Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Bends by Bart Hopkins @SDSXXTours @bart_dead_ends

The Bends
Kane Montgomery #1
by Bart Hopkins
Genre: Supernatural Thriller

Marathon is a quiet little Texas town, and it’s getting quieter. Kids are vanishing, disappearing like tumbleweeds in the desert wind.

Somebody—or something—is taking them.

Action. Adventure. Romance. Suspense. The Bends is a supernatural thriller rollercoaster ride!

Recommended for Fans of Blake Crouch, Stephen King, J.A. Konrath, and Dean Koontz

**.99 cents 09/26-10/02 **

“Sheriff, look at this,” Deputy Tom Slidell called out. He reached down and checked the body for a pulse. It was purely force of habit—no life could possibly remain in the bloated corpse in front of him.
“Rattlers, Tom?”
“Yeah, Sheriff … looks like she stumbled on a whole nest of ‘em.”
“Hmm.”  Sheriff Bigsby eyed her body—puncture marks riddled the exposed flesh. He’d seen plenty of snakebites in his time—it was Southwest Texas after all—but this was the most vicious attack in his memory. “Sons-of-bitches were really ornery with her,” he remarked, pushing his mustache down thoughtfully with his thumb and forefinger. Tom knew that meant he was deep in thought and stood patiently at his side.
The two of them wandered over to the truck in a comfortable silence. They’d been working with each other for a couple of decades, and Sheriff Bigsby had been friends with Tom’s father. They were, in their way, like an old married couple. An old married couple with matching mustaches and uniforms.
“That’s a mess,” Tom said, looking inside the cab. Internal organs were splashed around the dashboard and seat like an abstract mural.
“Yep,” Bigsby replied.
“Hmph,” Tom grunted. “Don’t smell too nice, either.”
“Nope,” Bigsby agreed.
They stood together, each man lost in thought. The sheriff stroked his mustache again.
“That’s the third one this year,” Tom remarked.
“Same area, too,” Tom added. “Maybe there’s a connection.”
Sheriff Bigsby raised an eyebrow and looked sideways at Tom. He’d been thinking the same thing. “Two times could have been a coincidence…”
“But three—”
“Three doesn’t smell right,” the sheriff finished for him. He squatted down and pulled a telescoping rod from his shirt pocket. Extending it, he poked around the inside of the truck. A flicker caught his eye. He reached in further, leaning the edge of his hand against the doorframe for support. Pushing from side to side, he was able to wiggle the object over without touching it.”
“GPS,” Tom said.
“Hmph,” Tom grunted.
While they watched, the screen flickered to life … then turned off again.
“Never trusted them things,” Tom said.
“Me either,” Bigsby agreed. He brushed his fingers across his mustache again and thought about the three accidents they’d had along that part of Big Bend. He looked at the GPS. Then he looked at the truck again. For a second, he wondered if … maybe…
“Oh, hell…”  He shook the thought out of his head. “Let’s get our guys out here and get this stuff collected up for the next of kin. After the forensics guys get done with it.”  He squinted and looked at the GPS—felt drawn to it—sort of wanted to touch it.
“You got it, boss.”  He radioed in the sheriff’s request to the dispatcher, who arranged everything.
      The sheriff shook his head yet again. “Let’s get back to the SUV, Tom. We’ll wait for the forensics boys there.”

4 Stars

This was an unusual thriller that kept me glued to my kindle.  I loved the setting; the author did a superb job capturing the feel of the expansive desert and the little community there trying to hang on.  The description of the remote area in southern Texas haunted me for days after I’d finished the story.
I loved the romance between the drifter, Kane and Lucy, a local waitress….up ‘til the end.  I felt the ending was a bit rushed, and it certainly took me by surprise.  Kane is pursued by his own demons. I hope in a future installment he comes to grips with his past and is able to finally embrace a more rooted future.  He certainly deserves some happiness.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

Bart Hopkins is originally from Galveston, Texas, but has lived all over the world during his 22 years in the Air Force.

He was born in the middle of the 1970s, owned an Atari, and loves 80s music. He can use a card catalog like nobody's business.

Now, Bart likes to travel, enjoys pretending he's a photographer, and shares as much time as possible with his beautiful wife and three awesome children. They own a Westie Yorkie named Lulu ... or maybe Lulu owns them.

Subscribe to Bart's newsletter for updates on new releases and giveaways. For a limited time, you can download a copy of DEAD ENDS free when you subscribe!

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$25 Amazon gift card, a print copy of my book LIKE, an ebook box set of all my books and short stories that I just put together

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