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Frannie O'Neill is a young and talented veterinarian living in
Colorado. Plagued by the mysterious murder of her husband, David, a
local doctor, Frannie throws herself into her work. It is not long
before another bizarre murder occurs and Kit Harrison, a troubled and
unconventional FBI agent, arrives on her doorstep.
Late one night, near the woods of her animal hospital, Frannie
stumbles upon a strange, astonishing phenomenon that will change the
course of her life forever....
Her name is Max.
With breathtaking energy, eleven-year-old Max leads Frannie and Kit
to uncover one of the most diabolical and inhuman plots of modern
science. When the Wind Blows is as unique a story as has ever
been told, filled with suspense and passion. This is by far James
Patterson's best book to date.
About The Author
JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling
writers of all time. He is the author of some of the most popular
series of the past decade - the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and
Detective Michael Bennett novels - and he has written many other
number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers.
He lives in Florida with his wife and son. James is passionate about
encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant
reader, he also writes a range of books specifically for young readers.
James has formed a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, an
independent, UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy.
Prologue: FIRST FLIGHT
'SOMEBODY PLEASE help me! Somebody please! Can anybody hear me?'
Max's screams pierced the clear mountain air. Her throat and lungs
were beginning to hurt, to burn.
The eleven-year-old girl was running as fast as she could from the
hateful, despicable School. She was strong, but she was beginning to
tire. As she ran, her long blond hair flared behind her like a
beautiful silk scarf. She was pretty, even though there were dark,
plum-colored circles under her eyes.
She knew the men were coming to kill her. She could hear them
hurrying through the woods behind her.
She glanced over her right shoulder, painfully twisting her neck.
She flashed a mental picture of her little brother, Matthew. Where was
he? The two of them had separated just outside the School, both running
She was afraid Matthew was already dead. Uncle Thomas probably got
him. Thomas had betrayed them and that hurt so much she couldn't stand
to think about it.
Tears rolled down her cheeks. The hunters were closing in. She
could feel their heavy footsteps thumping hard and fast against the
crust of the earth.
A throbbing, orange and red ball of sun was sinking below the
horizon. Soon it would be pitch-black and cold out here in the Front
Range of the Rockies. All she wore was a simple tube of white cotton,
sleeveless, loosely drawn together at the neck-line and waist. Her feet
were wrapped in thin-soled ballet slippers.
Move. She urged her aching, tired body on. She could go
faster than this. She knew she could.
The twisting path narrowed, then wound around a great, mossy-green
shoulder of rock. She clawed and struggled forward through more thick
tangles of branches and brush.
The girl suddenly stopped. She could go no further.
A huge, high fence loomed above the bushes. It was easily ten feet.
Rows of razor-sharp concertina wire were tangled and coiled across the
A metal sign warned: EXTREME DANGER! ELECTRIFIED FENCE. EXTREME
Max bent over and cupped her hands over her bare knees. She was
blowing out air, wheezing hard, trying to keep from weeping.
The hunters were almost there. She could hear, smell, sense their
With a sudden flourish, she unfurled her wings. They were white and
silver-tipped and appeared to have been unhinged. The wings sailed to a
point above her head, seemingly of their own accord. Their span was
nine feet. The sun glinted off the full array of her plumage.
Max started to run again, flapping her wings hard and fast. Her
slippered feet lifted off the hardscrabble.
She flew over the high barbed wire like a bird.
FIVE ARMED MEN ran quietly and easily through the ageless boulders
and towering aspens and ponderosa pines. They didn't see her yet, but
they knew it wouldn't be long before they caught up with the girl.
They were jogging rapidly, but every so often the man in front
picked up the pace a significant notch or two. All of them were
competent trackers, good at this, but he was the best, a natural
leader. He was more focused, more controlled, the best hunter.
The men appeared calm on the outside, but inside it was a different
story. This was a critical time. The girl had to be captured, and
brought back. She shouldn't have gotten out here in the first place.
Discretion was critical; it always had been, but never more than right
The girl was only eleven, but she had 'gifts,' and that could
present a formidable problem outdoors. Her senses were acute; she was
incredibly strong for her size, her age, her gender; and of course,
there was the possibility that she might try to fly.
Suddenly, they could see her up ahead: she was clearly visible
against the deep blue background of the sky.
'Tinkerbell. Northwest, fifty degrees,' the group leader called
She was called Tinkerbell, but he knew she hated the name. The only
name she answered to was Max, which wasn't short for Maxine, or
Maximillian, but for Maximum. Maybe because she always gave her all.
She always went for it. Just as she was doing right now.
There she was, in all her glory! She was running at full speed, and
she was very close to the perimeter fence. She had no way of knowing
that. She'd never been this far from home before.
Every eye was on her. None of them could look away, not for an
instant. Her long hair streamed behind her, and she seemed to flow up
the steep, rocky hillside. She was in great shape; she could really
move for such a young girl. She was a force to reckon with out here in
The man running in front suddenly pulled up. Harding Thomas stopped
short. He threw up his arm to halt the others. They didn't understand
at first, because they thought they had her now.
Then, almost as if he'd known she would — she took off. She flew.
She was going over the concertina wire of the ten-foot-high perimeter
The men watched in complete silence and awe. Their eyes widened.
Blood rushed to their brains and made a pounding sound in their ears.
She opened to a full wingspan and the movement seemed effortless.
She was a beautiful, natural flyer. She flapped her white and silver
wings up and down, up and down. The air actually seemed to carry her
along, like a leaf on the wind.
'I knew she'd try to go over.' Thomas turned to the others and spit
out the words. 'Too bad.'
He lifted his rifle to his shoulder. The girl was about to
disappear over the nearest edge of the canyon wall. Another second or
two and she'd be gone from sight.
He pulled the trigger.
ISBN: 9780755349425 ISBN-10: 0755349423 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 496 Published: 10th June 2010 Publisher: Headline Publishing Group Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.1
Weight (kg): 0.33
Edition Number: 1
About the Author
James Patterson is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. Since winning the Edgar Award for Best First Novel with The Thomas Berryman Number, his books have sold in excess of 300 million copies worldwide and he has been the most borrowed author in UK libraries for the past eight years in a row. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades â?? Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels â?? and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers. He lives in Florida with his wife and son.
James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books specifically for young readers. James is a founding partner of Booktrust's Children's Reading Fund in the UK.