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High drama and suspense are always parts of this novel. The dramatic sequences and the ever-present suspense keep readers reading.


DALE AND Leilani found a pay phone. They called John and Maria, and asked them to hurry to the hospital. Dale slammed the phone into its cradle and headed for the business office.
In a businesslike manner, he announced, "I have come to check Leilani Summers out of the psych ward." He presented Grandestmother's note.
The clerk studied the kids--a guy dressed like someone from the streets and one of their patients. Do these kids think I'm crazy? the clerk wondered. What are they trying to pull over on me? She called the psych ward to check things out.
Seconds later, two male nurses showed up to escort Leilani back to her room. Dale stepped in front of her and took on a karate pose. "Hai! Ya! Touch her, and you're history!"
One of the nurses told a clerk, "Page the supervisor of the Department of Psychology."
A distinguished-appearing psychologist wearing a short-sleeved white shirt with a black tie came in. He was carrying a white lab coat over his arm. He read Grandestmother's note. He gave Dale a look of utter contempt. Mimicking the accent of an Englishman, he sneered, "Well, this is just bloody great!" He followed that with an insulting, "Are you John or Maria Bright?"
"Obviously not!" Dale smarted back. "But I've called them, and they're on their way. I want the paperwork started."
"It doesn't matter to me what you want, son. You are not in control here. I can declare this patient suicidal or homicidal and keep her confined to this hospital. There won't be a thing either of you can do about that."
Dale didn't answer. He was running the doctor's familiar words back and forth through his mind. Just bloody great! The words made his skin crawl and seemed strangely familiar. He studied the doctor's bushy eyebrows, the deep dimple in his chin, and all at once, Dale recognized him!
Dale's anger rose to an instant boil, but he hid his feelings and acted as if nothing was wrong. He had learned to be a talented actor on the streets where doing con jobs is the way to survive. So he merely put