"The child ran through the dark forest, sobbing, breathless, oblivious to the driving rain that soaked his matted hair and plastered the flimsy shirt against his skin. Jagged streaks of lightning cut across the night sky, creating a stark backdrop for the swaying black oaks silhouetted above him. He ran, stumbled, fell, and ran again, heart pounding in his thin chest, the sound of his own blood roaring in his ears...driven not by reason or logic, but by basic primal instinct - the instinct to survive."
A child vanishes on his way home from school as thunder rumbles in the western horizon. Another is abducted from his bedroom on a dark and storm-filled night. A young mother is murdered in her bed as lightning flashes across the Valley. Who will be next? And why?
When the tranquil community of Blacklick Valley, tucked into the dark, pine-forested mountains of western Pennsylvania, explodes in murder and missing children and terror sweeps across the Valley, Sheriff Jed Tyler is faced with the most challenging case of his career. Who would steal away innocent children as if they never existed? Why do the violent thunderstorms that rip across these Pennsylvania mountains ignite a fury in the mind of the killer that fuels his madness? And...why target Blacklick Valley?
In his quest, will Tyler discover the answer to a dark secret hidden deep in his past? Will newcomer Jenny McConnell capture his free-spirited heart or plunge him into greater danger? With time running out, will Tyler unmask the identity of this madman, untangle the web of mystery, before another victim is taken, another murdered?
From fear-ridden Blacklick Valley to a diabolical satanic cult in the distant Sierra Nevadas, Tyler is swept across the country in his relentless determination to learn the fate of the kidnapped children as well as find resolution to the black abyss in his own soul.
©2014 Donna Cummins (P)2015 Donna Cummins
Exciting, chilling and unexpected
The most memorable moment of this book for me was who Jed found in the burning house.
My favorite scene was also the burning house and the subsequent unraveling of the mystery. Jed might have been the man for the job after all.
My beautiful wife read this book first and urged me to read it without delay. Since I find it difficult to find time to spend multiple hours sitting idle to read, I was thrilled when this book was released on audio. I soon found myself listening at every available moment. In the truck, at the gym, you name it. The details of the Blacklick Valley (Western, PA) and its landscape were extremely intricate and perceptionally visible, including the scents and smells of the seasons. I thought Tony did and excellent job narrating this book, by Donna Cummins. He brought such life to the characters, differentiating each with a unique tone. I could feel Bonnies angst at Billy's disappearance and the worry in Jed's voice, as time to find Billy was slipping away. Even Jenny's motherly tone and Timmy's excitement. I was not able to guess "whodunnit" until the precise moment that Donna wanted me to. It truly was a mystery.
Mark & April K.
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