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Authors: Colby Marshall

Double Vision

“Every investigation is about ways of seeing, and Colby Marshall explores this idea to compelling effect in the propulsive
Double Vision

—Andrew Pyper, author of
The Demonologist
The Damned



“Stellar . . . Marshall's style is clipped and spare, her main character and her powerful perceptions an intriguing hero.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Colby Marshall's wondrous
Color Blind
features one of the most original heroines to grace the pages of thriller fiction in years . . . T. Jefferson Parker mined similar material to great use in
The Fallen
, but Marshall proves herself every bit his equal in this rivetingly effective tale that will stoke memories of early James Patterson at his best.”

Providence Journal

“High stakes and frequent setbacks keep the action taut and demonstrate Jenna's human frailties. Readers will eagerly await Jenna's next adventure.”

Shelf Awareness


“Colby Marshall has written a book that deserves to be called

—R. L. Stine,
New York Times
bestselling author of the Goosebumps series

“An intricate puzzle that will keep you guessing until the very end!”

—C. J. Lyons,
New York Times
bestselling author of

“Colby Marshall's sterling debut may transpire over more than six or seven days, but like me you'll probably finish it in a single night, racing the dawn to flip the last page. A classic concept updated to fit our politics-wary world.”

—Jon Land, bestselling author of
Black Scorpion

Berkley Books by Colby Marshall




Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

A Penguin Random House Company

This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.

Copyright © 2015 by Colby Marshall.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

BERKLEY® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-17058-2

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Marshall, Colby.

Double vision / by Colby Marshall.

pages ; cm.—(A Dr. Jenna Ramey novel)

ISBN 978-0-425-27652-5 (trade)

1. Synesthesia—Fiction. 2. Serial murderers—Fiction. 3. Psychological fiction. I. Title.

PS3613.A7726D68 2015




Berkley trade paperback edition / April 2015

Cover design by Jason Gill.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


For Olivia and Isaac,

the real double vision responsible for this series


Praise for the Novels of Colby Marshall

Berkley Books by Colby Marshall

Title Page




Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60




ine-one-one, what is your emergency?”

“I'm at the grocery store, and someone is shooting people,” Molly said. She had no trouble remembering the number for 911. It was the date they went to the memorial in the city. The highest single digit and the lowest single digit twice. Her birthday.

“Honey, how old are you?”

“Six,” Molly answered.
The number of strings on a guitar. Points in a football touchdown. One away from seven.

Molly pocketed the phone, climbed into the bin of refrigerated meats, and slipped into the other side, the side where the butcher cut them. She'd seen the hole where he could stick the meat through to refill the refrigerator once before. She ducked down behind the bin.


“I'm back,” she said as she held the phone to her ear again.

“What grocery store? Can you tell me where?”

“Lowman's Wholesale,” Molly answered. She and Mommy never came here. Mommy said the crowds drove her batty, whatever that meant. G-Ma liked to save money, though. She told Molly a penny saved doesn't do much good, but a hundred pennies is a dollar.

“What's your name, hon?”

G-Ma also said don't give your name to strangers, but this was the person on the other end of 911. He didn't count.

“Molly Keegan.”

“Help is coming, Molly. Stay on the phone, okay? Did you see the person who's hurting people?”


“Sort of,” she answered.

“Is it a man or a woman?”

“Don't know,” Molly whispered. Masks weren't good for that kind of thing.

Quiet. Finally quiet.

“They might be gone,” she said.

“Where are you, Molly?” the 911 operator asked.


“Stay put, okay?”

But Molly couldn't stay put. She had to see.

She peered up from behind the bin, peeked out. No one there. She stood, climbed out. People lay still in an aisle, and red slicked the floors.
Don't look at the red.

On tiptoes, she crept to the cereal row where she'd last seen G-Ma. A dazed man, probably about her Pop-Pop's age, sat slumped against the shelves. Another man was closer to the far end of the aisle on the left side. The one close to Pop-Pop's age wasn't bleeding. He just looked scared.

“Have you seen my G-Ma?” Molly whispered.

Then, sirens wailing. Footsteps running. The person with the gun appeared at the far end of the cereal aisle, glanced toward the grocery store doors where the police sirens sounded in the distance.

The man closer to the far end of the cereal aisle yelled as the gun came up.

Molly dove under the half-filled bottom shelf, tucking her feet. Boxes crashed around her, and her head burned as it hit the back of the metal.


•   •   •

olly? Molly! Are you there?” Twenty-five-year-old Yancy Vogul yelled into the phone. Dispatchers were supposed to be calm under pressure, keep the callers calm, but this was a child. He wasn't ready for this.

Ragged panting met his ears. “I'm here,” the little voice said.

Shit pickle. Thank you, God.

“Help is coming,” Yancy relayed again. He'd done his job, so the cops would know what they were walking into. They depended on him to get the information right, to make sure they knew enough so they wouldn't be blindsided. Enough that they could go home to their families that night.

But damn if he wasn't just happy right now to hear the six-year-old say she was alive.

“Are you hurt?”

“No,” she answered. “They ran away.”

“The shooter?” Yancy asked.


He wanted to ask which way the gunman had gone, what the child had seen, but for all he knew, if he asked her, she'd go gallivanting around the store trying to find out. Better to sit here, talk to her. Wait for reinforcements.

He entered the child's latest update into his log, hoped it would be enough.

“Seven,” Molly's voice said in his ear.

Yancy hadn't asked anything. “Seven?”

“Mm-hm,” she said. “Seven shots.”

“How do you know?” he asked.

He heard Molly's sigh on the other end of the phone. When she spoke again, she sounded confused, frustrated at his stupidity. “Because I counted.”


enna Ramey thrust a set of keys into her brother's hand.

“And don't forget to lock
the front door set and the side door set when you
Dad are in the house, and if you go out, leave the side set open. I reset the password today on the alarm, and it's—”

“Sri Lanka 49 Captain C 2. I know, I know. You told me,” Charley grumbled, plucking Ayana from Jenna's arms. “I thought you going back to the BAU meant you'd decided Dad and I could be trusted with the fortress. You did uproot us all and drag us to Virginia for this gig, after all. And we
do this for years.”

That was before.
“I know, I know. Chalk it up to me being the nervous mother of a toddler, okay?”

The fact that her daughter happened to be a toddler had nothing to do with it, of course. When her dad and Charley had kept Ayana before, Claudia was safely locked away in a mental institution. Last year, her mother had managed to weasel her way out of the system, and now she roamed the streets unchecked.

Charley plopped Ayana onto the floor in front of the TV, pressed
on the DVD player. Ayana, pacifier still firmly attached to her lips at age three, clapped her hands as
Finding Nemo
's opening graphics appeared on the screen.

Charley fast-forwarded until the scary part with the barracuda had passed, just like he always did. “Rain Man, I know
you do what you do, I'm just reminding you that we've already talked about it, I've consented to implement the iron will that is your weird key system, and we even took a home safety course designed by someone more paranoid than
. Now that's saying something. This house is better protected from home invasion than that guy down the road who took the
movies way too seriously. Now get

Jenna kissed Ayana on top of her fine blond hair, but the little girl didn't notice. On the TV, Marlin instructed Nemo to swim into the anemone, out of the anemone.

“Love you!” Jenna whispered in her ear.

At this, Ayana unplugged her mouth. “Wuv oo!”

Then, the paci went back in, and Ayana's eyes were back to the TV.

Charley shrugged. “Disney waits for no one.”

“Come lock me out,” Jenna said.

She waited patiently as Charley unbolted each lock. The key system was straightforward if you knew it well enough, but the instructions weren't written anywhere. Each key was color coded, but the key colors didn't match the colors of the locks. In order to know which key went with each lock, you had to have the combination memorized. Red key to green lock, orange key to light blue lock, yellow key to purple lock. In order to open them all, you had to open them in that order, too. Otherwise the bolts of the others would get in the way of the first, causing the door to remain locked. Only one set of the right keys existed and they were kept
the “lead person” in the house at all times. The set of keys could not be taken apart or copied, and it was attached to a tracking device.

The passwords were never written down, either, and Jenna changed them daily. That was why she went over them so many times before she left: her dad and brother had to remember them. They were explicitly forbidden from sending them over text, e-mail, or any other channel. The only way they should be passed was verbally and in person.

“I'll pass along the message to Dad when he wakes up from his nap. Would you like me to perform a urine analysis to make sure he is
Dad before I do so?”

“No, thank you, smart-ass. The blood test is plenty. See you in a few hours,” Jenna replied.

The door closed behind her, four clicks. And just like that, she was back in the game.

•   •   •

hen Jenna reached the office at Quantico, she seemed to be the last team member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit in the door. The long conference table inside the glassed-in walls was already full. A few curious eyes glanced over as she closed the door and the buzz of the cubicles below them died, but no one said anything. They all looked so young, fresh out of the gate. A frat boy in a ball cap, a girl Charley's age who looked like she could play linebacker for the Dolphins. This would be interesting.

Jenna sat in a chair by the wall, already an outsider.

Saleda Ovarez, special agent in charge and the only person in the room Jenna had worked with besides technical analyst Irv, tacked pictures to the giant whiteboard at the front. The dark-skinned woman glanced at her watch. “I wanted to wait for Agent Dodd before we continued, but it's two after. We need to get started,” she said, her Boston accent thick.

So Jenna
the last one here. She filed away her superior's jab about being two minutes late as a warning. Next time, she'd brief her dad and brother first thing in the morning, before a call had the chance to come in.

“Shooter came into the Lowman's Wholesale on Grady, opened fire, and escaped on foot. Seven victims, but one in particular,” Saleda said, and she tapped the photo at the top left corner. “Miriam Holman, fifty-two.”

“As in Virginia
Miriam Holman?” the kid in the ball cap asked.

“One and the same.” Saleda nodded.

“Democrat, strong left. Shocked the hell out of everyone when she was elected. Shooter a card-carrying NRA member, perhaps?” the kid asked. He had to have just started shaving yesterday. How could he have possibly made it to the BAU already?


Saleda beat Jenna to the punch. “Seems likely, even probable that this was politically motivated since the governor was scheduled to speak next door at the public library in the next hour, but it's too soon to assume.”

Jenna glanced across the board at the other six victims. All different ethnicities, sexes. “Other victims?”

“Their profiles are included in your briefs,” Saleda replied, and she handed a stack of folders to the kid in the ball cap.

He took one and passed the pile of case reports to his right. “Other high profiles?”

Saleda nodded, gestured to the picture next to the photo of the governor. “Frank Kuncaitis, mayor of Falls Church, came to show his support for the governor.”

“This couldn't be about him?” the brutish girl with the long, hooked nose asked.

“Doubtful. He wasn't well known or controversial. The rest are unknowns.”

“Witnesses?” the girl linebacker asked.

Saleda yanked the clip out of her hair, shook out her dark brown locks. She looked like she'd already had the longest day of her life. “As luck would have it, it was senior citizen's day at Lowman's. We have several witnesses, but most of 'em can barely remember what day it is, much less any important shooting details.”

“How many shots?” Jenna asked.

“We think seven,” Saleda said.

Seven up, seven down, huh?
It spoke volumes. This guy wasn't firing rapidly, hoping to hit any moving target. The shots were specific to a degree.

Jenna nodded to the governor's picture. “Was Miriam Holman the first victim?”

Sure, she was tacked in the first spot, but it
be because of her stature.

“No,” Saleda replied. “Fourth. Kuncaitis was fifth.”

Fourth and fifth. Right in the middle.
Jenna thought of Charley at home with Ayana, probably just now watching the part where Marlin meets the sea turtle. Why had she taken this position back again?

“How soon do we leave?”

•   •   •

n the way to the scene, Saleda finally took the time to introduce Jenna to the team, if only because they couldn't do much else until they arrived at Lowman's Wholesale anyway. Both the brutish Teva and Porter, the frat boy, gasped at Jenna's name as though Saleda had sprouted tentacles when she said it.

“Sorry,” Saleda muttered from the driver's seat of the black SUV.

“No worries. I get that all the time,” Jenna answered truthfully. Her name had been in psychiatry journals across the country for articles she'd published, but everyone in the field knew her more from stories of her teenage years that had made her a national legend. She'd used her unique skill set of associating days, numbers, even people and gut feelings, with colors in order to help the police catch a black widow killer—her mother, Claudia. Grapheme–color synesthesia had made Jenna famous, put her on the path to her career, and influenced countless cases since then. Either she embraced it or shunned it, and only one of the two would do her any good in life.

“Where's Dodd, by the way?” Jenna ventured. Whoever the remaining team member was, he'd be due for a thwacking when he did show.

“No idea. And it's his first day, too, if you can believe it,” Saleda said, a hint of disdain in her voice. “Rebuilding's a bitch.”

Jenna's cell phone vibrated in her pocket. She reached in and removed her Droid. Yancy. She'd texted to let him know she was en route to a scene, not to count on her for lunch, dinner, or any subsequent meals today because this one sounded huge.

Now she glanced at his message.

I know I'm not allowed to ask, but I'm gonna. Is it what I think it is?

With anyone but him, she'd doubt it, but given their history of being on the same page for random, inexplicable reasons, no telling. Besides, she'd dated him long enough and through enough investigations to know she could trust him with a detail or two.

She texted back:

Tell me the store thing hasn't hit the news already.

His reply came back in less than twenty seconds.

Yes, it's already on the news, but that's not how I knew about it. I took the call.

Jenna typed back:

Anything worth knowing?

Definitely. Find a kid named Molly.

Jenna relayed Yancy's information to Saleda as she flashed her credentials at the barrier set up by the local cops in front of the Lowman's parking lot. One of the cops manning the blockade nodded, scooted the sawhorse aside for Saleda to drive through. Normally a massacre like this would be a case for the locals, but when two elected government officials were shot, it got high priority. Technically, this was still a local case, but the BAU had already been called in for a consult.

“We didn't know the nine-one-one call came from a kid?” Jenna asked.

Saleda shook her head. “Still processing all the nine-one-one calls. They apparently got upward of a dozen from cell phones in the store. Why find the kid?”

Jenna shrugged. If Yancy thought she should talk to this kid, he must have a good reason. He knew the game—and how Jenna worked—well enough to know what she'd find useful. “We'll see, I guess.”

Most of the cop cars in the city seemed to be in this parking lot, which meant the manhunt for the shooter couldn't be high on the priority list.

Are the locals not used to dealing with this much blood, or do they have reason to think this shooter isn't a danger? A dead suspect? One in custody?
Jenna hopped out of the SUV and followed Saleda toward the store's entrance.

“Special Agent in Charge Saleda Ovarez. This is Dr. Jenna Ramey, Special Agent Teva Williams, Special Agent Porter Jameson,” Saleda said to the cop who greeted them out front.

The reed of a man shook her hand.

“Lieutenant Daly, DCPD. Thanks for coming. S.A. Dodd is already inside.”


“What?” Saleda said, half question, half exclamation.

“He's walking the grid,” Officer Daly replied, confused.

“Aha,” Saleda answered, and Jenna detected the way Saleda forced the anger back down in her throat. Already this Dodd character was a piece of work.

“Walk us through?” Saleda asked.

“Sure thing,” Daly replied. The team followed him into the store.

As Jenna entered the grocery store, the scene that met her eyes seared into her brain, keeping company with all of the other horrific crime scenes she'd taken in over the years. Smears of blood across the floor, footprints.
Please let the CSIs have gotten to all this before the locals contaminated it to hell and back.

The first three victims were in the produce section of the store. The first two were close together in front of the apple and orange display, victim one's head apparently at victim two's feet.

“One and two, Clovis Carter and Lily Ross. Both female, fifty-eight and fifty-five, respectively,” Saleda recapped for the team.

The shooter had to have come in, turned right, and killed the first people he saw. Unafraid to shoot or
afraid that if he didn't go ahead, he might not? Excited? In a rage?

“Cold,” Porter mumbled. “Ordered hit?”

“Too soon to say, I think,” Saleda replied.

Nearer to the back of the produce section lay victim three, Sherman Frost. The sixty-seven-year-old had originally been found draped over the summer squash, but someone had moved him to try to get him to safety. The bullet in his back made him bleed out before help arrived.

Next the shooter had hit the canned goods aisle, which Jenna now traveled quietly behind Officer Daly like it was a strange tourist attraction and he her tour guide. From the blood-spray angles of the shot to Miriam Holman's face, the shooter had taken the shot from the end of the aisle. Her face was clipped on the left side, and the blood had shot over her left shoulder into a shelf of ramen noodles. Weird.

“From the shot to the third victim, the shooter seemed shorter,” Teva commented.


The shooter had also fired at the first two victims at an angle consistent with a right-handed shooter. This shot, however, listed to the left. If he'd come here to kill this specific target—the governor—he sure did take a bad shot to do it. The job was done, but still . . .

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