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By Elaine Marie Alphin

"An engrossing, suspenseful novel that's bound to preserve the reader glued to the page." (Kirkus Reviews)

Cameron Miller is the son of a assassin. All he has ever recognized is the stench of the locked cellar, the place he can pay attention the blows and cries and his father's torrent of terror and abuse. Then a miracle occurs: his father is killed in a police shootout. within the aftermath, Cameron grabs his one probability for a traditional lifestyles: he is taking at the id of Neil Lacey, a boy who Mr. Miller had kidnapped six years in the past. As Neil, he has a existence with loving mom and dad, a brother and sister, and the comforts in simple terms funds should buy. yet a person understands what Cameron's doing—someone with the ability to show his lifestyles again right into a nightmare.

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It fairly used to be my fault," he informed her. "Please do not punish Diana. I may still take her punishment. " She seemed shocked, her eyes nonetheless damp and her golden hair matted. "Neil—" she begun. "I suggest it," he stated, and swallowed. "Blame me. She basically took me simply because I requested. " Then he grew to become and moved quickly to his room. He close the door quietly, not like Diana, and regarded round for Stevie. The room used to be empty with the exception of the luggage of recent outfits piled on his table, and Cameron felt aid wash over him. He methodically unpacked the rest luggage and positioned the garments away. Then he walked unsteadily to the a long way facet of the room, to the little hole among his mattress and the wall, and sat together with his again opposed to the wall. He pulled his knees as much as his chest and wrapped his palms round them, the way in which he used to do within the cellar. He laid his head down on his folded hands and closed his eyes. The punishment might come quickly sufficient, he instructed himself, and felt a strange mix of aid and worry. Pop had consistently acknowledged he was once in simple terms punishing him simply because Cameron used to be so undesirable. Pop purely did it simply because he enjoyed him. Cameron knew he deserved the beatings, and a part of him had questioned if this family members could ever love him adequate to punish him. yet a part of him used to be terrified of that love, too. He remembered pondering within the health facility that Mr. Lacey gave the impression of a good guy, and he puzzled what a good punishment will be for breaking a rule like unlikely off on my own. 5 strokes with a belt? Ten? it'd be worse than a belt, yet Cameron did not imagine so. yet he'd requested for Diana's punishment, too. Twenty strokes with a belt might be not easy to face, specifically if the guy used the buckle. He puzzled why he'd spoken up. It was once her personal fault, for shouting again. She must have stored quiet and apologized. and he or she hadn't listened to him whilst he'd attempted to inform her. like the boys. … He jumped somewhat at a noisy knock, then the door burst open. "Neil? " He squeezed his knees extra tightly and wanted she'd leave. Hadn't she heard the order to stick in her room till her father selected the punishment? No ask yourself Pop had killed Neil, he idea bitterly. If the boy was once something like his sister, he hadn't had the feel to obey. "What are you doing hiding down there? " Her voice sounded funny—confused and apologetic. Cameron raised his head and seemed up at her. Diana stood over him, frowning and chewing her decrease lip. "Mom acknowledged i did not need to remain in my room. She's long gone in to the museum to variety the recent donations in spite of everything. " She paused. "I figured if i did not need to remain, you convinced did not. " He shrugged, now not bothering to give an explanation for that she did not have to stick simply because he'd taken on her punishment. "Why'd you do this? " she requested without notice. "What? " "Tell mother it used to be your entire fault. " He shrugged back. "Why did not you close up, or simply say you have been sorry? " he requested her. "But it wasn't reasonable! " she cried, outraged. "So? " She frowned at him. "What do you suggest? " "What does reasonable need to do with whatever? " Cameron attempted to give an explanation for. "Grown-ups—they do what they need.

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