Earlier, I was able to review the police thriller “Two Days Gone,” by Randall Silvis, and really enjoyed the unique perspective: following the police chasing the maybe-bad guy as well as the possible killer.
The book goes on sale TODAY and thanks to the publisher, I’ve got some special treats for you guys!
First, make sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway through January 31st for a chance to win a free copy of the book!
Then come back here January 17 for a special Q&A with Randall Silvis as part of a blg tour celebrating the book’s release! Follow Randall Silvis on Twitter for more!
Finally, here’s a special Chapter One preview to get you excited for the book and the Q&A (after the jump).
First Chapter Excerpt
The waters of Lake Wilhelm are dark and chilled. In some places, the lake is deep enough to swallow a house.In others, a body could lie just beneath the surface, tangledin the morass of weeds and water plants, and remainunseen, just another shadowy form, a captive feast for thecatfish and crappie and the monster bass that will nibbleaway at it until the bones fall asunder and bury themselves inthe silty floor.
In late October, the Arctic Express begins towhisper south- eastward across the Canadian plains,driving the surface of Lake Erie into white-tipped breakersthat pound the first cold breaths of winter intonorthwestern Pennsylvania. From now until April, sunnydays are few and the spume-strewn beaches of Presque Isle empty but for misanthropic stragglers, summer shopsboarded shut, golf courses as still as cemeteries, marinasstripped to their bonework of bare, splintered boards. Forthe next six months, the air will be gray and pricked withrain or blasted with wind-driven snow. A season of surlinessprevails.
Sergeant Ryan DeMarco of the PennsylvaniaState Police, Troop D, Mercer County headquarters, hasseen this season come and go too many times. He hasseen the surliness descend into despair, the despair to acts of desperation, or, worse yet, to deliberately maliciousacts, to behavior that shows no regard for the fragility offlesh, a contempt for all consequences.
He knows that on the dozen or so campuses between Erieand Pittsburgh, college students still young enough toenvision a happy future will bundle up against the biting chill,but even their youth- ful souls will suffer the effects of thisseason of gray. By November, they will have grownannoyed with their roommates, exasperated withprofessors, and will miss home for the first time since September. Home is warm and bright and where theholidays are waiting. But here in Pennsylvania’s farthestnorthern reach, Lake Wilhelm stretches like a bony fingerdown a glacier-scoured valley, its waters dark with pine resin,its shores thick on all sides with two thousand acres of treesand brush and hanging vines, dense with damp shadowsand nocturnal things, with bear and wildcat and coyote,with hawks that scream in the night.
In these woods too, or near them, a murderer now hides, aman gone mad in the blink of an eye.
The college students are anxious to go home now, hometo Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukah, to warmthand love and light. Home to where men so respected andadored do not suddenly butcher their families and escapeinto the woods.
The knowledge that there is a murderer in one’s midstwill stagger any community, large or small. But when thatmurderer is one of your own, when you have trusted theeducation of your sons and daughters to him, when youhave seen his smiling face in every bookstore in town,watched him chatting with Robin Roberts on GoodMorning America, felt both pride and envy in his suddenacclaim, now your chest is always heavy and you cannot seem to catch your breath. Maybe you claimed, lastspring, that you played high school football with TomHuston. Maybe you dated him half a lifetime ago, tastedhis kiss, felt the heave and tremor of your bodies as you layin the lush green of the end zone one steamy August nightwhen love was raw and new. Last spring, you were quick toclaim an old intimacy with him, so eager to catch some ofhis sudden, shimmering light. Now you want only to huddleindoors. You sit and stare at the window, confused by yourown pale reflection.
Now Claire O’Patchen Huston, one of the prettiestwomen in town, quietly elegant in a way no local womancould ever hope to be, lies on a table in a room at thePennsylvania State Police forensics lab in Erie. There is thewide gape of a slash across her throat, an obscene slit thatruns from the edge of her jawline to the opposite clavicle.
Thomas Jr., twelve years old, he with the quickest smileand the fastest feet in sixth grade, the boy who made allthe high school coaches wet their lips in anticipation, shares the chilly room with his mother. The knife that tookhim in his sleep laid its path low across his throat, a quick,silencing sweep with an upward turn.
As for his sister, Alyssa, there are a few fourth grade girlswho, a week ago, would have described her as a snob, buther best friends knew her as shy, uncertain yet of how towear and carry and contain her burgeoning beauty. Sheappears to have sat up at the last instant, for the blood thatspurted from her throat sprayed not only across the pillow,but also well below it, spilled down over her chest beforeshe fell back onto her side. Did she understand the message of that gurgling gush of breath in her finalmoments of consciousness? Did she, as blood soaked intothe faded pink flannel of her pajama shirt, lift her gaze to herfather’s eyes as he leaned away from her bed?
And little David Ryan Huston, asleep on his back in his crib— what dreams danced through his toddler’s brain in its lastquivers of sentience? Did his father first pause to listen tothe susurrus breath? Did he calm himself with itssibilance? The blade on its initial thrust missed the toddler’sheart and slid along the still-soft sternum. The second thrustfound the pulsing muscle and nearly sliced it in half.
The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. Allgone now. Snap your fingers five times, that’s how long ittook. Five soft taps on the door. Five steel-edged scrapesacross the tender flesh of night.