella against her shoulder and struggled to keep her balance as she braced herself against a mighty gust of wind. She looked to be in her early twenties.“Yes?”“My name is Ashleigh Matthews. I live in Dr. Hardesty’s pool house next door. May I come inside for a minute?”There was a pained look on her face that reminded me of the loneliness I often felt. The kind of loneliness that gnaws a hole in your chest, steals your youth, and makes you vulnerable.“Sure. Of course. Please come in.” I parted the door just enough to allow her to get past me without letting in the whole storm.“Thanks,” she exhaled dashing past me. As I closed the door, I caught sight of Mrs. Winslow gazing at me from a window. I gave her a two-finger salute and flipped on the kitchen lights.“I’m sorry to impose on you on
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Chapter Five
"STOP!” I shouted.Ashleigh looked up, her hands frozen on the last button.“I’m sorry, Ashleigh. Call me drunk. Call me stupid. Call me whatever you want. I’m as red-blooded as any male and you’re the best-looking woman I’ve had in this house ever! But you just don’t need to be doing that. Please, just call the studio in the morning and make an appointment.”Her gaze remained locked on me even as another heavy branch fell on the deck. Her shirt lay open exposing her bra. It was tempting. God, was it tempting!I turned away. “Please, Ashleigh.” The telephone rang and broke the impasse. I reached for it immediately. “Hello?”It was Mom. “Richie, can you run over and help your dad move Martha’s bed?”I closed my eyes and drew a slow breath. “Move it where, Mom?”“Is something wrong?”“No, nothi
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Chapter Six
I GRIPPED THE DOORKNOB, turned it slowly, and pushed the door open. Except for a pair of white stockings from mid-thigh down, Ashleigh was stark naked. She lay amid a mountain of pillows with her arms thrown back over her head and her legs cocked outward at the knees. Half a dozen lighted candles scented the room and provided the only light. The sight of her took my breath away. She looked like a movie star—Julia Roberts in person, naked.My internal control system changed gears and my movements slowed.She raised a Polaroid camera high and giggled. “Take my picture, Mr. Photographer.”I snickered. “You’re not going to get much of a picture with that thing.”“I don’t care. I just want to see what it looks like.”I sipped my drink, set it on the dresser, took the camera, and stepped back. My heart thumped hard in my chest as I framed her in the viewer. She puckered her lips and cut her eyes at me
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Chapter Seven
BUMBLING TO MY FEET, I stumbled into the house, groped the medicine cabinet for ibuprofen, swallowed three capsules, and downed a full glass of water. Weaving my way to the den, I flopped onto the couch and passed out again. My sleep interfused with images of Ashleigh. Ashleigh straddling me laughing and flirting, her beads pressing against my neck. Ashleigh in white thigh-high stockings with snakes crawling all over her naked body. Ashleigh’s lips against mine. Ashleigh biting a hole in my cheek.At 6:30 a.m., I awoke trembling. My clothes were still wet and every inch of my body ached. The last thing I could remember was passing out on Ashleigh’s bed. God, what must she think of me?I tripped up the stairs, toppled into the shower, and stripped away my clothes. There were scratches on the back of my right hand. I wondered how I’d gotten them, how I’d gotten home, and if I’d made a fool of myself doing it. I turned the water on a
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Chapter Eight
I LED SAM AND THE POLICEMEN into the kitchen as Sam introduced the two with him—a skinny white man named Melrose with the wide lip-less mouth of a lizard, and Crabby Staten, an older black man with gray sideburns and a thick scar across his nose. The heavy-set one, Staten, stood next to me with his arms folded like a nightclub bouncer. Lizard Lips set a black satchel on the breakfast table and stepped closer. Jones fished a small writing pad and mechanical pencil from his shirt pocket. “What’s going on, Sam?” I asked. “Something happen to Ashleigh?” “When did you see her last?” he asked, flipping through the pages of the notepad. I felt as if all three of them were watching me a little too intensely. The muscles in my neck knotted as I considered the reaction I’d get from my answer. “Last night.” That struck a chord and all three of them shifted in unison—like dancers in a Broadway production. Jones widened his stance as he made a note on his pad. Staten adju
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Chapter Nine
THE NEXT MORNING I was dressed and downtown by 7:30. Like my mood, the weather had turned cold and blustery—not the best for Azalea Festival Week. I pulled my collar up against my neck for the short walk to Tripp’s Ham and Eggs still stunned by the events of the night before. Inside, I tracked to the same table with the same five other guys I join for breakfast most every morning.Sappy Talton was doing his customarily splendid job of getting our waitress Sheila flustered and confused. Sappy and I had been best friends since eighth grade when we stole a pack of Lucky Strikes and a can of Miller’s Beer from Smith’s IGA, which started a summer of wildness that cemented our friendship forever.A burst of laughter spread through the group as I took a seat. That’s what I like about these guys. They’re relaxed and fun to be around. No heavy burdens allowed.Besides Sappy, there was Fred Gorman, a salt and pepper-haired fish
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Chapter Ten
ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT for the rest of the morning was Joe’s admonitions and how he’d acted. My creativity was gone and I couldn’t concentrate. I made it through my first appointment on pure instinct. My eleven o’clock was an on-site conference with the younger sister of a girl I dated back in high school. Pulling into the parking lot of the Deagan Dance Center a few minutes early, I parked next to a black Mazda van lettered with the school’s logo. I’d driven by this place thousands of times, but had never paid much attention to it. The grounds were well-kept and framed with gigantic oak trees budding with new life and dripping with long strands of Spanish moss.I entered a spacious lobby plastered with dance-related posters, informational signs, photographs, and three large TV monitors high on one wall each showing a different empty classroom. Long wooden benches lined three sides of the lobby, and there was a receptionist center
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