A school bus carrying eight deaf school-girls and their teachers brakes suddenly on a flat Kansas highway. They should never have stopped. Waiting for them are three heartless men just escaped from prison -- each with nothing to lose.
And now, with the girls as their hostages, they have everything to gain. They make their stand in an abandoned slaughterhouse, and it is there that Lou Handy, a murderer and the convicts' ringleader, announces his terms: to kill one captive an hour unless his demands are met.
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1 . Edge of your seat good!!
Posted April 19, 2009 by T.Browder , LancasterA plot with double-whammy twists. Incredibly real characters. Surprises at the end that will leave you reeling. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You want to see this as a movie, like Bone Collector. It's the kind of story where you are so engrossed in it that you look up and realize an hour or two has passed by since last you looked. You want it to end but you don't. James Patterson is one of my favorite authors, and I put Jeffery Deaver right there beside him.
September 29, 1996
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Excerpt from A Maiden's Grave by Jeffery Deaver
"Eight gray birds, sitting in dark.
Cold wind blows, it isn't kind."
The small yellow school bus crested an abrupt rise on the highway and for a moment all she could see was a huge quilt of pale wheat, a thousand miles wide, waving, waving under the gray sky. Then they dipped down once again and the horizon was gone.
"Sitting on wire, they lift their wings
and sail off into billowy clouds."
When she paused she looked at the girls, who nodded approvingly. She realized that she'd been staring at the thick pelt of wheat and ignoring her audience.
"Are you nervous?" Shannon asked.
"Don't ask her that," Beverly warned. "Bad luck."
No, Melanie explained, she wasn't nervous. She looked out again at the fields that streamed past.
Three of the girls were drowsing but the other five were wide awake and waiting for her to continue. Melanie began again but was interrupted before she'd recited the first line of the poem.
"Wait -- what kind of birds are they?" Kielle frowned.
"Don't interrupt." From seventeen-year-old Susan.
"People who interrupt are Philistines."
"Am not!" Kielle shot back. "What is that?"
"Crass dummy," Susan explained.
"What's 'crass'?" Kielle demanded.
"Let her finish!"