Mortal Memory - Thomas H. Cook - ebook

Mortal Memory ebook

Thomas H. Cook

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A withdrawn architect revisits the darkest moment of his childhood. Steve Farris was nine years old in 1959, the youngest child in a family that was about to be snuffed out. Around four o'clock on an ordinary November afternoon, Steve's father loaded his shotgun. With calm precision he killed his teenaged son and daughter, and then turned the weapon on his wife. For two hours he waited for his youngest son to come home from school. When Steve did not appear, his father drove away, disappearing for good. Now a successful architect, Farris has spent his life avoiding the memories of that dark day. But questions from an author writing a book about the crime bring back impressions from the days leading up to the killing. For the first time he must confront his awful past, and the terrifying possibility that his father had a reason for what he did. Review Quote: "The deceptively simple writing is harrowing ... the ending to this chilling study in psychological suspense is a dizzying jolt." - Publishers Weekly "Insightful ... unusually affecting." - Los Angeles Times Book Review "[Cook] displays an impressive narrative simplicity and a therapist's insightfulness, producing a finely crafted psychological crime-fare." - Kirkus Reviews Biographical note: Thomas H. Cook (b. 1947) is the author of nearly two dozen critically lauded crime novels. Born in Fort Payne, Alabama, Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980 while serving as the book review editor of Atlanta magazine. Two years later, on the release of his second novel, The Orchids, he turned to writing full-time. Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Frank Clemons trilogy, a series of mysteries starring a jaded cop. He found breakout success with The Chatham School Affair (1996), which won an Edgar Award for best novel. His work has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. Besides mysteries, Cook has written two true-crime books, Early Graves (1992) and the Edgar-nominated Blood Echoes (1993), as well as several literary novels, including Elena (1986). He lives and works in New York City.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

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About the Book

A withdrawn architect revisits the darkest moment of his childhood.

Steve Farris was nine years old in 1959, the youngest child in a family that was about to be snuffed out. Around four o’clock on an ordinary November afternoon, Steve’s father loaded his shotgun. With calm precision he killed his teenaged son and daughter, and then turned the weapon on his wife. For two hours he waited for his youngest son to come home from school. When Steve did not appear, his father drove away, disappearing for good.

Now a successful architect, Farris has spent his life avoiding the memories of that dark day. But questions from an author writing a book about the crime bring back impressions from the days leading up to the killing. For the first time he must confront his awful past, and the terrifying possibility that his father had a reason for what he did.

Review Quote:

“The deceptively simple writing is harrowing ... the ending to this chilling study in psychological suspense is a dizzying jolt.” - Publishers Weekly

“Insightful ... unusually affecting.” - Los Angeles Times Book Review

“[Cook] displays an impressive narrative simplicity and a therapist’s insightfulness, producing a finely crafted psychological crime-fare.” - Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Thomas H. Cook (b. 1947) is the author of nearly two dozen critically lauded crime novels. Born in Fort Payne, Alabama, Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980 while serving as the book review editor of Atlanta magazine. Two years later, on the release of his second novel, The Orchids, he turned to writing full-time.

Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Frank Clemons trilogy, a series of mysteries starring a jaded cop. He found breakout success with The Chatham School Affair (1996), which won an Edgar Award for best novel. His work has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. Besides mysteries, Cook has written two true-crime books, Early Graves (1992) and the Edgar-nominated Blood Echoes (1993), as well as several literary novels, including Elena (1986). He lives and works in New York City.

Mortal Memory

Thomas H. Cook

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2014 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2011 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1993 by Thomas H. Cook

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Jason Gabbert

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-004-5

 

www.luebbe.de

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

FOR

Maria Eugeina Caballero, David Delgado,

Carlo and Rachel Malka and

Pablo Martinez-Calleja in Madrid

AND FOR

Charles Radanovich and

Antonio Perez-Melero in New York.

ONE

THIS MUCH I REMEMBERED from the beginning: the floral curtains in their second-floor bedroom pulled tightly together; Jamie’s new basketball at the edge of the yard, glistening in the rain; Laura’s plain white bra lying haphazardly in the grass behind the house, the rest of our clothes, drenched and motionless as they hung from the line above it.

And I remembered this: two men in a car, both in the front seat; the one behind the wheel younger, smaller, bareheaded; the other wearing a gray hat, breathing hard, smoking. It was the older one who first spoke, drawing his wire-rimmed glasses from his eyes, then wiping them with a white handkerchief as he shifted around to face me. Before Rebecca, I’d never been able to remember what he’d said to me, although, over the years, I’d imagined many different things, lines no doubt picked up from television or movies, but which had never struck me as exactly right.

Before Rebecca, I hadn’t even been able to recall how long I’d actually stayed in the back seat of the car, although I’d always sensed that the light had altered during the time I’d remained there, a change which could have only come about slowly, as evening fell. I remembered a thickening gray as it gathered around the bare, autumnal trees. I even remembered shadows lengthening and growing darker as the hours passed, but given the thick cloud cover of that late afternoon, it couldn’t have been real. Still, this false impression of shadows lengthening and growing dark lingered through the years, stubbornly remaining while other, vastly more important things, began to blur and fade.

More than anything, I remembered the rain. It had fallen steadily all that day, puddles growing larger and larger, streams tumbling like tiny mountain rapids along the slanting gutters of the suburban streets. It was a fall rain, cold and heavy, the sort that sinks into the bones, making them feel thick and soggy. All day, while I’d sat at my desk in school, I’d listened as it spattered against my classroom windows. Outside, it fell in great gray veils across the playground and the schoolyard, finally gathering in dark pools beneath the swings, the seesaws, the dripping monkey bars. It kept me in when I wanted to be let out, and I remember glancing longingly at the sodden softball field, the thick clouds that hung above it, the slender, wiry rain. Now, when I think of it, it strikes me that almost every impression I retained of that day had something to do with confinement.

That day: November 19, 1959.

The car I sat in as evening fell was dark blue and had a faintly sweet, yet dusty smell, probably caused by the cigarette and cigar smoke the upholstery had collected over the years. There was a chrome ornament on the hood, a bird with its wings spread, a common design in those days. I remember the bird because I focused on it from time to time, watching it rather than the men who sat silently in the front seat. It was very beautiful, or at least it seemed so at the time, a point of gleaming silver in the gloomy air, a vision of release, a creature taking flight. It seemed odd that it should be attached to anything, least of all to the flat metal hood of the car in which I sat while the rain thudded down upon it, throwing large drops of water onto the bird’s uplifted, but unmoving wings.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!