Forget Me Not

A Novel

About the Book

Their elusive enemies took everything. Now they want more.
 
Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why did he survived? 
 
Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.  
 
The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly.  Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?
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Praise for Forget Me Not

Praise for Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not is edge-of-your-seat suspense. Each page left me breathless with anticipation for the next page. This book is non-put-downable.”
–Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Written with equal parts grace and passion, Vicki Hinze’ s latest thriller Forget Me Not delves deeply into a the chilling world of twisted loyalties, amnesia, and the struggle of a woman to expose a terrorist plot. Romantic, suspenseful, and ultimately uplifting, this story proves that what is buried in the past never stays buried forever. A great read by a writer who continues to amaze”
–James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Doomsday Key

“I literally couldn’t put down Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze. The suspense kept me flipping pages until long after midnight and I loved the plot twists. Highly recommended!”
–Colleen Coble, author of The Lightkeeper’s Bride and the Rock Harbor series

“Vicki Hinze is a masterful storyteller who has weaved unique and rich characters into a compelling, thought-provoking novel. Forget Me Not is a fabulous page-turner with incredible plot twists that will keep you guessing until the very end.   Highly recommended!”
–Mark Mynheir, homicide detective and author of The Night Watchman

“Vicki Hinze’ s Forget Me Not is a novel I couldn’t put down. The fast pace makes for a quick read, the story is full of action and intrigue while the romance flows naturally from the plot. The message of God’s presence in our everyday lives provides an emotional uplifting long after the story ends. I highly recommend Forget Me Not."
–Robin Caroll, author of the bayou series and Deliver Us From Evil

“The always-entertaining Vicki Hinze breaks new ground with this intriguing tale, filled with nail-biting suspense, emotional turmoil and heartfelt redemption. This novel celebrates the sturdiness of the human spirit and the healing power of faith. Don’t miss it!”
–Susan Wiggs, author of Just Breathe

Forget Me Not took off like a bullet from a shotgun and gripped me all the way to the exciting end.  With tight plotting, twists and turns, a sweet romance and lots of action, I’ll be making room on my romantic suspense shelf for more books from Vicki Hinze!”
–Susan May Warren, award-winning author of Nothing But Trouble

Forget Me Not is a season of the television show 24 in print, with a long list of surprises, a good love story, and a great inspirational uplift. An excellent read!”
–Hannah Alexander, author of A Killing Frost

“One of the best romantic suspense novels I've read this year! The mysterious, intriguing opening hooked me right away, and Vicki's characters made me root for them. I can't recommend this book enough!”
–Camy Tang, author of Deadly Intent and the Sushi series

Praise for Vicki Hinze

“Tense, breathless, multi-layered - and highly recommended.”
—Lee Child New York Times bestselling author

“Hinze paints her tale on a broad canvas, her writing expertly controlled, rich in imagination, deep in characterization. It’s a race against time and shadowy instincts, the narrative loud with surprises, the premise all-too-believable.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestseller of The Jefferson Key

“Hinze has written a masterful, complicated tale of suspense that gains momentum with each turn of a page. Her writing flows surely, moving from one character to the next, one setting to another, with readers keeping the swift pace.”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“Fans of Christian suspense will enjoy Hinze’s latest thriller.”
—Library Journal

“[Hinze] keeps the pace brisk and the tension high. Don’t start reading too late at night—you may see 2 a.m.”
—Crosswalk.com

 “Excellent characterization and a compelling plot draw the reader in and never lets go. Perhaps most importantly, the novel addresses the universal question of the purpose of pain and the importance of faith when all hope seems lost. Evil is unapologetically painted black and bold, making the redemptive power of Christ seem all that much more powerful. Deadly Ties is absolutely magnificent.”
—Fictionaddict.com

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Excerpt

Forget Me Not

Prologue
 
July 12
 
You know what I want.”
 
Hearing him behind her, she jerked and dropped her paintbrush. It slid across the canvas, streaking the emerald gulf water with a bold, jagged slash of white.
 
“Gregory,” she said, her voice half croak, half whisper, her eyes seeing far beyond the easel and canvas in front of her.
 
She had made this confrontation inevitable, but she hoped to finish one last painting before—
 
“Well? Are you going to give it to me?”
 
Shaking, she turned. He stood closer than she expected, towering above her and blocking both studio doors. The one to the deck overlooking the gulf was closer, but with his stride and reach—she didn’t stand a chance.
 
Inevitable.
 
Putting down her palette, she squared her shoulders and stiffened, unable to see past the bloodlust in his eyes. Would her response push him over the edge?
 
Regardless, she had only one choice. Her mouth as dry as the sand between her and the surf, she hiked her chin and looked him right in the eye. “No.”
 
“Reconsider—and think carefully.” His hands curled into fists at his sides, his face darkened to red, and the blood vessels in his thick neck protruded. “Is that your final answer?”
 
How could anyone that angry sound that controlled? She darted her gaze from door to door, still seeking a way out. But there wasn’t one. No one would interrupt, would hear her scream. There would be no escape.
 
She glanced to a painting of a young girl hanging on the wall. What more could she have done? The man was rich, powerful, and more manipulative than anyone she’d ever known. She had gone all the way to the mayor looking for help. Well, to his wife, Darla, but even she had to admit how outrageous her claims had sounded. Gregory Chessman did seem incapable of anything that wasn’t wonderful.
 
Yet she knew better. She studied the painting, the innocence and promise in that beloved face. If he found her—and sooner or later, he would—then she, too, would die. That left but one option. One. And who knew if it would work?
 
“I know the truth about you.” She injected her tone with confidence and a warning of her own. “If anything happens to me, others will know it too.”
 
“You tried that and failed.” He grunted. “You’re a crazy woman. No one believes a crazy woman, not even an airhead.” He followed her gaze to the painting.
 
Something inside him snapped. His face contorted and he closed the gap between them in a flash, clamping his fingers around her throat. Fury pounded off him in waves, rivaling the six-foot surf. With a throaty growl, he jerked, lifting her off the ground.
 
She fought hard, kicking and swinging her frail arms, trying to break his hold, but she couldn’t make contact beyond his forearms. Her vision blurred, her starved lungs burned, craving air. Her limbs turned leaden. Then the brilliant light flooding the studio faded to black, and she knew no more.

Gregory watched the life leave her eyes, taking pleasure in the fact that his would be the last face she would see. How dare she refuse him? Threaten him? The crazy fool.
 
When the last spark of hope for revival passed and she hung limp and lifeless a foot off the floor, he dropped her.
 
Her body crumpled in a heap.
 
He didn’t look down, just walked over her, knocked the aged painting off the wall, and then crushed it with the heel of his shoe. Three years, and the subject in it still taunted him. Still made him vulnerable to Alik Demyan. Gregory shuddered.
 
Now she would suffer for both, for trespassing on his peace.
 
The portrait lay tattered and torn, its brittle frame cracked. He went at it again, and kept at it until the painting was utterly destroyed.
 
Though he despised dirtying his own hands, NINA would be pleased. No one had messed up this one…
 

Crossroads Crisis Center Series

Not This Time
Deadly Ties
Forget Me Not

About the Author

Vicki Hinze
Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of multiple novels including Down & Dead in Dallas and The Marked Star. Hinze’s willingness to take risks in writing and genre has earned her a reputation for trailblazing skill. She holds a master of arts in creative writing and a doctorate in philosophy (theocentric business and ethics), and served as vice president on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. She lives in Florida with her husband. More by Vicki Hinze
Decorative Carat
Random House Publishing Group