Wednesday, December 11, 2019

"Down the Darkest Road"

Kylie Brant is the author of more than forty novels, including Cold Dark Places in the Cady Maddix series, the Circle of Evil Trilogy, and the stand-alone novels Pretty Girls Dancing and Deep as the Dead. A three-time RITA Award nominee, five-time RT Award finalist, and two-time Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Brant is a member of the Romance Writers of America, including its Kiss of Death mystery and suspense chapter; Novelists, Inc.; and the International Thriller Writers. Her books have been published in thirty-four countries and have been translated into eighteen languages.

Brant applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Down the Darkest Road, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“A man named Bruce Forrester was also locked up at that time.” Cady took a picture of Forrester from her pocket and slid it across the table to Gosch. “Do you remember him?”

He tapped the photo once. “Yeah. Yeah, I do. Mostly ’cuz I heard ‘bout what he done later. Killing that kid and all. Knew at the time there was something wrong with him. Did he molest that boy before he killed him?”

Cady blinked. “Why would you ask that?”

Gosch leaned forward, lowering his voice. “There was this other guy in here at the time. Byrd. He was kept isolated. I figured he done something big, but then one of the guys said he was one of them pedos.”

“A pedophile?”

“Yeah. There were just a few of us in there until late the next night when a whole shit ton of people got hauled in. Jailers shifted us around some, but Forrester, he asks to cell with him.” Gosch sat back, gave her a knowing look. “Forrester is one of them guys you give a wide berth. The rest of us waited, expecting a bloodbath. Ain’t no one got time for a pervert like Byrd, and we figured Forrester would half kill him before the jailers could separate them.”

That was the impression Cady had formed of the fugitive as well. “But he didn’t?”

Gosch shook his head slowly. “Nope. Whole time they was in there, they had their heads together whispering. Just talking real low, like the best of buds. Only thing I could figure was Forrester might have the same interest in little kids that Byrd did.”
Page 69 has US Deputy Marshal Cady Maddix tracking down fugitive Bruce Forrester on a recent kidnapping warrant. In this passage, she’s interviewing a county inmate who was jailed at the same time as the fugitive years earlier. Gosch’s conclusion about Forrester doesn’t pan out, but his revelation does connect to how Forrester has been making a living all these years. And it’s critical to Cady’s growing suspicion that the key to finding the man is buried in his dark past.

Five years ago, ten-year-old Dylan Castle and his friend went into the woods one night and stumbled onto Forrester in the middle of a crime scene. Dylan survived; his friend did not. Dylan and his family have moved from place to place to stay one step ahead of Forrester. Cady is afraid that the boy is the reason the fugitive has remained the area. But to find him, she’s first going to have to figure out what happened in the woods that night. The closer she draws to the truth, the more danger she’s in. Cady has to find Forrester before he discovers where Dylan is hiding. And she has to stay alive long enough to save them both.
Visit Kylie Brant's website.

--Marshal Zeringue