TEASER from upcoming book: Come Back To Me

This short excerpt is narrated by Malcolm, Vin Vanbly’s older brother. In the previous books, not much has been revealed about Malcolm, only that he is an African-American police officer, roughly twenty years older than Vin. Vin and Malcolm adopted each other as brothers at some point. This excerpt seemed appropriate to share today, Saint Patrick’s Day.


Come Back To Me is scheduled for release in the first half of 2016.


“One night in early March, I came home and found a note in the vegetable crisper. I had mentioned the day prior I needed to use up the damn broccoli. Vin had anticipated me. The note invited me to bar on north Clark street to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. He had written in block letters, PLEASE COME and underlined the words. I joined him that evening, despite how much I hated the day. All day, we answered noise complaints, party complaints, domestic complaints from people so drunk they could barely form words. This day brought out the worst in people, not the best, but Vin had never invited me out for a beer, or even to meet him outside the house, and I could not pass this opportunity.

“Vin had secured a table, no small feat in this crowded establishment, and had my favorite beer waiting for me. I was touched by this small gesture. He nodded. I nodded. We drank for a bit and watched the crazy people get drunker and drunker. Vin said, ‘It’s my birthday.’ I said, ‘Happy birthday.’ Vin said, ‘It’s not actually my birthday.’ After a moment he said, ‘I don’t know when mine is, and I need a birthday. Everyone has a birthday, right? I pick today. I was horrified and I’m sure my expression showed it. ‘It’s a good day,’ Vin said. ‘there’s always going to be a party on my birthday, and people are always happy today.’

“I said, ‘They’re in a good mood because they’re drunk. That’s not happy. Don’t pick this shitty, shitty day as your birthday, Vin. You will regret it. It will fucking haunt you. Vin laughed, and this was a new sound from him—laughter. He said, ‘I might actually be Irish, you know. I mean, look at me. Or maybe I’m German. Or Finnish. You know, blonds.’ I realized at this moment, it was officially, our first real, sustained conversation. But I couldn’t talk him out of it. He had picked Saint Patrick’s Day and he thought it was genius.

“We sat together on Vin’s first birthday drinking beer and conversing. We talked about sports even though it held no interest for either of us. We were hunting for common ground. I did not ask questions about his upbringing or anything to do with his former life. We mostly stared at the people around us and I started telling him my observations. He had made his own observations, and I discovered his talent—which I had suspected—was real. We ordered corn beef sandwiches, because, that’s what you do. Vin insisted on paying for everything.

“After that Saint Patrick’s Day, he changed. He ate more. Left his room. We would go out together and I would teach him how to watch people, watch for what was true, and then the truths behind their true. He already possessed this skill. I enhanced it. Vin always took it too far, further than I would. He would intervene. Once we observed a woman hailing a cab and both concluded—based on her clothes, her hairstyle, and the way she held her umbrella—she didn’t much like her appearance. Before I could stop him, Vin crossed the street to her and spoke to her. She smiled. When he returned to me, he explained, ‘I told her she looked beautiful.’

“Vin was beginning to find his own way.”

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