“You know she is most likely dead,” Naomi said, softly. She had found it was better just to say it. Especially when so much time had passed. The mom froze. “I don’t believe she is.” The two women faced each other. They were close to the same age, but Naomi had the bloom of health on her cheeks, while the mom looked drawn with fear. “Someone took her,” the mother said, firmly. “If they did take her and we find her, she won’t come back the same. You have to know that now,” Naomi said.”
A young girl wanders off of the path during a walk and falls into a hand. Not bad guys, but a large, hand that seems to have been buried a long long time ago.
“My father didn’t want to talk about it afterward. When I asked what I had fallen into, he just found new clever ways of explaining what a hole was. It was about a week later that someone rang the doorbell. I called for my father to go, but I got no answer. I ran down the stairs and opened the door. It was one of the firemen that had gotten me out of the hole. He’d taken some pictures and thought I’d like to see them. He was right. There I was, this tiny little thing at the bottom of the hole, lying on my back in the palm of a giant metal hand.”
“It wasn’t long, however, before Andy learned the lightning had left a rather unusual effect behind. As soon as he sat down at or lingered near a computer, it would slow down and freeze up. The television flickered with static if he came within five feet of it. Andy was forced to withdraw permanently from his lifelong love of gaming. He could never have expected such a cruel blow from Mother Nature. A scar on his neck was one thing — complete with bragging rights and a sort of war story — but to be sentenced to a life without computers? That was a punishment fit for the wretched.”
Brothers Liam and Sean Dwyer both work for the Philadelphia Police Department; Liam is works in forensics and Sean is a detective. They seemed to have recovered from a very tragic childhood where their mother fell apart after their father’s death. When they end up knowing the victim of a brutal murder things start spiraling out of control. Their attempts to “manage” the investigation begin to unravel and put them in a very bad light.
“Daniel didn’t want to start over again after a long stretch on the run, so he grudgingly accepted Sanderson’s last minute, seemingly airtight mission, thinking the general would go away afterward. He’d been kidding himself. Sanderson was up to something big, and it would have swallowed not matter what he had decided.”
A call from someone in his past has Daniel Petrovich on edge. Taking the job brings him back in to his former life…declining might end up killing him. Needless to say, things spiral out of control as the U.S. government discovers his identity and pursues him. He has to escape, leaving his wife behind. He cannot clear his name if he is dead or behind bars.
The Surgeon is the name given to a bizarre serial killer who preys on young women and attacks them in their sleep. Unfortunately for his victims, their journey towards death is not a pleasant one and his “surgery” is done without comfort in mind.
“I would like to be there when the police arrive, but I am not stupid. I know they will study every car that creeps by, every face that stares from the gathering of spectators on the street. They know my urge to return is strong. Even now, as I sit in Starbucks, watching the day brighten outside the window, I feel that room calling me back. But I am like Ulysses, safely lashed to my ship’s mast, yearning for the sirens’ song. I will not dash myself against the rocks. I will not make that mistake.”
“He knew only what he’d heard on the news along with everyone else. But it was straightforward according to the commentary. The shotgun had belonged to Luke. It was the same one later found clamped into what had been left of his mouth.”
Set in unhospitable Australia, Aaron Falk returns home to attend the funeral of his best friend. It seems that his friend killed his wife and young son then turned his shotgun on himself. Falk’s return brings back reminders of a dark past and a young female friend who was found dead many years ago. The small community hasn’t forgotten or forgiven.
Many many years ago I read quite a lot of fantasy science fiction; many of them by Terry Brooks. In The Black Elfstone we meet a “defrocked” druid, a form high druid who has been banished by the druid that replaced him. When a young girl with obvious powers seeks him out he take her on as his student. While they have different goals, they work together in her training and he learns much from her. They are pulled in many directions as someone has hire assassins to kill the druid, a strange and unbeatable army is crossing the land, and the young students brother has strong and unmanageable powers that is wreaking havoc.
“Lost in thought, Ethan said, “I just can’t believe it. What are the odds our son finds a man barely alive that happens to be the best friend I ever had that has been missing for eighteen years?” “I’d say about the same as you deciding to start preaching a couple of years ago,” Sarah said.”
The Last Stand is the first in the series from author Duane Boehm. In this novel, a long, lost friend is found nearly dead and struggles with his feelings about being “home” and his desire to run away from darkness that he refuses to unveil. He becomes attached to his best friend’s son and wife. His vagabond side wins, but he is drawn back to help save someone that he loves.
The Lost Man by Jane Harper takes us to the brutal world of rural Australia. The land is unforgiving. The rural community is stunned when one of their own is found far away from his car and safety. How could this happen to someone who was raised in this world? The investigation into his death looks like foul play. His death opens many old wounds as the family and community grieve.
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