See How They Run


By James Patterson

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His family has been murdered. His past lover is running for her life. And now, Dr. David Strauss must travel across Europe to track down the killers.

Outside New York City, the palatial home of Dr. David Strauss’s parents is attacked by gunmen during a glittering party. As he watches helplessly, his wife is murdered. In Los Angeles, Strauss’s brother is killed during the Academy Award ceremonies. In Manhattan, his past sweetheart, Alix Rothchild, is running for her life. Dr. David Strauss is soon obsessed with finding the explosive secret behind the murders of his family members. His dangerous odyssey takes him across Europe, and finally to the Olympics, straight to one of the most shattering surprises in suspense fiction.

Brilliant and chilling, See How They Run is another stunning story from the world’s #1 writer.


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

Copyright © 1979, 1997 by James Patterson

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the US. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This edition is published by arrangement with the author.

Originally published as The Jericho Commandment.

Cover design by Steve Snider

Cover illustration by Gabriel Molano


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ISBN: 978-0-446-40931-5

First eBook Edition: May 1997

The novels of James Patterson


Cross Roses Are Red

Mary, Mary Pop Goes the Weasel

London Bridges Cat & Mouse

The Big Bad Wolf Jack & Jill

Four Blind Mice Kiss the Girls

Violets Are Blue Along Came a Spider


7th Heaven

The 6th Target (and Maxine Paetro)

The 5th Horseman (and Maxine Paetro)

4th of July (and Maxine Paetro)

3rd Degree (and Andrew Gross)

2nd Chance (and Andrew Gross)

1st to Die


The Quickie (and Michael Ledwidge)

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

Step on a Crack (and Michael Ledwidge)

Judge & Jury (and Andrew Gross)

Maximum Ride: School's Out—Forever

Beach Road (and Peter de Jonge)

Lifeguard (and Andrew Gross)

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

Honeymoon (and Howard Roughan)


Sam's Letters to Jennifer

The Lake House

The Jester (and Andrew Gross)

The Beach House (and Peter de Jonge)

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

Cradle and All

Black Friday

When the Wind Blows

See How They Run

Miracle on the 17th Green (and Peter de Jonge)

Hide & Seek

The Midnight Club

Season of the Machete

The Thomas Berryman Number

For previews of upcoming James Patterson novels and information about the author, visit


Scarsdale, New York.

April 24, 1980.

One day before the beginning.

Along the dark, gray country roads there were Tudor and Norman mansions with eight-foot-high hedges and pollarded trees. There was a striking chimney-red tennis court with high white referee chairs—where a rich adulteress named Norma Lynch had been shot to death in 1943.

There were rigidly rectangular cream and lime-green tile swimming pools and trendy bumper stickers: Honk if you believe in tennis; and Post roads, James Fenimore Cooper streets, Leatherstocking lanes. …

These things, in fact, were the rule of thumbing one's nose in that part of Westchester County where Dr. David Strauss and Alix Rothman had grown up.

Where the American part of the story has its beginnings.

Where the nightmares begin.

The April day that made the village infamous had a scratchy, nervous quality about it.

It left an uncomfortable feeling in Vulkan's mouth, like sweater fuzzballs under his tongue.

Coughing into a crisp white handkerchief, Vulkan watched the others fan away from the wonderfully kept children's playground.

The Hausfrau (Housewife), a pretty, petite woman—also a fearsome, dedicated warrior—walked away alongside a picturesque fieldstone wall and weeping willow trees on Horse Guard Lane.

The Soldat (Soldier) was forcing his great hulking body into a sleek MG Stag parked on Upper North Avenue.

The Waffen-Fachmann (Weapons Expert) sat at a bus stop, a paperback, The Boat, pressed up to his face. He had on a beige raincoat, snap-brim hat, Weejuns … very American looking.

The beadlelike Ingenieur (Engineer) had simply vanished—poof—blended into the residential backdrop like yet another Country Squire station wagon.

Last, the Führer was marching off to a chauffeured limousine, which was relatively inconspicuous on the money-lined streets.

The idea of their taking on World War II code names, meeting on this small-town American street in 1980, was preposterous and dangerous, Vulkan was thinking.

Still, the final meeting had to be someplace, didn't it?

The final decisions had to be made before the Final Solution could begin.

Vulkan took out a beautiful pocket watch, cradling it in the Palm of his hand. The man's face was dimly reflected in the silver lid of the watch. His felt hat, tipped at a raffish angle, was reflected as well.

It was all neatly superimposed over a grand, elegant inscription: Dachau Konzentrationslager. Sturmbannführer Mann. 1932—

Agile, piano-player fingers now pried open the watch cover.

Inside was a delicately balanced, silver and ruby-red swastika.

The four crooked arms were pointed and feathered like an Eagle trout-fishing hook.

Over the swastika itself, tiny black hands were ticking off the seconds, days, years.

It was now time to begin.


The people who live in Scarsdale, especially the buck skinned, shaggy-haired boys and girls who attend the ivy-covered high school, often complain that nothing meaningful or exciting ever happens in the quiet, wealthy suburban town.

The following night something terrible happened.

Murder was committed in Scarsdale,

The Nazis came to America.


Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, April 25.

The teenager lying center stage, Trendelenburg position on the hospital delivery table, was Katherine Hope O'Neill. Katherine was an anachronistic Irish-Catholic girl from the Yorkville section of Manhattan. She had a Kelly-green bow in her shiny black hair to prove it.

The underwhelming color in the Mount Sinai Hospital delivery room was green also. A slightly turquoise, sloshy, seasick green.

The hospital setup table was covered with sterile green gowns, green drapes, furzy green sponges. A wrinkled sheet was laid underneath the delivery table like a big green mistake. "The evaporating, dying Cookie Monster," Dr. David Strauss had called it:

At 2:45 A.M., with a cup of lukewarm New York regular and a stale Danish sloughing back and forth in his stomach, all that thirty-seven-year-old Dr. David Strauss could manage for the teenager was, "Well, Kath, I guess in about a week or so you're going to have a baby."

"Booo." The head nurse, Mary Cannel, managed a half smile.

"Hey, what do you guys expect at quarter to three in the morning? Robert Klein? Steve Martin, maybe?"

Katherine O'Neill's cervix was fully dilated now and she was pushing hard to expel her baby.

"Push! Push! Push!" one of the nurses was chanting like a medieval midwife.

Just a little girl, David Strauss was thinking as he stood over the delivery-room scrub basin. Little teen-angel. Soft white Madonna's face framed in lovely rings of black hair. Knocked up on the swinging East Side. Shit. What a waste.

According to her chart, Katherine O'Neill was seventeen. Unmarried. Uninsured. And much too young to have babies, David Strauss would have added. Too tiny and narrow at the hips.

Which was probably why the fetal monitor read 101—about nineteen counts slower than it should have been.

David Strauss hurried into a loose-fitting scrub suit. He tugged his sewing-thimble cap over his thick black curls. Tied on the mask. Booties. And as he always did right about then, David Strauss suddenly felt a great wave of very adult responsibleness. For the next fifteen minutes or so, he was a doctor. He was an adult.

One of the nurses, who was busy listening to the O'Neill baby with a fetuscope, suddenly called out across the room.

"The heartbeat has stopped, David!"

David Strauss, the anesthetist, and the attending resident ran to the delivery table.

Katherine O'Neill was undergoing the most severe contractions.

The girl was sobbing, calling out a boy's name. The small breasts under her hospital tunic were hard fists with sharp tiny points.

A pair of forceps appeared in Dr. David Strauss's hand.

Glinting in the overhead kettledrum lights, the forceps descended between Katherine O'Neill's trembling legs.

Then David was hoisting a baby girl up into the lime-light, letting its blood rush back for nourishment.

The umbilical cord was carefully snipped. David whacked the baby's bottom extra hard.

"Prolapsed cord." The young doctor tried to sound calm and usual. A "prolapsed cord" meant that the umbilical cord had been compressed between the baby's head and the mother's pelvic bone. Oxygen had totally been cut off.

The baby girl still wasn't breathing.

Strauss's six-foot one-inch frame was bent in half over the blue, suffering infant. He gently blew into a tracheal catheter, trying to force oxygen into the baby's lungs.

"More heat!" He wanted the Infant Table Warmer.

"Adrenalin," the resident tersely instructed at Strauss's side.

In the terrible machine-quiet of the Mount Sinai delivery room, David Strauss underwent nearly fifteen minutes of the tensest, most draining exercise and strain he could imagine.

Finally, his dark thick head of curls flew back. David Strauss moaned. He looked down on the O'Neill baby. She looked like a sleeping little doll.

"Oh screw me," David said. "Just screw everything."

He walked over to the delivery table and leaned down toward the seventeen-year-old. David Strauss then hugged Katherine O'Neill—something that was so absolutely forbidden by hospital rules, it wasn't even covered in the regulations.

"Oh Doctor, Doctor, Doctor," the little girl sobbed into his hair. "I just want to die, too."

It was 3:09 A.M. on April 25.

For David Strauss, the death of the O'Neill baby wasn't the worst thing that would happen to him that day.

It wasn't even in the top ten.


Scarsdale, April 25.

Winding along the pretty duck pond and tree-infested Bronx River Parkway that night, feeling familiar, pleasant vibrations rising up from their '64 Mercedes 190 (their New York City shitkicker—"the Gray Ghost"), David Strauss couldn't help thinking that he and his wife, Heather, basically had most of the things they wanted in life.

Sometimes—after the death of young Katherine O'Neill's baby, for example, David wondered if he and Heather didn't have too much of a good thing.

Less than two months earlier, David was thinking as he maneuvered the too-skinny Parkway lanes, he and Heather had bluffed their way past the stuffed-shirt, bluestocking Coop board of the Beresford Building on Central Park West. They were now the comparatively young landlords of a high-ceilinged, eight-room park-and-river-view penthouse in one of New York's landmark, snobbier apartment buildings.

Right in the lobby of the forty-seven-year-old building, David also owned a neat, oak-paneled office, where he wore a white shirt and Brooks Brothers striped tie every day; where he practiced efficient, sometimes inspired medicine for women ranging from a world-renowned fifty-one-year-old playwright quietly having an illegitimate ("I like to think of her as 'fatherless,' David.") baby on the twenty-second floor, to the more conventional problems of Pap smears, pelvic examinations, yeast infections, menopause, and Premarin dispensation.

Heather, an ear, nose, and throat specialist, preferred working out of Mount Sinai on 100th and Madison, but she, too, loved their apartment in the Beresford.

That night, Heather had worn a formal Yves St. Laurent dress from Saks. She'd also had her long blond hair tipped and sensor-permed at Suga. Heather was looking very spiffy, David was thinking, as the two of them sped along.

"Tell me something, David," Heather kept saying as the Gray Ghost got closer and closer to Scarsdale. "Are the rest of the Strausses ever going to like me? At least to put up with me? Seriously, David?"

Which was a funny question in a way, because Heather was one of the most likable people David had ever met.

Everyone liked Heather Strauss.

Patients, even the most irascible bastards; New York City cabdrivers; the monsignori-venerable doormen and elevator operators at the Beresford.


Were the Strausses ever going to like Heather? Well, David thought, even he was puzzled over the answer to that one.

All for three, simpleminded, medieval, and pretty stupid reasons: (a) on Sunday mornings, maybe twelve times a year, Heather attended services at St. John the Evangelist Church; (b) she ate Oscar Mayer and Nathan's Famous hot dogs; (c) she identified with characters out of Captains and the Kings and John Updike, instead of Seventh Avenue and Chaim Potok.

In other words, Heather Duff Strauss was a blond-haired, sparkly blue-eyed, wonderfully human and lovable shiksa.

David's wife, his best friend, "the top," as the old Cole Porter song had so nicely put it.


The Housewife was just finishing her fourth surveillance walk past the mesmerizing lights of the Strauss mansion in Scarsdale.

She strolled past the rolling front lawns of the moon-flooded estate and down alongside a long stone wall trailing geranium vines. She approached a copse of maple trees loitering at the end of the block, like a shadowy street gang.

In front of her on a taut chain leash, a perky young Irish setter—bought earlier that evening in White Plains—excitedly sniffed its first bed of pachysandra and relieved itself on the leafy plants.

With her pretty dog, her navy riding jacket, her gypsy kerchief, the Housewife blended neatly into the suburban night scene.

The chic-looking woman estimated that there were now sixty to seventy people attending the large Strauss affair.

Quiet Upper North Avenue was an impressive parking lot for Lincolns, Cadillac Sevilles, Mercedes 280 Es, Jaguar XJs, and other expensive automobiles.

"We almost have a full house," the Housewife whispered into a transmitter clipped onto her riding jacket.

As she passed a side view of the house, the woman fingered round, bumpy objects in a special pouch pocket sewn into her sports jacket.

The bumpy objects were white phosphorus grenades, the kind that had been used to raze entire villages in Vietnam and Cambodia.

At the corner of Post Road, the Housewife bent and patted the young setter's soft smooth head.

She whispered into the pup's perked right ear. "Yes, yes, yes. That's a good girl." Then the woman clipped off the chain leash and released the small dog. Someone would care for it, she knew.

I have killed before, the Housewife said to herself, but never quite like this. She looked at the pretty house—cozy North Avenue. It made her shiver to think of the rest.


It looked like something out of an illustrated children's book. High above the Strauss mansion's steep, four-gabled roof a moon raced through a high ceiling of poplar and oak leaves.

The estate grounds were a beautiful, smoky-gray painting that night. Close up, every object was finely etched in black.

The skeleton of an old hickory tree.

A horned owl perched on a garage.

The strange, strange man in his dark pilot's Windcheater looked like a highly skilled housebreaker.

Which was one way to describe the Soldier.

Pressed down close to the loamy, steaming ground, he ran as quickly and silently as his heavy backpack would allow.

He trampled through formal gardens on the East Park side of the Strauss property. Past a red-barn-siding garage with its own private gas pump. Across a mushy bog that rose up to his shoetops. Over an unexpected brook and into what looked like an old world fruit and vegetable garden.

The Soldier stopped and crouched low at a vine-covered gazebo that had seemed to be a small cottage from the brook.

"There's a single man out here," he spoke into his transmitter.

Watching the man—who had come out of the party for a smoke—the Soldier unstrapped his heavy pack and waited until the man from the party finally wandered back inside.

Now the Soldier could begin.

Inside the bag was a curious assortment of supplies. Knotted rags. Different lengths of copper pipe. An American-made Colt Python with four clips. Fuse. A full two-and-a-half-gallon Exxon gasoline can.

Right in the heart of Westchester County, New York, the Soldier couldn't help thinking as he set to work.

In America.


David and Heather climbed out of the dusty, rusted Gray Ghost. Arm in arm, they walked toward the imposing forty-one-room manor house where David had grown up.

"Where's the Sousa band and welcoming committee you promised?" Heather whispered in David's ear.

"Inside." David tapped his knuckle against the house shingles. "The other side of these great, half-timbered walls. With bells on their toes, I'll bet."

Inside the grand Tudor house, the two of them were semiprepared to meet the mainstays of David's immediate family: Strausses, Cohens, Hales, Loebs, Lehmans, Kleins.

So many relatives. Also David's older brother, Nick, who would be appearing on NBC-TV.

On the fifty-second Academy Awards—which was the ostensible reason for the party.

Just thinking about "Nick the Quick" brought a smile to David's lips. Nick was what their grandmother Elena called a tummler, a big, lovable clown—who maybe was going to turn into a successful "alrightnik" out in Hollywood.

The closer he got to the big house, though, the more serious second thoughts David had about the tricky evening ahead.

For one thing, some of the people inside had actually boycotted his and Heather's wedding two years before.

Some of them still hadn't met Heather Duff Strauss.

"Hello. Oh, hi there, Mrs. S."

Heather was looking as pale as the Gray Ghost as she and David stood on the stone front porch.

"Just practicing my act," she assured David, both of them looking up at the great glazed bay windows.

"Okay, let's do it." Heather took a deep breath. "Twang your magic plunker, Froggie. Bang the brass knocker, Davo. I'm as ready as I'll ever be."

David couldn't help smiling at his wife. Just then, though, the big wooden front door seemed to open by itself.

"Aahh-ha," said a flaming red mouth and fluttery blue eyes—David's great-aunt Frieda. "Everybody! Everybody! David and his girlfriend are here … Oops!"

"Oops is right, Aunt Frieda." David held Heather's arm tightly. "Frieda, this is my wife of two years, Heather. Heather, welcome to the North Pole."

Not unexpectedly, the exact tone of voice of the large catered party was difficult to pin down and isolate.

"It's part very sophisticated cocktail party." Heather looked around at chiffon Empire gowns and tuxes; at Queen Anne side chairs; Cromwellian tables and cabinets; expensive art on every available wall space.

"And it's part New York delicatessen service-crew reunion," David smiled. "Knishes. Sour pickles. The herring in cream sauce."

"Also, it's part Irish wake, I think."

"And part Indian suttee … and part United Jewish Appeal breakfast. Remind me to take you to one of those some time."

Technically, it was Nick's day. Only in the Strauss view of the world, that made it the whole family's day, which meant that everyone attending the gala party was up for an Academy Award that night. The entire Strauss family.

After peeling off from yenta Aunt Frieda, from Uncle Milt (colonel in the Army Reserves; ten-million-a-year salesman for Prudential), David and Heather were roadblocked by Aunt Shirley Lehman, who was a trustee of the Brooklyn Museum even though she lived in Tarrytown now, and who was writing a chichi novel about East Side housewives called Pure Vanilla Extract. She sat Heather and David in front of Degas and Chagall, and kibbitzed and kibbitzed until they both felt amazingly at ease and almost welcome at the party.

In fact, after being there for half an hour or so, David began to feel a vaguely familiar glow inside.

He saw that Heather was being accepted into the family—and that Heather herself knew it.

David Strauss found himself smiling.

This was family, damnit! This was okay. It was better than okay.

They blew everything out of proportion all the time. They badgered you. They made you dance the horah. They cut you up, down, and sideways in incisive ways that went right to the bone marrow. But somehow—and David started to laugh out loud as he thought this—some way, they cared for you more than anybody else ever would. They loved Heather—because he loved her.

At one point, loud clapping started up around the huge, warm, familiar living room. People were clapping for David and Heather. Grandmother Elena's wolfhound rolled around the carpet yowling and farting. David kissed Heather and he felt a little warm tear on her cheek.

"I'm really happy," Heather whispered. "I'm never been happier, David."


"This reminds me of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief," David whispered to Heather as they crossed the upstairs hallway.

"Or two of the little Japanese people in Godzilla Meets King Kong," Heather said, suggesting another cinema image.

The two of them sneaked past the ancient ruins of David's old bedroom. Past his father's ten-thousand-book study. Then David was slowly twisting the glass knob on one of the closed bedroom doors.

The polished walnut door sprang open a thin crack. A blade of light sliced out into the hallway.

They could both smell lavender water and sachet, and a boyhood epiphany closed around David: expensive family cars that purred like cats: old family cats that made noises like broken-down cars.

Across a long, busily furnished bedroom they saw eighty-two-year-old Elena Cohen Strauss.

David's grandmother.

Prominent in the woman's very personalized bedroom were a dozen of her original paintings and etchings; a brace of cozy ottoman chairs; bedspread, drapes, and mirror frames all done in matching flowered cotton; a wall of hardcover books in German, English, Russian, and Hebrew—languages that Elena Strauss read and spoke.

"So come on in out of the cold." Elena's eyes grew wide and surprisingly alert.

"Your big brother is on the television any minute now. How are you, Heather dear? What a pretty blue dress. Very striking. Helloo, Davey! Come for some shmooz with your sick grandmother?"

Both David and Heather started to smile.

Since the 1971 automobile-crash deaths of David's parents, Elena Strauss had once again taken control of the family's eighty-odd million dollars. That meant being chairman of the board for Samel Industries (movie theaters, real estate, diamonds); chairman of the Cherrywoods Hotel Realty and Construction Company; director of White Plains Finishing Industries; and director of the Strauss Foundation for the Arts.

Besides being entirely capable of the jobs, Elena gave the task a Volpone/Scrooge McDuck spirit that David found refreshing and wonderful. His grandmother had a pioneer's approach to life that was almost lost in America these days.

Even at eighty-two, David thought, she was more self-sufficient in many ways than he was.

David and Heather hadn't gotten halfway across the room when the big-time small talk began.

"The reason I'm not joining the party, why I couldn't go out to California—I'm feeling awfully, terribly sick, Heather and David. Dizzy spells. Brain not always so connected with my muscles. What's wrong with me, Davey? You're the doctor."

David and Heather pulled up two of the ottoman chairs.

"A high-priced consultation," Heather kidded.

"You're eighty-two years old, Elena," David answered his patient's question. "You smoke, you drink, you fool around."

Elena nodded in an exaggerated fashion. Her mouth made a perfect little red circle.

"Aahhh! Thank you, doctor. And how much will that be?"

"She's been working like a charwoman for seventy-one years. You see, Elena personally watches out for the health and welfare of every living Jew in the world," David informed Heather. "Also, she still futzes around up at our family hotel … because nobody else can run Cherrywoods, right? Not like you and Grandpa Sam could."

David bent in closer to his grandmother. "Tell me one thing, Nana?"

"Anything, my dear sweet bokher."

"Bokher, Heather, is like a little brown-nose kid at yeshiva classes. Listen, Elena, are you and your dizzy spells planning to go up to the hotel for spring cleaning this year?"

Elena started to laugh. David and Heather watched smile cracks form in her powder plaster. Intimations of a much-younger woman, a Madchen back in Berlin, showed in her clear brown eyes.

"Maybe. Maybe not. Who can tell about these things? Gypsy fortune-tellers?"

"Listen, Nana. Seriously. Why don't you take it easy? Don't go to spring cleaning this year."

The elderly lady got very serious for a moment.

"Davey, Heather, in this country, everything is to be young. Have lots of money. Have a Pepsi-Cola life. Why should an old woman retire? Only to die. Don't you think so, Heather? Davey?"

"You don't have to retire," Heather said.

"Saying doesn't make it so. I will


On Sale
May 1, 1997
Page Count
336 pages

James Patterson

About the Author

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author, best known for his many enduring fictional characters and series, including Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, Maximum Ride, Middle School, I Funny, and Jacky Ha-Ha. Patterson’s writing career is characterized by a single mission: to prove to everyone, from children to adults, that there is no such thing as a person who “doesn’t like to read,” only people who haven’t found the right book. He’s given over a million books to schoolkids and over forty million dollars to support education, and endowed over five thousand college scholarships for teachers. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

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