Sometimes a publisher or publicist sends me a book I haven’t requested. Most of those books get donated to the library because they just aren’t ones I’m interested in or I don’t have a review slot available for months. When I read the premise for Run to Ground by D.P. Lyle, however, I decided to read it because it sounded very interesting.
D.P. Lyle is an award-winning author who has written fiction and non-fiction books, as well as acted as a consultant on various well-known TV series, all about murder and forensics. So he must know something about crime, right? Run to Ground is Book #3 in his Dub Walker crime series; however, it reads quite well as a stand-alone novel. If you like a good detective novel with thriller twists and turns then you’re going to want to enter our giveaway. One lucky reader will win an advance readers copy (ARC) of Run to Ground!
“’He’s gone,’ Martha said. ‘Everything’s gone. Or will be.’
Tim smoothed her hair as details from a room frozen in time raced toward him.”
Martha and Tim Foster’s only son, eight-year-old Steven, was kidnapped and murdered by a local Huntsville, Alabama pedophile. Experiencing a parent’s worst nightmare was bad enough but they watched as Walter Whitiker got a light sentence because of a technicality. Whitiker insisted he was innocent even though everyone knew he was guilty. To extend the Fosters’ nightmare even further, he repeatedly threatened their lives from his jail cell.
And now, after serving only two years, Whitiker’s scheduled to be released from jail. The Fosters have known this day was coming and they’re terrified Whitiker is serious about killing them so, as much as it pains them to leave their home, these pillars of the community have decided the only thing they can do is run as far from Huntsville as possible. They’ve been planning their escape for six months and have timed it for the day Whitiker is released. Martha and Tim Foster will cease to exist that day, and Robert Beckwith and Cindy Strunk will move to Ashville, NC.
“She shook her head, uncertainty lingering in her eyes. ‘What if they find out Robert and Cindy have been dead for a couple of decades?’
‘Still – ‘
‘It’ll work. We’re not the first to rummage through old obituaries and cemeteries. Lots of people have done it before us.’”
Even though they’re good people, they’ve also been planning something else; the justice they feel was denied their son and the only way they know they have a fighting chance to survive. They’re ready when Whitiker walks out of the prison, and Tim shoots him in the chest from deep in the wooded hillside surrounding the prison parking lot.
T-Tommy Tortelli and the other police are there for Whitiker’s release to manage the crowd of angry citizens protesting his release. They can’t believe it when they see his cocky strut of a walk falter and his collapse. Whitiker is dead. The crowd doesn’t know whether to cheer or run for their lives. Whitiker’s brother, JD, is vowing vengeance on the Fosters when he arrives afterward to find Whitiker dead.
It doesn’t take long to determine that two bullets entered Whitiker’s chest, one non-fatal and one fatal. When the trajectory is plotted and officers are dispatched to the hills, they find what they believe is the murder weapon and the chase is on.
“I walked to where T-Tommy stood near the roadway. He was scanning the wooded hillside across the county road. I knew he had heard the same sounds I had. A pair of soft pops. Gunshots from a distance. Muffled by the trees.
‘Anything?’ I asked.
He shook his head. ‘…I sent Stone and a couple of other guys on up. Shooter’s probably in the wind by now. Would’ve had an escape route worked out. Might get lucky though. Stone called the Chief and he’s got more officers on the way.’”
T-Tommy quickly officially brings Dub Walker in on the case as a consultant. Together they begin to reconstruct the crime. Almost everyone in town has heard the Fosters planned to move to Phoenix, AZ to escape Whitiker’s threats; however, when Dub and T-Tommy go to tell them they don’t have to leave after all, the house is still filled with all of their belongings. There are none of the normal signs of a move. It looks more like a kidnapping took place.
Although at first the fear is that something awful happened to the Fosters, soon all clues seem to point to them as Whitiker’s murderers. Although something about it doesn’t seem right to Dub, aside from what wonderful people they’ve always been. Still he’s got to find them before he can figure out what really happened. He also suspects they’re in danger, even if they weren’t kidnapped, and he’s right.
“JD took the seat vacated by Bo; Twitty a chair facing him across the desk.
‘What can I do for you?’ Twitty asked.
‘I want to hire you. To track someone down.’
‘Anything to do with your brother’s murder? By the way, my condolences.’
‘Thanks. That’s exactly what it’s about.’ JD rocked back in his chair. ‘Not that I don’t trust the cops. It’s just that I don’t trust the cops.’”
The Fosters are good people who’ve reached the end of their rope. Given the way they were described by townspeople, I found it difficult to believe they could have shot Whitiker; however, given enough prolonged stress, grief and bodily threats, you never know what people will do. Dub and T-Tommy make a humorous yet extremely effective team of good ol’ boys. I loved their banter with each other and the rest of their team. And then there are Dub’s pet crows…
“Norton and Kramden, my two crows – I use the term my in its broadest sense – were also clever, but mostly annoying…Thieves without equal, I kept a basket filled with shiny trinkets the boys had scavenged over the years. I had rescued them from a pine tree nest in my neighbor’s yard after their mother abandoned them, or more likely was killed, and raised them into the obnoxious beings they had become.”
D.P. Lyle has developed a fun series that will please crime detective fans as well as thriller fans. Run to Ground has enough twists and turns to please all but the most hard-core mystery or thriller fan and enough police procedural and forensics material to please most of those fans as well. Get ready for a fun roller coaster ride!
Can’t wait to read it?
Run to Ground was published on August 7, 2012, so it should be available from your favorite bookseller below. Just click the button to go there to get it.
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One lucky reader will win an ARC of Run to Ground by D.P. Lyle!
1) The deadline for entries is Saturday night, 8/25/2012, at 11:59pm EDST. No entries after that date/time will be eligible.
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