The first installment in the Andrew Z. Thomas Series and a prequel to Crouch's and Konrath's thriller STIRRED...
Greetings. There is a body buried on your property, covered in your blood. The unfortunate young lady's name is Rita Jones. In her jeans pocket you'll find a slip of paper with a phone number on it. Call that number. If I have not heard from you by 8:00 P.M., the police will receive an anonymous call. I'll tell them where Rita Jones is buried on your property, how you killed her, and where the murder weapon can be found in your house. (I do believe a paring knife is missing from your kitchen.) I strongly advise against going to the police, as I am always watching you.
Andrew Z. Thomas is a successful writer of suspense thrillers, living the dream at his lake house in the piedmont of North Carolina. One afternoon in late spring, he receives a bizarre letter that eventually threatens his career, his sanity, and the lives of everyone he loves. A murderer is designing his future, and for the life of him, Andrew can't get away.
Dear Reader: Please keep the light on tonight. What happens next will scare you. Guaranteed.
This 70,000-word eBook also contains a Foreword by Jack Kilborn, a bonus interview with Blake, excerpts from his other novels, and excerpts from two new horror novels, ENDURANCE and TRAPPED, by J.A. Konrath.
About the Author:
BLAKE CROUCH was born near the piedmont town of Statesville, North Carolina in 1978. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated in 2000 with degrees in English and Creative Writing. Blake is the author of four novels and numerous short stories. He lives with his family in southwest Colorado, where he is at work on a new book.
PRAISE FOR DESERT PLACES...
Harrowing...terrific...a whacked out combination of Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy.
Crouch's smart, tight prose displays plenty of narrative energy...[he] shows real talent here...
An ingenious, diabolical debut that calls into question all our easy moral assumptions. DESERT PLACES is a genuine thriller that pulses with adrenaline from start to finish. Blake Crouch is one of the most exciting new writers I've read in years.
DESERT PLACES is about survival, both emotional and physical. Crouch delivers his description of place with telling and vivid prose...[and his] carefully crafted characters make the story immediate, intense and thoroughly believable...will linger in the [reader's] consciousness long after the book is read.
[T]he fastest, meanest read I've had in quite a while. Crouch clamps on and propels you forward, even though you're not at all sure you want to go into the disturbing places where he's taking you.
THE CAPITAL TIMES
Wow. Sometimes you stumble across a book that just plain creeps you out. There are many types of DESERT PLACES, and the most inhospitable are in the human heart.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS
[T]wisted...surprises around every turn...don't climb in if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, might be pregnant, or are under four feet tall.
Crouch maintains a roller-coaster pace, with twists that leave you blinking.
THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
[Crouch's] writing is sick, and I mean that in the very best way. If DESERT PLACES is any indication of what we can expect from Crouch in the future, be prepared to see his name on the bestseller lists.
This is a complex, cleverly constructed novel of motive, and Crouch takes his time bringing us through the story...it's a great debut. Crouch is an author to watch.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL (TORONTO)
Blake Crouch is a major league talent who's going to be really, really big.
SARAH WEINMAN, Gumshoe-Award Winning Crime Columnist