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Gail Bowen Ebook Bundle

286 pages
Three compelling mysteries in one ebook bundle that includes the first three novels by Gail Bowen featuring the successful talk-show radio host Charlie D. Charlie D’s listeners have a particularly intimate relationship with him and often reveal much about themselves, confident that he will honor their trust and that he can save them. But Charlie feels he's something of a fake. His easy confidence on-air belies the reality for a man born with a wine-colored birthmark that covers half his face. The first novel, Love you to Death, covers one hour on "The World According to Charlie D"--an hour during which he must both discover the long-time listener who is killing the people who trust him and attempt to come to terms with the man behind the birthmark. In the second novel, One Fine Day You’re Gonna Die, events on Charlie D's radio show take a bizarre turn when one of his callers threatens to kill not only himself but also the young daughter of Charlie's on-air guest, who happens to be an expert on death and dying. And in the final novel in this bundle, Charlie D has only two hours to find a troubled young boy and then convince him not to kill his father and the rest of his family.
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Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
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Ééçôîç ôôà  ----.-- ----
ï îé ïï Śéîéŝ àî éàŝ Ôîé .  . --
Summary:éé Çàîé  ŝéîéŝ
Ôçà ôôK ûîŝéŝ àéû àçKôééŝ é ŝûô ô îŝ ûîŝî ôàŝ ôîé  é ôôî àéçîéŝ é ôéé ô Çààà ôû é Çààà ôôK û à é Çààà Çôûçî ô é Āŝ à é ôîçé ô îîŝ Çôûîà ôû é Ç Āŝ Çôûçî à é ôôK ûîŝî à Çéî
éŝî  ééŝà ûéà
      ô Ś ô îçôîàÇààà Çûŝé   - ôçàôôKçô        
to death
bowen love you to death
g a il b o w e n
love you to death
g a il b o w e n
To Kelley Jo Burke, who understands the power of radio and uses it wisely.
C h a p t er o n e
wise man once saidpercent of life ais just showing up. An hour before midnight, five nights a week, fifty weeks a year, I show up at CVOX radio. Our studios are in a concrete-and-glass box in a strip mall. The box to the left of us sells discount wedding dresses. The box to the right of us rents XXX movies. The box where I work sells talk radio—“ALL TALK/ALL THE TIME.” Our call letters are on the roof. TheOin CVOX is an open, red-lipped mouth with a tongue that looks like Mick Jagger’s.
g àIL b O W E N
After I walk under Mick Jaggers tongue, I pass through security, make my way down the hall and slide into a dark-ened booth. I slip on my headphones and adjust the microphone. I spend the next two hours trying to convince callers that life is worth living. Im good at my job— so good that sometimes I even convince myself. My name is Charlie Dowhanuik. But on air, where we can all be who we want to be, Im known as Charlie D. I was born with my mothers sleepy hazel eyes and clever tongue, my fathers easy charm, and a wine-colored birthmark that covers half my face. In a moment of intimacy, the only woman Ive ever loved, now, alas, dead, touched my cheek and said, “You look as if youve been dipped in blood.” One of the ver y few people who dont flinch when they look at my face is Nova (“Proud to Be Swiss”) Langenegger.
l O V E yO U T O d E à T H
For nine years, Nova has been the producer of my show, “The World According to Charlie D.” She says that when she looks at me she doesnt see my birthmark—all she sees is the major pain in her ass. Tonight when I walk into the studio, she narrows her eyes at me and taps her watch. Its a humid night and her blond hair is frizzy. She has a zit on the tip of her nose. Shes wearing a black maternity T-shirt that saysBelieve It or Not, I Used to Be Hot. “Dont sell yourself short, Mama Nova,” I say. “Youre still hot. Those hormones that have been sluicing through your body for nine months give you a very sexy glow.” “Thats not a sexy glow,” she says. “Thats my blood pressure spiking. Were on the air in six minutes. Ive been calling and texting you for two hours. Where were you?” I open my knapsack and hand her a paper bag that glistens with grease from
g àIL b O W E N
the onion rings inside. “There was a lineup at Fat Boys,” I say. Nova shakes her head. “You always know what I want.” She slips her hand into the bag, extracts an onion ring and takes a bite. Usually this first taste gives her a kids pleasure, but tonight she chews on it dutifully. It might as well be broc-coli. “Charlie, we need to talk,” she says. “About Ian Blaise.” “He calls in all the time,” I say. “Hes doing fine. Seeing a shrink. Back to work part-time. Considering that its only been six months since his wife and daughters were killed in that car accident, his recovery is a miracle.” Nova has lovely eyes. Theyre as blue as a northern sky. When she laughs, the skin around them crink les. It isnt crin-kling now. “Ian jumped from the roof of his apartment building Saturday,” she says. “Hes dead.”
l O V E yO U T O d E à T H
I feel as if Ive been k icked in the stomach. “He called me at home last week. We talked for over an hour.” Nova frowns. “Weve been over this a hundred times. You shouldnt give out your home number. Its dangerous.” “Not as dangerous as being without a person you can call in the small hours,” I say tightly. “Thats when the ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties can drive you over the edge. I remember the feeling well.” “The situation may be more sinister than that, Charlie,” Nova says. “This morning someone sent us Ians obituary. This index card was clipped to it.” Nova hands me the card. Its the kind school kids use when they have to make a speech in class. The message is neatly printed, and I read it aloud. “‘Ian Blaise wasnt worth your time, Charlie. None of them are. Theyre cutting off your oxygen.