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No, lets tell that story now. When the guard surprised us, I thought, now Im in deep shit. But Lincs brilliant wit saved us-the first of many such rescues. As the guard inched into the dark hall, shining his light around, anxious voice booming out, Whos there? Linc came up with the perfect reply. He cried out, Thank God, youve finally found us! Weve been wandering around for hours looking for the exit! How in the world do you get out of this place?

The guard escorted us out the security exit, never knowing I was a rogue museum employee conducting an undercover tour.

Linc and I began discussing our novel, set in the museum, which we had decided to call Relic. One evening, Linc and I were sitting on his porch in Westchester County, sharing a bottle of good single malt. Between tipples of malt and discussions of what fine fellows we were, what rare geniuses, and how we would take the literary world by storm, we managed to hash out the plot to Relic. I agreed to take a crack at the first few chapters.

In the meantime, I had moved from New York City to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the calls began coming. How were the chapters going? Fine, just fine! I would reply. After a year of this, Lincs patience began to wear thin. He is not normally the kind of person who employs vulgar language, but I do recall him telling me one time, Doug, just write the fucking chapters already.

So I finally did. To my great surprise, I enjoyed the experience. I had always thought of myself as a serious writer, in line for a Nobel Prize, but I found I enjoyed writing a novel about a brain-eating monster loose in a museum a lot more than I expected.

I sent the first few chapters to Linc. He called me and said he liked them very much, except for one thing. I had two New York City cops, partners, who were the investigating officers. Doug, theyre both the same character, Linc said.

What do you mean? I was immediately furious at this slight to my literary talent.

You got this one guy, Vincent DAgosta, ethnic New York City cop, rough on the outside with a heart of gold. And then youve got his partner-exactly the same, except hes Irish.

After profoundly damning Lincs contemptible literary taste, I finally came around to seeing his point.

What we need, Linc said, is a detective no ones ever seen before. A real fish out of water. Someone who will act as a foil to DAgosta and to New York City itself.

Oh, God, I said, not another unique detective, please! What, you mean like an albino from New Orleans?

There was a long silence and then I heard Linc say, An albino from New Orleans Intriguing Very intriguing

Lincoln Child | The Lineup: The World`s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives | c