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Like Death

There are no words for it. Ecstasy is laughably inadequate, as are rapture, euphoria, bliss . . . . Ugly, harsh syllables that come nowhere near capturing the merest fraction of what he feels. The experience is primal and transcendent, like birth, like death.

Scott Raymond lost his parents in a bloodbath when he was only nine years old, but despite the occasional headaches and hallucinations, he’s managed to turn that trauma into moderate success as a true crime writer. The success doesn’t extend to keeping up the relationship with his estranged wife and son, however. Hoping to regain a sense of normal family life, he follows them to Ash Creek, Ohio, under the pretense of writing a new book about a missing six-year-old girl.

There, he encounters a young woman who shares the missing girl’s name. She leads Scott into a world of psychotropic spiders, shark-toothed teenagers and the expression of nearly every dark desire. Fear and fascination lay equal claim as the nightmare fantasies of this realm bleed into Scott’s daily life and his attempts to maintain a relationship with his son.

Soon, he will need to use this world of cruelty and pain to face his past, his future, and what his life might have become. If he fails, it is only a matter of time before the nightmare that bloodied his childhood will reach out to ensnare his own son.

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