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Read/Download Dead North (eBook) online
Read/Download Dead North (eBook) online

Read online or Download Dead North (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Sue Henry


Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781628152890
Publisher:
Speaking Volumes, LLC
Publication date:
11/13/2015
Pages:
366
Sales rank:
344,838
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.82(d)

Overview

With her cabin a pile of ashes and her life in pieces, champion Alaskan "musher" Jessie Arnold has gratefully accepted a friend's proposal that she drive his motor home up from Idaho, along the Alaska Highway-a breathtaking, two thousand-mile-long route winding past hot springs, glaciers, and ice-blue lakes. But the idyllic trip takes a dark turn when a teenage hitchhiker brings terror aboard. Frightened and alone, Patrick Cutler disappears just before the police inform Jessie that the young runaway is wanted in connection with two shocking murders. Suddenly she is cast into a raging maelstrom of dark secrets and deadly consequences. And the cold and empty road she's traveling could be leading her not to her home... but to a grave in the trackless wilderness.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Jessie Arnold's been living in a tent since her last house burned down (Beneath the Ashes, 2000, etc.), so it seems like a welcome change when she's asked to drive a brand-new motor-home from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, up the spectacular Alaska Highway while she waits for construction to begin on her new place. But Jessie won't be enjoying a scenic idyll for long. A few days into the journey, her lunch is stolen by a young man she finds cowering under her RV-a cold, hungry teenager named Patrick Cutler. Her road friend, Maxie, a senior citizen with a dachshund who has taken a shine to her husky Tank, shelters the boy for the night. Before Jessie and Maxie have a chance to question Patrick further, though, he disappears, along with Maxie's larder. Patrick is headed to Fairbanks, on the run from Cody, Wyoming, where his mother was beaten to death. His brutal cop stepfather, McMurdock, claimed Patrick killed her with a baseball bat before he checked out of Cody too. Detective Loomis, McMurdock's colleague, is investigating. When another Cody teenager is thrown off a bridge, Loomis joins the Royal Canadian Mounties in pursuit of Patrick and McMurdock, setting the stage for Jessie and Maxie to encounter Patrick once more-and for a chase up the Alaska Highway, with lumbering motor-homes and big rigs providing NASCAR-like thrills. A stock travelogue interrupted by stock peril. There's not much doubt about the villain either, although voluble Maxie makes a nice change from Jessie's more taciturn friends back home.

Related Subjects

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  • ">Crime Thrillers
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  • ">Wilderness & Frontier - Fiction

    Read an Excerpt

     

     

    Chapter One

     

    The old man woke still tired from a restless sleep in the back bedroom of his small house on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, and grumbled to himself as he rolled over, seeking comfort in a new position. His legs were aching again and there was a charley horse in his right foot. He slid down far enough in the bed to brace it against the footboard and push hard against the cramped muscles of the arch, stretching them until the spasm finally eased, then for a while longer, just to make sure it wouldn't immediately return.

    Wide awake now, he pushed himself to a sitting position so he could swing his feet painfully out of the bed, stood up, and tottered toward the bathroom. Couldn't sleep through the night anymore without his bladder waking him at least twice. A couple of times lately he had even dreamed that he got up and made it to the toilet, only to come suddenly awake in the middle of the action and find himself lying shamefully in a wet spot like some goddammed kid. The doctor said there was nothing really wrong, that it was just age and a body that couldn't be entirely depended on anymore — but it worried him anyway.

    Young medical whippersnapper — maybe he'd missed something. Whippersnapper? Where the hell had that come from? He'd never said whippersnapper in his life. Even beginning to sound old, he chided himself.

    As he stood poised for action, one hand braced on the door frame, he realized that, through the slightly open bathroom window, he was faintly hearing voices from the house next door — angry voices, one male,one female. They were at it again. If they had to fight, why did they always have to do it in the middle of the night? But he knew why.

    That bastard McMurdock came off his shift with the Cody Police Department at midnight. At least one night a week he would come home, have a snort or two, and provoke his wife into an argument that rapidly turned physical — pounding out frustrations and aggression on her that would have had him up on charges had he done it on the job. Sometimes lately the hostility wound up involving her young son, Patrick, who hated his stepfather and, now that he was older and bigger, sometimes came to her defense.

    Finished with his business, the old man flushed the toilet and, impatient for the rush of water in the tank to stop so he could listen, flipped off the bathroom light and went to the window. Working to raise it as far as it would go, he peered out into thirty feet of dark yard between the two houses, worried about the woman, but more about the boy. The upstairs bedroom light was on next door and he could almost, but not quite, make out the sense of McMurdock's belligerent shouting. The tank water quit running and he heard McMurdock's wife wail in pain and her body thump against a wall.

    A dim light came on in Patrick's basement room and the old man hoped the youngster would stay put and out of harm's way. His interference would only make things worse, as usual. Though he might divert some of his stepfather's brutality from his mother, he was not large or strong enough to stop him, to do what the old man longed to do — though he knew he was no more up to the job of giving McMurdock a taste of his own savagery than the boy.

    He would call the police — if the dammed police would do anything. But from sad experience he knew they wouldn't arrest one of their own — he'd already tried that twice to no avail. All it had earned him was a threat across the back fence from McMurdock and embarrassed pleading from young Patrick not to call his stepfather's friends again.

    He was a good kid, really. Showed up unasked on a regular basis to mow the old man's lawn when he mowed his own, sometimes helped out with things too heavy for the old man to lift or too high for him to reach anymore, or ran a few errands. Then they would sit in the kitchen over a glass of juice or soda, talking — though never about what went on in the night next door. Patrick tried to act as if everything was perfectly normal, but his casual smile often didn't erase the hurt and confusion in his eyes, as he shied away from anything approaching the secret he was clearly ashamed of and bent on keeping to himself.

    The old man knew that Patrick had been in trouble once for helping to spray-paint four-letter words on a police car parked outside a restaurant where the two officers who drove it were taking a dinner break. That particular mischief made some sense when you thought about it — acting out, he'd heard it called — a kind of getting back. A black eye and bruises from McMurdock were the result, and the old man had fervently wished that there were something he could...

    Another cry from next door interrupted his thoughts, accompanied by the sharp splintering of glass, then the shriek was abruptly cut off. Something heavy fell, then there was silence. The elongated shadow of a person passed over the shade that covered the window. There were no further sounds from the upstairs room.

    The old man waited, listening in the dark, but the episode appeared to be over. Tomorrow, and for several days, she would not leave the house, hiding out inside. If he, or anyone, knocked, there would be no answer. Then any lingering cuts and bruises would be the result of a fall — an accident — her own clumsiness. And young Patrick would make himself scarce, probably with those two friends of his, hoping not to cause further trouble...

     



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