The Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony award-winning Rick Riordan delivers a spellbinding novel of a man on an edge so extreme that his fall will destroy not only him--but all that he holds dear.Cold SpringsChadwick's life was balanced on a knife's edge--his career, his marriage, his relationship with his dangerously troubled daughter. And then one autumn night, the worst possible thing happened….Now, a decade later, Chadwick's heart is on the mend. Working for an old military buddy, he saves kids for a living, escorting troubled teens to a Texas wilderness school that specializes in the toughest brand of love.
Riordan is a middle-school teacher in San Antonio, which explains why this unorthodox suspense novel-Riordan's first break from his Edgar-, Shamus- and Anthony-winning series about private detective Tres Navarre (The Devil Went Down to Austin, etc.)-centers around two very different kinds of schools. One is Laurel Heights, a private middle school in San Francisco, where a dedicated staff deals with the needs of the privileged children of the affluent. The other is Cold Springs, a survival school in the mountain country of Texas, where a former army Ranger rescues teenagers who have slipped over the edge. Linking the two schools is Chadwick, a huge man who looks like George Washington; he teaches history at Laurel Heights and then becomes an escort at Cold Springs (run by his old Vietnam buddy) when his own teenaged daughter, Katherine, dies of a drug overdose. Chadwick, who blames himself for Katherine's death (he was about to leave his wife for Ann Zedman, the woman who runs Laurel Heights), is a complex and interesting character, and the pressures on him are believable and absorbing-especially when Ann's daughter, Mallory, becomes a Cold Springs candidate. Riordan tilts the playing field by introducing a truly dysfunctional family, the Montroses, and tracing a string of murders related to Katherine's death. Knife-throwing, wild shooting and hairbreadth escapes up the ante, sometimes to the point of overkill, but Riordan is so good at moving his story along-and showing how fragile children's lives can be-that most readers will forgive him his excesses. (May 6) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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March 02, 2004
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Excerpt from Cold Springs by Rick Riordan
Chadwick struggled with his bow tie.
He was thinking about what he would say, how he would break the news that would end his marriage, when Norma came up behind him and told him about the heroin in their daughter's underwear drawer.
He turned, the bow tie unraveling in his fingers.
Norma wore only her slip, her bare arms as smooth and perfectly muscled as they'd been when she was nineteen. Her eyes glowed with that black heat she saved for lovemaking and really huge arguments, and he was pretty sure which she was planning for.
"Heroin," he said.
"In a Ziploc, yeah. Looked like brown sugar."
"What'd you do with it?"
"I smoked it. What do you think? I flushed it down the toilet."
"You flushed it down the toilet. Jesus, Norma."