They call publishing companies 'houses,' and I have only recently come to understand why. I have written seven novels, including this one, for the same publishing house, HarperCollins, and it has come to feel like home to me. Not because I can finally find it in New York (though that helps) but because of the caring people who reside within, and I owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.
Thank you so much to Jane Friedman, President and CEO, who has imbued the house with her warmth, grace, and wisdom, and has mothered me from the day we first met. Thank you so much to Cathy Hemming, who took the time not only to improve this manuscript, but has even come – slinging a backpack of manuscripts – to one of my signings. Heartfelt thanks, as always, to Carolyn Marino, my editor, who is completely invaluable for her expertise, taste, and friendship. If you like my books, it's because of her. If you hate them, it's when I didn't listen.
It takes a village to raise an author. Deep thanks to my wonderful agent, Molly Friedrich, who is the truest sort of intellectual. She loves books without pretense and cares about them with passion. I am forever grateful to be one of her charges, and she is the most fun mom an author could ask for. Thanks, too, to Paul Cirone, for his advice, help, and good looks.
I need help with the facts, too, though when I get them wrong the blame is on me. For this book I turned first to Commissioner John Timoney of the Philadelphia Police Department, who let me follow him around for a day. Commissioner Timoney is rightfully a hero in my city, and I consider the good cops in this book a thank-you
to him and to all of those who serve and protect. Thanks to Lieutenant Martin O'Donnell and the officers of the Civilian Police Academy; my baseball cap is off to you.
Thanks, too, to Art Mee of the District Attorney's office, for his good-humored advice and sartorial splendor, and to Glenn Gilman, public defender extraordinaire. For estates advice I turn to the expert, Robert Freedman of Dechert, Price amp; Rhoads. There is none better, nor more generous with his time and expertise.
Personal thanks and all my love to my family: my husband, daughter, and stepdaughters Sarah and Elizabeth. And to return briefly to the importance of mothers, my deepest thanks go to the best one of all. Mine.