EXCERPT: 'Angel Time'

EXCERPT: Angel Time

Anne Rice has written a metaphysical suspense story about angels and murderers in "Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim."

The protaganist, Toby O'Dare, is a hit man, who's been assigned to kill again. Out of nowhere, a stranger, a seraph, gives him the opportunity to save lives instead. O'Dare, who once thought of becoming a priest, takes him up on it. Soon he journeys back to 13th-century England, where children vanish without a trace and Jews are accused of ritual murder.

Read the excerpt below, and then head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.

SHADES OF DESPAIR

VIDEO: Get Spooked With Anne Rices Angel Time
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There were omens from the beginning.

First off, I didn't want to do a job at the Mission Inn. Anywhere in the country, I would have been willing, but not the Mission Inn. And in the bridal suite, that very room, my room. Bad luck and beyond, I thought to myself.

Of course my boss, The Right Man, had no way of knowing when he gave me this assignment that the Mission Inn was where I went when I didn't want to be Lucky the Fox, when I didn't want to be his assassin.

The Mission Inn was part of that very small world in which I wore no disguise. I was simply me when I went there, six foot four, short blond hair, gray eyes—a person who looked like so many other people that he didn't look like any special person at all. I didn't even bother to wear braces to disguise my voice when I went there. I didn't even bother with the de rigueur sunglasses that shielded my identity in every other place, except the apartment and neighborhood where I lived.

I was just who I am when I went there, though who I am was nobody except the man who wore all those elaborate disguises when he did what he was told to do by The Right Man.

So the Mission Inn was mine, cipher that I was, and so was the bridal suite, called the Amistad Suite, under the dome. And now I was being told to systematically pollute it. Not for anyone else but myself, of course. I would never have done anything to harm the Mission Inn.

A giant confection and confabulation of a building in Riverside, California, it was where I often took refuge, an extravagant and engulfing place sprawling over two city blocks, and where I could pretend, for a day or two or three, that I wasn't wanted by the FBI, Interpol, or The Right Man, a place where I could lose myself and my conscience. Europe had long ago become unsafe for me, due to the increased security at every checkpoint, and the fact that the law enforcement agencies that dreamed of trapping me had decided I was behind every single unsolved murder they had on the books.

If I wanted the atmosphere I'd loved so much in Siena or Assisi, or Vienna or Prague and all the other places I could no longer visit, I sought out the Mission Inn. It couldn't be all those places, no. Yet it gave me a unique haven and sent me back out into my sterile world a renewed spirit.

It wasn't the only place where I wasn't anybody at all, but it was the best place, and the place to which I went the most.

The Mission Inn was not far from where I "lived," if one could call it that. And I went there on impulse generally, and at any time that they could give me my suite. I liked the other rooms all right, especially the Inn keeper's Suite, but I was patient in waiting for the Amistad. And sometimes they called me on one of the many special cell phones I carried, to let me know the suite could be mine.

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