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12 Man Overboard by J A Jance

12 Man Overboard by J A Jance

Author:J A Jance [Jance, J A]
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


31

Some seven hundred miles away from San Jose, California, in a cluttered condo in Carefree, Arizona, a stunned Amelia Cannon stared at her now silent phone. She knew how people sounded when they were in crisis. Beth Wordon, wounded and desperate, was definitely there.

She was somehow under the impression that Amelia had been feeding privileged information to Beth’s fiancé’s ex-wife? How could she? For one thing, Amelia didn’t know the ex-wife. In fact, at this exact moment, she couldn’t even recall Beth’s fiancé’s name. But more than that, after years of working together, how could Beth even think that a reputable, trained psychiatrist—someone who cared about her and someone she had trusted—would do such a despicable thing?

As for that privileged information? Amelia stopped cold and a sudden chill ran down her spine. What about Roger McGeary? What if someone had been playing him the same way, using material gleaned from Amelia’s own case notes to push the man over the edge, both literally and figuratively? And how was any of that possible? There could be only one answer about the source of that information. Since it hadn’t come from her directly, it must have come from the data breach. Did that mean that someone was actively targeting her former patients—harassing and tormenting them?

Amelia had released Roger from active treatment and had been considering doing the same with Beth when the data breach had occurred, but just because patients were no longer under her care didn’t mean they were ten feet tall and bullet proof. People who came from backgrounds with a history of familial suicide weren’t prone to being instantly or permanently healed. Some would spend the whole of their lives being emotionally fragile and many of them, given the right stimulus, susceptible to relapse.

Beth had said that the offending information was being sent to her in text form. Was it possible the same thing had happened to Roger? And what was it that woman, Ali, had told her earlier—something to the effect that Roger’s aunt had given Stuart Ramey access to his computer and probably to his cell phone as well? If someone was using information gleaned from Amelia’s own case records to poison Roger’s thinking with texts or e-mail messages, Amelia was sure she would recognize it. Might there still be some trace of messages like that lingering in Roger’s electronic devices? And if Amelia’s information had been used to drive Roger to the extreme of taking his own life, was Beth in danger of suffering the same fate?

Amelia reached into the pocket of her jeans and pulled out the card Ali Reynolds had given her earlier. A moment after she dialed the number, Ali answered the phone.

“This is Dr. Cannon calling,” Amelia explained. “Something has come up on this end. Would it be possible for you to put me in touch with Roger’s friend Stuart?”

She heard momentary hesitation on the other end of the line. “Stuart isn’t available right now. Is there some way I could be of help?”

Amelia paused for a moment, staring at the card in her hand.



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