The Abduction

James Grippando

The Abduction

For Tiffany

Contents

Prologue: March 1992

At eleven o’clock, the screaming finally stopped.

Part 1

October 2000

1

Allison could feel her heart pounding. Her lungs burned as…

2

All four thousand red velvet seats at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre…

3

LEAHY TAKES THE FIFTH ON ADULTERY, blazed Friday morning’s headlines.

4

Friday was a waste. Allison had tried to talk substance.

5

Allison managed a couple of hours sleep after making love…

6

Early Monday morning, David Wilcox entered the White House through…

7

From her hotel suite in Los Angeles, Allison watched as…

8

Bright autumn colors lit up the tree-lined streets of Nashville…

9

The Wharton Middle School van pulled into a narrow alley…

10

Allison spent Tuesday in Indianapolis. At 3:35 P.M. she received…

Part 2

11

At 5:30 P.M. an FBI field agent met Allison at…

12

The disappearance and likely abduction of Kristen Howe was the…

13

The Nashville skyline was alight across the river, stretching from…

14

Since leaving Nashville, Repo and Tony Delgado had taken turns…

15

On Wednesday morning, the press room at the United States…

16

Repo switched off the television set and rubbed his tired…

17

Room service at the Opry Land Hotel offered lunch as…

18

Harley Abrams arrived in Philadelphia just before 3:00 P.M. It…

19

Harley Abrams was whisked by helicopter from Philadelphia to Washington…

20

At 8:30 P.M. Lincoln Howe arrived at the studio, dressed…

21

The titanium-coated knife hurled through the air, sticking into the…

22

Harley Abrams caught a few winks of sleep on the…

23

Kristen Howe is not afraid.

24

The office suite of the attorney general was on the…

25

Downtown Washington seemed awash in shades of gray. Overcast skies…

26

Lincoln Howe summoned the key decision makers for a campaign…

Part 3

27

The quick response surprised even Allison. Ninety seconds after she…

28

The jet engines purred at thirty thousand feet as Allison…

29

Late Friday evening, Repo was stretched out on the couch…

30

Allison arrived home at midnight, just in time for a…

31

Kristen Howe woke to a dimly lit room. She lay…

32

The Florida campaign schedule had Allison set to leave Washington…

33

Harley had slept only four hours since arriving in Nashville…

34

“I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!” Repo…

35

Kristen sat on the bare hardwood floor with her knees…

36

Vincent Gambrelli stood directly over Repo, watching him wallow in…

Part 4

37

Allison received word of the botched arrest almost immediately, in…

38

Vincent Gambrelli woke at sunrise, five minutes before the alarm…

39

Allison tugged the bedroom drapes aside no more than an…

40

Driving toward Georgetown, Harley Abrams considered a variety of clever…

41

Kristen wasn’t sure she was awake. The last thing she’d…

42

The doorbell rang in the middle of her dreams. Tanya…

43

The telephone rang at precisely eight o’clock Monday morning. Allison…

44

At nine o’clock, Allison was slipping on her overcoat, ready…

45

Allison stopped at Fifth Street, midway between F and G…

46

It took nearly twenty minutes for the FBI to bring…

47

From the small observation tank adjacent to the FBI interrogation…

Part 5

48

Harley entered the observation room without knocking. On reflex, Allison…

49

Allison didn’t have time to rush off to Nashville in…

50

“It’s suicide,” said Harley. “By shutting out the FBI, your…

51

It was a political first, she figured—a presidential candidate ducking…

52

Warm Florida sunshine glistened on the blue-green chop of Biscayne…

53

Peter was in the bedroom packing a suitcase for Chicago…

54

Vincent Gambrelli slashed through the forest at a dead run.

55

Tony Delgado was moving as fast as he could, cursing…

56

General Howe reclined in his leather seat the moment the…

57

Allison and Harley reached the surveillance post in less than…

58

The freight elevator opened to the second floor of the…

59

Tony Delgado clutched the silent beeper in his hand. Really…

Epilogue

Flames lit up the late Monday evening newscasts across the…

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Raves

Other Books by James Grippando

Copyright

About the Publisher

Prologue: March 1992

At eleven o’clock, the screaming finally stopped.

It had started as a whimper, faint but steady. With each shaky breath it strengthened, growing more shrill by the minute, culminating in a desperate spate of primal pleas that defied the bounds