Again she looked at the note...
"Does it frighten you, Mother?"
"Yes," she replied.
"Why?" the daughter asked. "I don't know why, but it does me, too. But there's no threat. There's nothing even to suggest that it isn't someone just eager to play some intellectual game. That's happened before."
"The first note said what?"
"I have found you.
Diana felt a dark hole sucking away within her, like some great whirlpool threatening to swallow her whole. She fought this sensation off, told herself there was no evidence of anything yet. She reminded herself that for more than twenty-five years she had lived quietly, without being found; that the person she'd hidden herself and her children from was dead.
And so, in a swift and probably inadequate assessment of the events that had overtaken her daughter and her, Diana decided that the notes were probably precisely what they appeared to be: the slightly twisted pleadings of one of her daughter's many fans. This, in and of itself, could be dangerous enough. And so she did not mention any other fear, believing that the current fear was enough for the two of them, and that some hidden, more ancient fear was better left in the past. And dead. Dead. A suicide, she reminded herself. He set you free when he killed himself.
"We should call your brother," she said.
"Because he has many connections in law enforcement. Maybe someone he knows could analyze this letter. Fingerprint it. Test it. Tell us something about it."
"I think that whoever's sending it has probably thought of those things. And anyway, he hasn't broken any law. At least, not yet. I think we should wait until I figure the whole note out. Shouldn't take too long."
"Well," Diana said quietly, "we do know one thing."
"What's that?" the daughter asked.
The mother stared at the daughter, as if Susan were incapable of seeing something directly in front of her.
"Well, he put the first note in the mailbox. And you found this one where?"
"At the front door."
"Well, that tells us he's coming closer, doesn't it?"From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from State of Mind by John Katzenbach. . Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.