Ginny Shapiro stares at the photograph of seven smiling schoolgirls from the exclusive Montgomery Academy. Six of them are dead. She is the only one still alive.
The phone rings. Ginny gets in her car and speeds away. Anywhere. Fast.
FBI agent Sullivan Dean has the photo, tooas well as information that came too late to save the others. Tracking Ginny down to an isolated cabin in Mississippi, he's hell-bent on stopping her from becoming the final victim. What happened to those girls twenty years ago? The answer is locked deep in Ginny's memory; the key is somewhere in the dangerous world of mind control, where a sound, a word, a voice, can trigger death. For Ginny and Sully, the world is closing inand passion between them is exploding. But time is running out, and death is within arm's reach every time the phone rings.
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Upstate New York, 1979
Edward Fontaine stood at the doorway, watching the children on the playground while keeping an eye on the weather. As headmaster of Montgomery Academy, a small private school, it was his duty to oversee every aspect of the daily routine, including the welfare of the children.
Granted, his teachers were doing their part as they stood duty out on the playground, but Edward had a bird's eye view from the top of the steps. As he watched, he felt a shift in the wind and glanced up at the sky. The light, fluffy clumps of clouds that had been there earlier were now massing into something large and dark. Although the play period was not over, he didn't want to take a chance on one of the children being shuck by lightning, so he hurried into his office and rang the bell. It echoed throughout the building and out on the grounds, and even though he was still inside, he could hear the collective shouts of the children's dismay.
As he reached the top steps, the first rumble of thunder shook the windows. The children's reluctance to end their play was replaced with frantic haste as the teachers began herding them inside.
"Hurry! Hurry!" Edward shouted, calling to the youngest children at the very farthest end of the grounds. "It's going to storm. You must come inside!"
Virginia Shapiro and her best friend, Georgia, had been at the top of the slide when the first bell rang. At six years old, their dilemma now became one of climbing back down the steps or sliding down and risking the wrath of having"played" when they were supposed to be going inside. When the second ripple of thunder shattered the sky above them, Virginia began to cry. Georgia took her by the hand, uncertain what to do.
Edward could tell the children were in trouble and bolted down the steps. As he ran, it occurred to him that he should be in better shape, but the thought disappeared with the first drops of rain upon his face.
"Come, children, come," he urged, standing at the foot of the slide. "It's all right. Just slide to me. We'll go inside together."
Georgia tugged at Virginia's hand, giving her a brave little smile.
"Come on, Ginny ... we'll go together, like always."
Ginny sniffled and nodded, and moments later they went flying down the slick, metal surface and right into Mr. Fontaine's arms.
"That's my good girls," he said, quickly taking each one by the hand. "Now let's run. I'll bet I can beat you."
The girls squealed and pulled loose from his grasp as they tore off across the yard. He sighed with relief and then started after them at a jog, knowing full well he was going to be wet before he got back.
They were nowhere in sight as he entered the building. But as his eyes adjusted to the dimmer light, he saw them at the far end of the hall, scurrying toward the last room on the left.
He'd almost forgotten. Today was Thursday. The Gifted and Talented Class met on Thursdays. The niggle of doubt that crossed his mind was not the first he'd had as he watched the door close behind them. It wasn't as if he was allowing anyone to harm them. Quite the opposite. Those particular seven little girls had one thing in common that had garnered them access to the class. And the money he'd received as a "special endowment" for allowing the class to proceed was not something he could overlook. The fact that the parents didn't realize the true nature of the class often disturbed him, but he knew the children were not being harmed. Besides, it was already done, and that was that.
A strong gust of wind blew a curtain of rain against the backs of his legs. Turning his mind to more pertinent affairs, he quickly shut the doors of the main entrance and went to his office. There was always paperwork to be done,
Inside the last room on the left, seven little girls sat quietly in their respective chairs, watching for the teacher to begin. The glass in the windows rattled as thunder continued to rumble. They didn't hear the rain peppering against the windows or see the lightning as it began to flash. Their eyes were on the teacher, their minds focused on the sound of his voice.
That night, long after the children had gone home, the storm still raged. Wind-whipped trees bent low to the ground, their branches bowing in supplication to the greater strength of the storm.
Just before midnight, a great shaft of lightning came down from the sky, shattering wood and shingles alike as it pierced the roof of the school. Before anyone noticed, the school was completely engulfed in flames. By morning, there was nothing left but an exterior wall and a huge pile of smoldering timbers.
Edward Fontaine stood on the outskirts of the playground, looking at what was left of his school in disbelief. He didn't have the resources to start all over again, and going back into the classroom as a teacher
Excerpted from Storm Warning by Dinah McCall. Copyright © 2001 by Sharon Sala. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Exceptional I read this book when it was first released and it is still one of my all time favorite books. It kept my attention and I remember staying up all night just to finish it. I had borrowed it to a friend and never did get it back from her and really wanted a copy of the book. I finally found it a few years ago and bought it. Now I wish I had it on my Nook.
this is my second book of ms.dinah mccall... ive been craving for her other story after reading Bloodlines...i've been crazy surfing the internet just to have her other books on my next list to find in bookstore...so all i can say about this book is "Great" really page turner and makes u stay up til 4 o'clock in the morning! the romance is very perfect blend for the thrilling great book! now im going to read her other books "Mimosa Groove" and im sure that this is going to be just great as like her other story! for those who haven't read the bloodline ill recommend to read it and this "Storm Warning"
This book was an outstanding mix of the pleasures evoked by a rich mind. It was gutwrenching and calming all at once and McCall mastered dthe psycholoical aspects of the book. Enjoy
This was a refreshingly different novel with a real plot twist towards the end. The author spiced up the suspense with just the right amount of romance. I would recommend this on anyone's summer reading list.
Six seemingly well adjusted women including a nun commit suicide following a phone call. Before Sister Mary dies, she sees the link between herself and the other students from the gifted class they all belonged to years ago. She sends a package to the other remaining survivor St. Louis reporter Virginia ¿Ginny¿ Shapiro and to her brother¿s best friend FBI agent Sullivan Dean before she kills herself too. Ginny grasps what her friend¿s warning means and flees into the night. Sullivan believes that in spite of a reliable witness, somehow an unknown assailant killed Sister Mary. He vows to protect Ginny from the serial killer and follows her paper trail to Tallahatchie River Landing, Mississippi. As they work together, Ginny and Sullivan fall in love, but how can they keep her safe when a murderer is just a phone call away? STORM WARNING is an exciting romantic suspense novel that starts off with six unexplained suicides before changing into a romantic police procedural with psychological overtones. Readers will find Ginny and Sullivan to be charming characters with a strong support cast augmenting the tension. Although a major red herring seems contrived and unnecessary, this well written novel never eases up on the throttle as Dinah McCall shows why she is a best selling author. Harriet Klausner
Dinah McCall has done it again. I am rarely disappointed when I finish reading her books. After reading the first chapter, I was hooked. I really enjoyed the characters. Ginny was a very strong and determined women. She was smart enough to sense the danger she was in and get the hell out of dodge. I got a kick out of some of her cooking techniques. Can you imagine what a bologna, cheese, mayo, and radish sandwich would taste like? Gross! Sully was the typical hero. As soon as he saw Ginny, he wanted her. The plot was very different. I thought what Dr. Karnoff was experimenting with and what most of his research was about to be interesting. To bad, it got so many people killed. When the guilty party was revealed, I was a little surprised. I thought they were a little of their rocker but I certainty did not expect the book to end the way it did. I would totally recommend the book. It¿s pretty fast paced and hard to put down.
J: This is a really, really good story.
Very goog read