Prologue

Standing in the shadows had become a way of life for Samson, he had always stood in dark corners, waiting for things to happen, or waiting to make things happen.  He didn’t complain, or at least I never heard him complain, but I often wondered at what he did in those moments of quiet contemplation.

He wasn’t a strange man, he was fairly average in about all the ways you could consider for a human being, but did stay to himself more than anyone else I had ever met.  And standing quietly, out of the way, letting the world slip by, seemed to be the perfect thing for him.

On this night, or perhaps it was early morning by this time, he was waiting patiently for someone to arrive home.

Delilah (not her real name) was expected to be out celebrating the upcoming closing of a major deal for her firm, and Samson was supposed to see her at home afterwards, but it was already late, and she still hadn’t shown up.  Samson wasn’t worried though, Delilah wasn’t exactly someone who would spend an unplanned evening in the arms of a stranger, or even someone she had known for a while.  She was a “straight shooter” and didn’t ask too many questions.  It pained Samson to have to wait, for he had a schedule he liked to keep, and waiting until the wee hours of the morning wasn’t exactly what he had in mind.

After celebrating, Delilah was to come home, feed her fish in their small aquarium, and then turn in.  This is what Samson was waiting for, she should be home any minute now and he wanted to make sure he didn’t miss her arrival.  It was important to be at the right place at the right time for Samson, so much could be riding on a slight miscalculation, that he’d rather wait longer than planned, than leave and not get another chance.

So he stood and waited.  Sometimes he would sit in order or flex his knees, not wanting them to crack and make him uncomfortable, or created unwanted sounds.  Samson liked the quiet.

It must have been close to 3:30 in the morning when Delilah came home.  He heard her jangling the keys and trying to get them into the lock of her penthouse door.  She was probably too drunk to realize how uncoordinated she was, and it sounded like she missed the lock several times before sliding the key into the lock and opening the door.

It was dark in the apartment, and she looked only slightly ruffled, but she definitely had too much alcohol in her system to see straight.  She closed the door without turning on the light, probably her eyes were too red and tired to stand the blast of light from even the small entry lamp.

She sighed, shook her head, and thought better of it mid shake, then hung up her evening coat on a hook and put down her purse by the door.  She had obviously celebrated much more than she had intended, and was dreading the suffering she would surely do the next morning.  But she had to be ready, it was at 9am that she would be signing the contract that would make her company very happy, and her very rich, not that she wasn’t already.

What to do to prevent the oncoming train of pain.  Alka-Seltzer?  Gatorade?  Maybe a cold shower was in order.  But Delilah just didn’t feel up to it.  A cold shower meant setting the water, taking off clothes, standing still for at least a few minutes, and she was frankly exhausted.  In the morning she woudl deal with it, maybe honey on toast with vitamin c supplements and a bottle of Gatorade to wash it all down.  It had worked before, but never had she felt so sure it wouldn’t be enough.

So it was decided, bed now, pain tomorrow.  She walked down the hallway to the master bedroom, dropped off all of her clothes and slipped under the covers.  Adjusting the pillow slightly she lied on her back with her head pillowed gently for a nice nights sleep.  Before too long she was breathing deeply.

Samson heard her come in, and heard her preparations for bed.  He had wondered if she would take the honey and toast cure she had experimented with in the past, but she apparently didn’t feel the energy required on this night.  Samson knew she would be asleep quickly, lying on her back as always, facing the world, rather than hiding from it.  He knew that she would be more focused on her upcoming day at work than pretty much anything else.  It would only be moments before he would see her in bed, ready to sleep the night away.  She wouldn’t disturb him, probably wouldn’t even know he was there, that’s how focused she was on just getting into bed and sleeping.

Stepping from the dining room, he saw her enter her bedroom and quickly disrobe.  She was always a quick sleeper and tonight (this morning?) was no different, her heard her pull back the covers and slip into the bed.  He listened to her gently arranging herself in the bed, and find her comfortable spot to sleep in.  He knew her habits as well as he knew his own, she was special to him in ways that not everyone would understand.  He slowly walked towards the master bedroom and listened to her some more.  Her breathing, while at first troubled, slowly eased it’s way to the gentle rhythm that told him she had finally found her way to gentle sleep.

The bedroom door was open and he could see her there, covers to her chin and asleep.  He contemplated her for a moment or two and through about all he had been through, and how she had come into his life.  She had changed him too.  Her gentle mannerisms, and sly comments showed her to be a caring person, but her viciousness at work showed that she could be a shark when needed.  He often wondered how she would react in bed with him, would she be the shark, or the gentlest of lambs.  Her ruthlessness in business was carefully hidden by her gentle charms, but that was not unusual for the truly successful woman today.

Finally he knew it was time, carefully he looked at her composed face and took aim, he remembered, as always, the silencer, two shots, one for each eye, opening them up to the heavens forever.

Quickly Samson headed for the door of the apartment and made his way to the elevator.  It wouldn’t be long now, the elevator doors would open and he would be gone, no one would ever know he was there, and no one would even understand what had happened.  It was quiet, and it was late, nothing could stand in the way of another successful day.

The elevator doors slid open and a man came out, he looked almost as drunk as Delilah was, and brushed past Samson as he made his way to the apartment, her apartment.  Samson entered the elevator and pressed the button for the lobby as he held the door close button.  He needed to be down and out of the building as quickly as possible.  This stranger may not know him, but might be able to identify him if needed.  The man entered the apartment with a key!  Where did he get the key, no one else had been in the apartment for the weeks that Samson had been following her, who could this new person be?  It was as the door was closing that Samson heard the scream…

Preconceived Notions…

This has been bothering me over the past few days, as I’ve been reading the novel by Marc Levy.  It’s been bothering me because at some point last week I decided that the book was a book, within a book, and I can’t seem to get that out of my head.  Now reading anything with some sort of preconceived notion will influence what you read, how you think about what you read, and even the emphasis different words play in the writing.

So what have I based my notion on?  Well,the book is written in two styles, one portion of the book, Adrien, the male lead, writes in the first person of his experiences first in the mountains of Chile, and then when he returns to London after suffering from lack of oxygen and almost bleeding to death on top the mountains.  The second portion of the book is about Keira, the female lead, which is written in the second person, someone looking over her shoulder perhaps, telling us readers what has been happening to her since her return to Paris from Africa after a sandstorm destroys her archaeological dig.

So the two styles of writing tend to favor this notion of mine, and even more so, Adrien is developing a proposal to a group of investors to the college he works with regards to his theory of life on a distant planet similar to ours, which will tell him more about the beginning of life on earth.  His proposal is being put together with help from a colleague who finds it boring, but over time he improves it and perhaps it’s that story about Keira, who’s searching for the beginnings of life on earth directly, which makes up his proposal.

Crazy eh?  I think so as well, but darn it if I can’t get it out of my head.  I’ve almost asked my sister in law, who’s book this is, if this is possible, but then that would ruin it for me if I happen to be correct, and even if I happen to be completely wrong.  Probably the biggest problem is the way I tend to be able to see the end of a popular story long before it’s completed, something I find disturbing when reading, or even watching television.  What got me interested in different authors in the first place was to see if I could find one that surprises me in the end.

To that end, Koontz almost did with Odd Thomas, which I did manage to finish reading last week.  But alas, even Koontz fell short.

That’s all I’ve got to read this week “Le Premier Jour” should you have any suggestions for my next read, please pass them along, I”m always interested in a good read, if not, I’ll re-read one of the hundred or so books in my library!

The next day…

“Le Premier Jour” is the current french read that I’m working on, although I must say it’s not really work when you can enjoy it so much.  As a bilingual Canadien, I find myself reading frequently in one language, and then wishing I had more opportunity to read in the other.  Being raised by an english mom, and bilingual dad, I found myself going to english school and doing the majority of my reading in english.  But being a Quebecois, I naturally found friends who spoke french, and as all of my father’s family was french, it became a rather large portion of my life.

And still, I don’t read so much in french…  Mostly because I just don’t know all that many good french authors, make that I know almost none at all.  What I’ve learned about french authors I learned from my rather extended family.  First was a series of books my sisters husband was reading, it looked interesting, and I decided to borrow them.  They were wonderful novels and I’ll chat about them at some point in the future.  But one doesn’t always see all that much publicity about french authors.  Maybe they’re just drowned by the plethora of info and news about American authors.

But I love reading, and will do so no matter what chance I get, french, english and if I knew other languages, those too I suppose.

I recently finished reading “Odd Thomas”, written by Dean Koontz, who I”ve become a fast fan of.  The “Odd” character isn’t really that odd, just gifted, or as some may say, cursed.  He sees the dead, and can interact with them to some degree, but they cannot speak to him.  They are soundless, but as we find out at the start of the novel, they are not without their means of communication.  They can touch and affect Odd physically, both directly and indirectly (as in potergeists)  They can even get sound to him, as when Odd picks up a Shell in the front garden and hears what I took to be some animal in heat, or a rutting pig, which turns out to be not so far from the mark.  The book isn’t exactly predictable, it does have it’s merry way with you, but it also tends to stick to a pretty regular pattern.  As an intuitive fellow, I still found some parts to be rather surprising, but some were easily foretold.

All in all, I enjoyed “Odd Thomas” and will continue to find the books by Dean Koontz appealing.  I’ll also be sure to pick up the other novels in this growing series (3 others as I write this,) as well as any other books of his that catch my fancy.

Marc Levy is the fellow who wrote “Le premier Jour” and he is only one of very few french authors I have had the chance to read. The first being “Le Chien Jaune” by Georges Simenon, which I admit I first read in High School, because I had to.  I did enjoy it though, and to this day parts of that story pop into my head.  It looks like Marc Levy’s book may well have the same effect.

Being a lover of family,I like the way the book starts out, a mother and “adopted” son have one of those particularly familial moments, just before the mother is force to leave her son behind for an indeterminate amount of time.  How long?  I’ll let you know when I find out.  I’ve not yet gotten far into the novel, but it has gripped me and I find myself putting it down with difficulty.  Along with Mother and Son, another Gentleman appears to be wending his way into the story, and should prove to make for an interesting “family” unit when they finally all get together, or so my reader’s instinct tells me.

From far away Africa and the Andes mountain ranges and back to London and Paris.  The investigation into the start of mankind begins, and presumably, ends, or comes very close to discovery.  I look forward to getting to the end of this book, but I also rue the day, as with every book I enjoy, I dread finishing it, for it will leave me once again on the prowl for something new to read…