"You have a very lovely little girl," breathed the voice on the phone. And just like that, Susan Young is drawn into a living nightmare.A stranger has kidnapped Sue's daughter, Veda. But he doesn't want her money, only her suffering-and he will kill Veda if Sue doesn't follow his every command. With detailed instructions, the faceless abductor leads Sue into a blinding snowstorm on the longest night of the year, to a place she has not traveled to since childhood. The voice on the other end of the line somehow knows Sue's deepest, most chilling secret-an ominous incident from her past, buried long ago...Across the loneliest back roads of Massachusetts, in the black expanse of a New England winter, Sue is forced to confront her most awful fears as she is met at each step by ever increasing horrors created by a monster who is surely something less than human. In the hope of saving her daughter from a kidnapper whose origin seems darker than anything she could ever have imagined, Sue will discover just how much trauma and fright the human body is capable of absorbing.Set over the course of a single night, Chasing the Dead is a fast-paced, ferociously tense supernatural thriller. With the skill of masters like Dean Koontz and David Morrell, Joe Schreiber has created a tableau of shock and horror, death and destruction, that will draw you in and never let you go.From the Hardcover edition.
Abandon hope, all readers who enter Schreiber's taut, scary debut: you're not going anywhere until you devour every one of its tension-filled pages. Sue Young, a 34-year-old single mom living in Boston, gets a phone call from a man who informs her he's kidnapped her infant daughter, Veda, and chastises her for an ancient crime she committed with her childhood friend and mysteriously missing ex-husband, Philip Chamberlain. The creepy, psycho kidnapper soon subjects Sue to an agenda that includes grave robbing, child killing, shotgun murders, zombies and various other assorted undead. Sue, an ex-ambulance driver, is tough, smart and determined to rescue her daughter. With its rural New England setting, this horror-fest pays respectful, clever homage to Stephen King's backyard. The author adds his own fresh supernatural twists to what starts out as a conventional suspense thriller. Readers will anxiously await his next outing. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 25, 2006
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Excerpt from Chasing the Dead by Joe Schreiber
Stuck in week-before-Christmas traffic north of Boston, Sue Young is scanning the radio dial, searching for a weather report, when a song comes on from the summer of 1983, Duran Duran doing ' Rio, ' and oh boy, does it take her back. Without wanting to, she thinks of Phillip, something he ' d said to her once: The past is never done with us in any substantial way. The most cursory exami-nation reveals its bloody fingerprints on every surface of our lives.
It ' s Phillip in a nutshell, an appetizer of eloquent wisdom with a nice fluffy side salad of pomposity. In the beginning, back when they were kids, she ' d only heard the wisdom. Later, after they got married, only the pomposity. Now that he ' s gone Sue hears a dollop of both but mainly she just hears him, his voice in her head, and despite everything he ' s done to her, she even misses it from time to time.
The song on the radio keeps playing. Sue realizes she ' s stiffened instinctively against the nice leather upholstery that Phillip paid extra to have installed in the Expedition, not enjoying the crawling prickle of nostalgia, at the same time peripherally aware that traffic is beginning to slide forward in front of her. She starts punching presets on the radio dial as she gooses the gas pedal, picking up speed in little doses, and realizes that the Saturn in front of her has stopped suddenly. She slams on the brakes, the Expedition jerking to a halt just six inches from the Saturn ' s back bumper, close enough to see the driver ' s aggrieved expression in the sideview mirror. Sue exhales, thinking that she just used up all her luck for the rest of the night.
It is six twenty and almost totally dark.
Boston is still right there in her rearview, its stumpy conglomera-tion of mid-rises too close to even be called a skyline. Around her three lanes of commuter traffic slink forward promisingly and then congeal again. To her right, the fax machine that Phillip installed in the Expedition gives two cheerful chirps and starts spitting out a flurry of pages. Sue flips on the dome light and glances at the cover sheet. It ' s a draft of the loan agreement for her to look over for tomorrow morning ' s meeting with BayState, the final phase of the Flaherty deal.
Sean Flaherty is an orthodontist, a friend of Phillip ' s from back in Phillip ' s bachelor days, when Sean and Phillip chased cocktail waitresses from here to Cape Cod and jetted off to Club Med together to drive Jet Skis and spend their money. Sue actually doesn ' t mind Sean all that much ' he can be a bit overbearing at times, but ever since Phillip left her, Sean ' s become more subdued, almost shy, around her, as if embarrassed by his old friend ' s behavior.
Sean has always wanted to open a little bar downtown, in a narrow old space on 151 Exeter Street that he ' s been lusting after for at least a decade. For years Phillip promised Sean he ' d get him 151 Exe-ter, which has been tied up in probate for ages since the previous owner died intestate and the offspring squabbled over the inheritance. But in the end, the promise to get Sean his bar turned out to be just another broken vow Phillip left in his wake when he abandoned Sue eighteen months ago.