Книга Sense Of Evil. Содержание - 6

“But you’re a trained investigator?”

“Recently trained, yeah. In my… previous life… I did something else.” Hollis came out from behind the desk, adding in a slightly preoccupied tone, “My partner, on the other hand, has a solid background in law and law enforcement, as well as years of experience, so you don’t have to worry that the Bureau sent two rookies down here.”

“I wasn’t worried, actually.” Realizing she was about to leave, and reluctant to let her go, he said quickly, “I remember you saying something about being an artist.”

“Used to be.”

“Used to be? Does a creative person ever stop being creative?”

For the first time, Hollis was clearly uncomfortable. “Sometimes things happen that change your whole life. I-uh-need to get back to the police station. Thank you very much for your cooperation, Mr.-Caleb. I’ll be in touch.”

“I’ll be here.”

“Thanks again. Bye.”

He didn’t try to stop her, but for several minutes after she left, Caleb gazed after her, frowning, wondering what had happened to change Hollis Templeton’s entire life.

“I know all about evil, Mr. Powell, believe me. I met it up close and personal.”

He hadn’t thought she’d been speaking literally.

Now he was very much afraid she had been.

5:00 PM

When Rafe and Isabel were in one of the department Jeeps and on their way to Jamie Brower’s apartment, he said, “I notice you haven’t suggested that Hollis visit any of the crime scenes.”

“Since what happened earlier, you mean?” Isabel shrugged. “You’ve obviously also noticed Hollis is a bit… fragile.”

“It’s a little hard to miss.”

“She has a lot of potential. But becoming a medium cost her a trip to hell you wouldn’t believe, and she hasn’t completely dealt with that yet.

“But despite being afraid, despite her not reaching out, not trying to make contact-she did. Which is an indication of just how much potential she has.”

Rafe sent his companion a glance. “You really believe there was a ghost in the room with us?”

“I believe the spirit of Jamie Brower was there, yes.”

“But you didn’t see her? It?”

“No, I can’t see the dead.” Isabel’s voice was utterly matter-of-fact. “Or hear them, for that matter. But I can sometimes feel them near me. The very air in the room changes, maybe because they aren’t supposed to be a part of this dimensional plane. You felt it yourself.”

This time, Rafe kept his eyes on the road. “My ears popped. It happens.”

“All the time,” she agreed mildly.

“Look, if Jamie was really there, why didn’t she say or do something to help us find her killer?”

“She was trying. Trying to speak to Hollis, the only one in the room with the ability to hear her. Unfortunately, Hollis isn’t ready to listen.”

“I don’t suppose Jamie could just scribble us a note, huh? X killed me.

Isabel answered the question seriously. “So far, none of us has encountered a spirit or noncorporeal force with enough focus and power to physically touch or move objects. Unless they were inside a host, of course. Or controlling one.”


SHE’LL TELL.You know she’ll tell.

He listened to the voice this time because he wanted to. Because he enjoyed this part of it so much. Watching them. Following. Learning their routines.


Like the others. Just like them.

The voice was right about that. She was just like all the rest. Laughing behind his back. So eager to tell his secrets. He had to stop her before she could do that.

You’ve done three. Only three more. And then you can rest. Then you can be.

“I’m tired,” he murmured, still watching her. “This time, I’m tired.”

That’s because you’re changing.

“I know.” He moved carefully, staying in the shadows as he followed her. This one was tricky; she was aware of her surroundings, watchful. Uneasy. They were all beginning to act that way, he’d noticed. Part of him loved that, that he made them so uneasy.

But it made things more difficult.

You can do this. You have to. Or she’ll tell. She’ll tell them all about you.

“Yes,” he murmured, easing a little closer despite the risk that she would see him. “I have to. I can’t let her tell. I can’t let any of them tell.”

Rafe pulled the Jeep abruptly to the curb and parked. They were still in the downtown area, not even halfway to Jamie’s apartment. He continued to stare through the windshield, his rugged face completely unreadable. “A host.”

Isabel didn’t have to be clairvoyant to know he had just about reached the end of his willingness to believe in the paranormal. Or even to accept that it might be possible.

Or possibly he had simply reached the end of his rope.

Hard to blame him for that.

“A host,” he repeated, his deep voice still extremely calm. “You want to explain that?”

Matching his tone, Isabel replied, “When it’s a spirit, the simple truth is that some of them refuse to accept what’s happened to them when they die. Whether it’s unfinished business or simply an unwillingness to move on, they want to stay here.”

“I guess that explains haunted houses.” He was trying hard to keep his voice matter-of-fact.

“Well, only partly. Some houses really do contain the spirit or spirits of people who didn’t want to move on. But some of what people call hauntings are just place memories.”

“Place memories?”

“Yeah. When people report seeing the same ghost repeat the same actions again and again, that’s likely a place memory. A good example is the Roman soldiers so many people have seen marching on their battlefield, endlessly. Or other battlefields, like Gettysburg. We don’t believe those poor men keep reenacting the battles that killed them; we believe the places remember what happened there.”


“We can only theorize. Either because those particular areas have a specific energy of their own or possibly just the ability geographically or topographically to contain energy better than other places do. We believe that the extreme psychic-electromagnetic-energy of such horrific, tragic events literally soaked into the earth at places like that.

“And sometimes there’s a buildup of pressure and those ‘memories’ are discharged in the form of energy, like static. If anybody happens to be around, especially a functional or latent psychic, what’s seen is what that place remembers. An image of what happened there.”

“That actually makes a kind of sense,” Rafe said, sounding both reluctant and bemused.

“Yeah, most of this does, if you consider possible scientific explanations. Which we always do. All based on some form of energy.”

“So explain this host thing.”

“Well, like I said, some people who die don’t want to be dead. If they’re desperate enough, or angry enough, sometimes they’re able to muster enough power to… find and inhabit a physical host. Another person.”

“Possession. You’re talking about possession?” He was beginning to sound incredulous again.

Isabel waited until he finally looked at her, then said, “Not in the… Hollywood… sense of the word. This isn’t some pea-soup-spewing demon a priest could exorcise. Often, they aren’t even negative, or bad, spirits. They just want to live. It’s a case of a stronger mind and spirit overpowering a weaker or otherwise vulnerable one.”

“You’re telling me this has actually happened?”

“We believe it has, although I can’t offer you any proof. Bishop and Miranda actually fought the spirit of an insanely determined serial killer once. Quite a story there.”

Rafe blinked, but said only, “Who’s Miranda?”

“Sorry. Bishop’s wife and partner. Years ago, Miranda touched several mental patients who were being treated for severe schizophrenia. She definitely felt, in each case, that there were two distinct and separate souls fighting for possession of those people. It convinced her. It convinced us, even before we duplicated the experiment and got the same results in three out of the five diagnosed schizophrenic mental patients we tested.”

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