Brown into a world of carnival freaks, ghosts, and killers.
Virginia Mountains, but everything is not merry.
dead aboard a car on the Ferris wheel, and a bullied teenager plots
to kill people at the carnival with a homemade bomb. More
complications arise. Cavendish again butts heads with the local
sheriff, Clinton Pike.
visit from the Angel of Death. And a Fortune Teller at the carnival
knows something that could forever change Cavendish’s life.
must find the killer, help the mystery woman, and risk his life to
prevent more deaths.
From the darkness came a whisper.
I heard the woman’s voice clearly. Yet everywhere was black. A void. Impenetrable and empty.
“Help me, please.”
Sounds beyond the woman’s plea filled the vacuum. Somewhere a happy tune played on a pipe organ, the music dancing in the wind, a prelude to a circus parade with clowns and acrobats and a dancing bear. Children and adults laughed and cheered. Wonderful scents lingered in the air. Sweet cotton candy and popcorn elicited memories of happy times.
Something else filled the atmosphere. The smells of dampness and dirt mingled, forcing back the joy. Decaying leaves and rot stung my nose. I retched at the stench of death.
Disjointed images, fuzzy around the edges, traveled toward me then fell away into nothingness. A farm tractor. A wood rail fence. And a sign, blurred except for the words “GATE MUST BE KEPT CLOSED.”
With the snap, the darkness returned.
In the black, a speck of light grew into an image, taking form and shape. A woman stood in front of me, dressed gaily in a short ruffled pink skirt below a yellow long-sleeve shirt with triangles of black print. Leg warmers like a dancer might wear were bunched around her ankles. A blue ribbon tied in a bow kept back wild, unruly hair.
Her wide blue eyes stared at me, unblinking. Her lips, painted bright red, pursed.
A dark wet spot appeared in her brown hair on the left side of her head, growing like a stain. Blood trickled from the edge of her ear and to her throat. Her head twisted, and a deep gash formed on its side.
She stretched out her arms as if crucified and fell backward in slow motion, tumbling away, then crashing with a deep thud. Her head struck the earth and the blue ribbon came loose. She twisted at an impossible angle, arms and legs bent like a broken doll.
A man in a denim jacket hovered above her, clutching a rock. He stared at the blood covering his hand. A shiver passed through him. He released the rock, letting it vanish into the shadows that surrounded everything.
Another man with his back toward me sauntered up to the woman and stopped at her feet. He wore a white T-shirt with a cigarette pack rolled into the sleeve. He scratched the back of his head, mussing his hair. “What did you do, Johnny boy?”
“I killed her!” The man in denim fell to his knees.
The one in the T-shirt took a drag on a cigarette and tossed it aside. “I’ll take care of things.”
Shadows swelled around them and eclipsed everything except the woman’s face. Her eyes opened. Her lips parted. The whisper came once more. “Please, help me.”
“No, no.” I wanted to run and flee this place of death, to be away from these evil men. “No.”
floundering. Coerced into returning to his childhood home by the
town’s eccentric matriarch, Cavendish finds himself involved in
murder, deceit, and a not-so-subtle attempt at matchmaking. Joined by
Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a young Goth woman with
uncanny abilities, they follow leads into the hills of West Virginia
to catch the killer. A sheriff who shoots first and asks questions
later makes solving the case difficult for the trio. Adding further
complications is an ex-girlfriend with a mob hitman on her trail who
seeks Cavendish’s help.
darkness that surrounds the enigmatic Jane, stay ahead of the law,
and come to terms with his own grief.
else. When back in Raleigh, he enjoys time with his family, watches
old movies and shoots lots of pool. He has his own private writer’s
retreat in La Vale, MD where he spends lots of time working on his
next novel while enjoying the mountains and eating ice cream.