"Exceptional first novel."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Will grip suspense aficionados from the first page."--Library Journal, starred review
"A skillfully written, gripping thriller."--Booklist
"Action-packed with breakneck pacing."--Foreword Reviews
When a day trip out of Las Vegas with his wife takes a turn for the worse, Jack is sure that he has the ability to get them home. But he drove into something far beyond reason.
Rescue comes in the form of a desert hermit, but hope fades as the couple comes to realize that the nomad has no intention of letting them leave. A chance encounter with a kidnapped runaway and her crazed abductor leads them all farther into the wilderness--and closer to the cold brutality that isolation brings.
At the edge of his sanity, Jack begins to learn that playing by another's rules may be the only way to survive.
In a voice that is as hypnotizing as a desert mirage, debut novelist Samuel Parker entices readers down a dangerous road, where the forces of good and evil are as crushing as the Mojave heat. This is suspense in its purest, most unfiltered form.
In the prologue of Parker's exceptional first novel, a runaway named Molly, who claims to be 18, heads for trouble near Las Vegas, Nev. Meanwhile, Chicagoans Jack and Laura, a married couple, are enjoying a cheap vacation in Vegas. After a few days, they decide to take a break from the strip and explore the barren countryside outside the city, where their car stops running, despite still having gas, and both of their phones die. Stranded in the desert with a small and rapidly diminishing supply of food and water, the pair are near death before an eccentric recluse, who calls himself Boots, rescues them. Boots's intervention doesn't end their peril, and they're unsettled to learn that he seems to have supernatural abilities. Jack and Laura's story eventually intersects with Molly's with violent results, but Parker, unlike lesser suspense writers, succeeds in making the reader feel the tragedy of the victims' deaths. The strong execution of an original idea makes the prospect of his next book welcome.