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Don't Say A Word

Don't Say A Word

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"Powerful and absorbing ... Sheer hold-your-breath suspense." -- Karen Robards

Everything she's been told about her past is a lie ...

Julie De Marco is planning a perfect San Francisco wedding when she comes face-to-face with a famous photograph, the startling image of a little girl behind the iron gate of a foreign orphanage—a girl who looks exactly like her. But Julia isn't an orphan. She isn't adopted. And she's never been out of the country. She knows who she is—or does she?

Haunted by uncertainty, Julia sets off on a dangerous search for her true identity—her only clues a swan necklace and an old Russian doll, her only ally daring, sexy photographer Alex Manning. Suddenly nothing is as it seems. The people Julia loved and trusted become suspicious strangers. The relationships she believed in—with her mother, her sister, and her fiance—are shaken by new revelations. The only person she can trust is Alex, but he has secrets of his own. Each step brings her closer to a mysterious past that began a world away—a past that still has the power to threaten her life ... and change her future forever.

DON'T SAY A WORD spent 12 weeks on the NYT Bestseller List!

What the readers are saying...

“An absorbing story of two people determined to unravel the secrets, betrayals, and questions about their past. The story builds to an explosive conclusion that will leave readers eagerly awaiting Barbara Freethy’s next book.” — Carla Neggars

A page-turner that engages your mind while it tugs at your heartstrings … DON’T SAY A WORD had made me a Barbara Freethy fan for life!” — Diane Chamberlain

“What drew me to 
Don't Say a Word was the fear of the unknown. Everybody has questions about who they are and where they came from,, but to come face to face with the answers is scary. Ms. Freethy created a world full of suspense that is as thrilling as it is tragic. Julie serves as a beacon that from some of life's darkest moment can rise many of the brightest.” Isha Coleman – I Love Romance blog


25 years earlier…

She took her bow with the other dancers, tears pressing against her lids, but she couldn't let those tears slip down her cheeks. No one could know that this night was different from any other. Too many people were watching her.

As the curtain came down one last time, she ran off the stage into the arms of her husband, her lover, the man with whom she would take the greatest risk of her life.

He met the question in her eyes with a reassuring smile.

She wanted to ask if it was all arranged, if the plan was in motion, but she knew it would be unwise to speak. She would end this evening as she had ended all those before it. She went into her dressing room and changed out of her costume. When she was dressed, she said good night to some of the other dancers as she walked toward the exit, careful to keep her voice casual, as if she had not a care in the world. When she and her husband got into their automobile, they remained silent, knowing that the car might be bugged.

It was a short drive to their home. She would miss her house, the garden in the back, the bedroom where she'd made love to her husband, and the nursery, where she'd rocked...

No. She couldn't think of that. It was too painful. She had to concentrate on the future when they could finally be free. Her house, her life, everything that she possessed came with strings that were tightening around her neck like a noose, suffocating her with each passing day. It wasn't herself she feared for the most, but her family, her husband, who even now was being forced to do unconscionable things. They could no longer live a life of secrets.

Her husband took her hand as they walked up to the front door. He slipped his key into the lock and the door swung open. She heard a small click, and horror registered in her mind. She saw the shocked recognition in her husband's eyes, but it was too late. They were about to die, and they both knew it. Someone had betrayed them.

She prayed for the safety of those she had left behind as an explosion of fire lit up the night, consuming all their dreams with one powerful roar.