Descent: A Novel by Tim Johnston

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By Tim Johnston

"A riveting literary mystery of the can't-stop-turning-the-page, stay-up-all-night variety." —Alice LaPlante, writer of A Circle of Wives

The Rocky Mountains have solid their spell over the Courtlands, a tender relations from the plains taking a final summer season holiday prior to their daughter starts university. For eighteen-year-old Caitlin, the mountains loom because the final try out of her runner's center, whereas her mom and dad wish that a lot attractiveness, rather a lot grandeur, will in some way fix a broken marriage. but if Caitlin and her more youthful brother, Sean, exit for an early morning run and in basic terms Sean returns, the mountains turn into as terrifying as they're majestic, as all of sudden this relatives locate themselves residing the type of nightmare they've basically examine in headlines
or obvious on TV.

As their global comes undone, the Courtlands are drawn right into a vortex of dread and recrimination. Why weren't they extra cautious? What has occurred to their daughter? Is she alive? Will they ever know? Caitlin's disappearance, all of the extra devastating for its secret, is the start of the family's harrowing trip down more and more divergent and solitary paths until eventually all that keeps to bind them jointly are the questions they could by no means convey themselves to invite: At what aspect does a relatives cease looking out? At what element will a woman cease scuffling with for her life?

Written with a precision that captures each emotion, each second of worry, as every one family member searches for solutions, Descent is a superbly crafted mystery that races like an avalanche towards its heart-pounding end, and heralds the arriving of a grasp storyteller.

"If you get pleasure from bright writing, clever plots, and gnawing your knuckles, you are going to love Descent." —Susan Isaacs, writer of Goldberg Variations

"Lyrical and hypnotic, Descent ? is a pulse-pounding mystery of the 1st order. yet it's additionally a gorgeously written, thought-provoking, and haunting novel approximately family members, survival, and the ability of a unmarried selection. You'll be in Johnston's unrelenting narrative grip until eventually the ultimate web page, and his tale will stick with you lengthy after it's performed. a very eye-catching read." —Lisa Unger, writer of In the Blood

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Example text

I believe a man is likely to surprise himself with what he believes. Don’t you? Now the bird pushed off and beat its wings twice and rode them south along the piney ridge, and the men were quiet and the dog slept, and into the heart of that calm there came a sudden piercing sound—a high, sharp whistling that sliced through the screens and made Emmet duck in his rocker as if struck to the back of the head. They both turned and found the whistler standing in the 56 T I M J O H N STO N door, in the screen, lips pursed, looking from man to man.

He’s got a wife and a little boy and I figure that’s why I’m still here, so I can tell him how they’re doing. ” Angela shook her head. “No,” she said. He wrote for a while and then he put down the pen and took his writing hand in the other and rubbed at the knuckles. He looked over his shoulder at the rain as though it had been hounding him all his life. He said: “An old aunt of mine told me one time, Simon, if you knew what growin’ old was you wouldn’t be in no rush to get there. ” She waited.

It won’t help you, he told them. I’m sorry, but it won’t. He looked like any other man, this man: glasses, blue eyes, halfway bald. In prison now, this man, way back in there, where none of the fathers could touch him. 3 In the hours before dawn, in the storm’s first cool blows, thin curtains fill and lift in the dark. They belly out over the bed, rippling, luffing— and abruptly empty again, and for a moment everything is still. The world paused. There’s a terrific light, the room conjures for a white instant, and almost at once comes the shuddering boom, and before it has entirely died away the door opens and a small figure stands in its frame, back-­lit by the hallway nightlight.

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