Norah McClintock presents...

The Chloe & Levesque series

Double Cross

From the second she met him, Chloe thought Jonah was a jerk. So what's she doing going all over the place with him, telling lies, getting in trouble, all to prove that his father isn't a murderer? Especially when she isn't even sure it's true? In this nail-biting sequel to Over the Edge, Chloe finally pieces together what happened the day Mary Shackleton died. The trouble is, the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to danger.

Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN 0-439-95634-X PBK
256 pages
Ages 12+
4 3/16" x 6 ¾"


Excerpt

“My father didn’t have a grudge against my mother.”

“They argued a lot over whether or not to sell some land your mother owned, didn’t they?” When he looked as if he were going to shake his head, I said, “Four or five people testified at your father’s trial that they had heard them arguing. One of your mother’s friends said your mother was so angry with your father that she even asked about a divorce lawyer.”

“She wasn’t serious.”

I looked into his blue, blue eyes. “Do you know that for a fact or do you just hope she wasn’t serious?”

Talk about poking an already enraged Rottweiler. He swept to his feet.

“Are you saying I didn’t know my own mother?”

Stay calm, Chloe. Make him listen.

“You were, what, ten years old at the time?”

“Almost eleven.”

“How much does any ten- or eleven-year-old really know about his parents’ lives? People heard them fighting. Your own aunt testified at the trial that your mother was very unhappy with your father for trying to pressure her into selling her land to developers. Other people, friends of your father, testified that he was angry with your mother for refusing to sell.”

“You’re saying my father did it, aren’t you?”

“I’m saying people — the twelve people on the jury, in particular — believed that your father had a strong enough reason to kill your mother that they convicted him of murder. I’m saying, if he didn’t do it, then someone else must have, and if someone did, whoever it was must have had a reason. And I’m saying that if you have any ideas about who that someone might be, it could really help.”

He nodded slowly and just as slowly sat down. I sat quietly, watching him until, finally, he shook his head.

“Everyone liked Mom,” he said. His lips were firmly set, as if he were trying to keep control of himself. “Everyone liked her a lot.” He closed his eyes tight. Then he said, “Maybe it was a stranger.”

“According to the newspaper coverage of the trial, the doors to the house were locked and there was no sign of forced entry. Anyone who went into the house got in because they had a key, or because your mother let them in.” I left out the alternative — that the murderer was already in the house. “That’s why the police concluded that the killer was someone your mother knew, and, if you ask me, that makes sense.”

His temper exploded again and he stood up abruptly, sending his chair scudding backwards.

“And because everyone liked my mom and no one except my father had a reason to kill her, then my father must have done it, is that it?”

“Jonah — ”

“Forget it, okay? Just forget the whole thing!”

He stomped out of the room and down the hall to the stairs. This time I didn’t try to stop him. I listened as his footsteps grew fainter and fainter. Only then did I gather my things together and leave the building.

From Double Cross. Copyright © 2000 by Norah McClintock. All rights reserved.