A boy literally disappears from Main Street. A security camera captures the moment of his instant, inexplicable vanishing. An audacious bank robbery goes seriously wrong: four cops are gunned down; a TV news helicopter is shot and spins crazily out of the sky, triggering a disastrous cascade of events that ricochet across twenty different lives over the course of just thirty-six hours.
Nick Kavanaugh, a cop with a dark side, investigates. Soon he and his wife, Kate, a distinguished lawyer from an old Niceville family, find themselves struggling to make sense not only of the disappearance and the robbery but also of a shadow world, where time has a different rhythm and where justice is elusive.
. . .Something is wrong in Niceville, where evil lives far longer than men do.
Compulsively readable, and populated with characters who leap off the page, Niceville will draw you in, excite you, amaze you, horrify you, and, when it finally lets you go, make you sorry you have to leave.
About Carsten Stroud
ARSTEN STROUD is a New York Times best selling writer of fiction and nonfiction, including the true-crime account Close Pursuit. His novels include Sniper’s Moon, Lizardskin, Black Water Transit, Cuba Strait, and Cobraville. He lives in Toronto and is currently working on his next novel.
troud’s title is, of course, ironic, for a weird game’s afoot in Niceville, Ga. Ten-year-old Rainey Teague has disappeared on his way home from school, and though a search party is dispatched, it is some time before he’s found crying and locked inside a crypt in a local Confederate cemetery. The crypt belongs to Ethan Ruelle, who died in a duel on Christmas Eve in 1921. Even more bizarre is that shortly before his disappearance, a security camera picked up an image of Rainey looking into a mirror in the window of a curiosity shop—one second he’s there, and the next he’s vanished. Stroud next lurches us in a new direction by introducing Coker, Danziger and Zane, a trio of truly unsavory characters. While Danziger and Zane are trying to elude capture by the cops and news helicopter that are giving chase, Coker calmly shoots the cops and the helicopter pilot—four shots, four hits. It’s clear he’s no ordinary killer—his expertise emerges because he’s in law enforcement himself. Meanwhile, Detective Nick Kavanaugh is trying to solve the mysterious disappearance—and even more mysterious reappearance—of the now-catatonic Rainey. Nick’s wife, Kate, a lawyer, is concerned about her husband’s preoccupation with the case and consults her father, a professor at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., who has an immediate suspicion about the magical potency of the mirror that had so fascinated Rainey. Stroud follows the bestseller party line in which when one doesn’t quite know what to do, one throws in a new character, preferably one with a self-consciously clever name (like police officer Mavis Crossfire). – Kirkus Reviews
Carsten Stroud’s ‘Niceville’ reviewed
The Washington Post Book Review – July 1, 2012 (Excerpt)
This strange, outrageous and wonderful novel is not for everyone. If you turn to fiction for comfort, uplift or the milk of human kindness, you should avoid Carsten Stroud’s“Niceville.” If, however, you savor the blackest of comedy and fear that evil is all around us, embodied in both flesh-and-blood and supernatural creatures, then you might enjoy this toxic tale as much as I did.
At the outset, young Rainey Teague vanishes one afternoon in the sleepy Southern town of Niceville. Several days later, he is found in a place where it seems impossible for him to be. This is our first hint that otherworldly forces may be at work. We learn that the Teagues are one of the four families who have ruled Niceville since its founding and that bitter feuds, going back a century or more, rage among them.
Next, two bank robbers are pursued by police as they make off with more than $2 million. The police would surely catch them, except that their confederate, stationed on a hillside, proceeds with military precision to shoot and kill the drivers of all four police cars and also downs a news helicopter. The chopper’s fiery crash, as a “newsgirl” inside excitedly broadcasts the chase, makes the shooter smile, “putting a cold yellow glitter in his pale brown eyes.” [Read the full article...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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