Age Group: Adult
Release Date: September 2013
Two men stand at a lake in New Hampshire and watch a young woman drown herself. Just who the men are, what their connection with the woman is, why she committed suicide, and why the men didn't try to stop her form the basis for this psychological thriller.
The small, sleepy town of Hamptonville seems the last place you would find illicit sex, drugs, blackmail, and murder. But that's exactly what Bruce Orum and his girlfriend Cindy Garvey encounter when they flee from New York City after having killed another girl.
In Hamptonville they meet Luke Downing, a psychopath who uses drugs to control Cindy and make her his sex slave. A cruel, vicious character, Downing showed all the classic symptoms of a cold-blooded killer from the time he was a boy growing up with an imaginary friend who encourages him in his perversions until he became an adult.
Having dominated Cindy, Downing uses her to seduce two fishermen, Pete Engstrom and Hal Bonnacker, when they visit Mirror Lake, after which he plans to blackmail them. Although Cindy seduces the men, she double crosses Downing, disappears, and the men get away.
For the next few months Engstrom and Bonnacker express guilt over what happened at the lake. They decide to return to the scene to find Cindy. Sensing a problem, their wives decide to accompany them.
At Mirror Lake Downing takes the two couples prisoner and plans to torture and humiliate them before killing them. But he does not know that Sheriff Jeff Parker and Molly Hutchison are on his trail and determined to stop him. From page one all the way to the breathtaking ending, you will find yourself on pins and needles waiting to see what happens on the next page.
Not long ago, Old Jonah had seen the girl descending toward the bottom of the lake, her long black hair trailing upward, her outstretched arms flailing wildly. The big fish had seen bubbles exploding from the girl’s mouth as her eyes bulged when she realized that her decision to commit suicide was irreversible.
She kicked her feet, clawed at the water, and struggled against the current that embraced her. Finally, her lungs exploding in her chest, she struck the silt at the bottom of the lake, jogged grotesquely in slow motion, and died.
Old Jonah had finned his way downward through the water and considered the impressions he received from the corpse. But he hadn’t nibbled at it. It wasn’t what he was accustomed to: it was too big, too ungainly, and too unappetizing. He flicked his tail and floated upward toward the light that became brighter as he neared the surface.
Of course, Old Jonah had nibbled at many things before the girl died in the water. Sometimes he went after bugs. At other times he went after fish that were smaller than he was. And sometimes, when he became careless, he flirted with bright, metallic things suspended on thin, translucent threads. Those were the times when he felt himself being yanked upward toward what he knew would be his death.
But he was smart, much smarter than the other fish that were almost always drawn, flapping and struggling, from the depths of Mirror Lake. He never got caught. .
Now, however, just a few days after the girl died, Old Jonah saw something interesting floating on the surface of the water–floating, not hanging from one of those killer strands that had caught so many other fish. He was intrigued. He watched. He waited.
Hank Kellner is a veteran of the Korean War and a retired associate professor of English currently based in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He is the author of 125 Photos for English Composition Classes (J. Weston Walch, 1978); How to Be a Better Photographer (J. Weston Walch, 1978); Write What You See (Prufrock Press, 2010); and, with co-author Elizabeth Guy, Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing (Prufrock Press, 2013).
His published Ebooks include Terror at Mirror Lake, The Taste of Appalachia, The Lucky Star House of Celestial Pleasures, Mayday, Give Me Liberty Or..., I Remember, Prologue to the Pokerbury Tales, Wooden Doors, Humpty Dumpty, Curtains, and Forever.