Exile: a novel

Exile: a novel by Richard North Patterson Read Free Book Online

Book: Exile: a novel by Richard North Patterson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Richard North Patterson
Tags: Richard North Patterson
distracted.”
    David was forced to smile. Carole was very good at reading others— including, in many if not all ways, David himself. But this was not the right occasion for unvarnished truth. “Why shouldn’t I be?” he answered amiably. “We just set a date. I’m getting married in seven months, at the age of thirty-eight. In a huge wedding. I’m both too old and too young for that sort of thing, and suddenly I’m on the conveyor belt to fatherhood. Which I find a little daunting.”
    Carole grinned, good humor restored. As if seeing her for the first time in days—which, given the events of his morning, did not seem that far off—David found himself studying the woman he soon would marry. Carole had a full, curvaceous figure, wavy brown hair, and a pretty, wholesome face, complicated by the deep brown pools of eyes whose almond shape carried a hint of Eurasia, once prompting David to suggest to her that some female Polish ancestor had been ravaged by a Tatar passing through her village. Though her expression was habitually pleasant, it had a resolute cast, suggesting the planner and organizer she was. The Carole Shorr School of Management, David once told her, was what America truly needed.
    “The world,” she had amended cheerfully. “If only I had the time.”
    Certainly, Carole Shorr managed her slice of the world with consummate practicality and efficiency. She was smart and socially adept, with anassertive charm that made people like her and, more often than not, do what she wanted. She leavened her determination with a warm, sometimes lightly flirtatious manner, mixed with humor. All this added up to a gift for knowing the influentials of the Jewish community, the Democratic Party, and, at times, the larger world, without the sharp elbows or avidity that would have made her a figure of sport or envy.
    All of which made her indispensable to David. Beyond this, only he was privileged to know that she was sexy not just in manner but in fact, with an openness that had, at first, surprised him. And only he saw Carole’s vulnerability—a deep desire to be needed, to be cherished and respected by a partner she knew to be her peer.
    “Oh, I know,” Carole told him now. “It’s so hard being a guy.” Glancing at her watch, she picked up her purse and stood. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything. Including having the babies.”
    David snatched the suit coat off the back of his chair. “Good. I’m best at delegation.”
    “Just do your part. Sort of like you did this morning.” Abruptly, her expression became more probing. “So what did happen between then and now? Something.”
    David opened his door, waving her past his secretary’s empty desk. “Have I mentioned that you are a remarkably perceptive woman? Relentlessly so.”
    Carole laughed. “As soon as we’re married, I promise to change. Until then you’ll have to put up with my sensitivity to your moods.”
    They reached the elevator to the parking garage. Pushing the button, David said, “You’ll remember I was meeting with Marnie Sharpe.”
    “It didn’t go so well?”
    The elevator opened. Carole stepped inside, then David. “Given that she hates me,” he answered, “it never goes well. I got what I wanted. But not before Marnie accused me of leaking to the press some fiction about an FBI investigation, then exploiting it to knock years off my client’s sentence.”
    “And did you?”
    David smiled. “Of course. But it still hurt.”
    Carole gave him a dubious look. “Isn’t that unethical?”
    “Not to me. And it’s certainly not illegal.” Pausing, he spoke more seriously. “First, I believe Raymond’s story, though a lawyer believes clients at his peril. Second, the FBI should have investigated. Truth to tell, I didn’t know what the FBI was doing. I only knew what they should be doing. Sharpe wouldn’t listen to me. So I decided to encourage the FBI by othermeans.” David smiled again. “Any lawyer can

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