“That’s really pretty,” said a smiling maid who was walking by with a linen cart.
Andrea smiled self-consciously as the flutter in her heart became a full blown thump. Perhaps he could hear that thump as she stood outside room 513, because he opened the door before she had a chance to knock.
“Hey Andrea,” Derrick Bell said, with that same aggressive posture he’d portrayed outside the courtroom.
“Hi,” she said softly, and looked away with a mix of nerves and anticipation.
They’d been careful to give the impression that they hated each other. The argument outside the courtroom was part of that. In truth, the act wasn’t difficult. The tension that made them feel like enemies was the same force that drew them together. This was the third time she’d come to him during the trial.
“Aren’t you coming in?” Derrick asked with a knowing grin.
She looked him in the eye and smirked. “What would Karen think?”
“I’ll make you a deal. Leave my wife out of this, and I’ll leave your husband out, too.”
Andrea stood there for a moment, knowing that this was wrong. It almost felt like someone was watching her, and that made it even more exciting.
“Come here,” Derrick said, and pulled her inside.
That’s when Andrea gave in. She wanted him in spite of all she had to lose. She craved him because her life was too safe. She needed him to escape because she felt trapped in her marriage, but even as she clung to Derrick and savored the moment, Andrea felt no peace.
She knew she was trying to get back something she’d lost twenty years before, when another man with the same rough manner had fulfilled her need for danger. As Derrick’s hands touched her, Andrea found herself wishing that this was twenty years ago, and that Derrick was Mike Coletti.
We're so proud of prolific PW alum Solomon Jones, we could just burst—but not before reading his 10th book and eighth novel, the Philadelphia-based crime noir "The Dead Man's Wife," which was released Tuesday.
As Coletti watched, he remembered a time long ago when Andrea was a young vice cop and he was a rising star in homicide. Back then, he was willing to do anything to have her, but now Andrea belonged to someone else, and there was nothing he could do to change that.
Newshounds-turned-novelists Solomon Jones and Karen Quinones Miller encompass the light and darkness of life in the city. Days before their joint book-signing and reading at the Free Library on Nov. 1, Miller and Jones sat down to talk to each other about their lives, their books and the amazing journeys that shaped two of Philadelphia’s most distinctive storytelling voices.
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