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WHERE IS ADAM?
Julie Raynes’ husband is missing. Devastated and confused, she refuses to believe that he would leave her voluntarily, though her best friend thinks differently. However, her Aunt Alice, a psychic, tells her Adam has been murdered, and when she reveals how she knows this, any hope that Adam is still alive, dissipates.
The police also believe that Adam Raynes was murdered. And Julie is their prime suspect. Her life in ruins, Julie vows to hunt down whoever is responsible for Adam’s murder and make them pay for their crime.
In the meantime, David Gray, a young man who was pulled from a lake by a fisherman when he was 9 years old, wakens from a coma after nearly two decades. Unknown to Julie, Adam and David share a dark connection, a darkness that threatens to devour them both.
The darkness spread across the older boy’s brain like a black cloud crossing the moon’s surface. Without warning, his hands shot out, giving David a hard shove, sending him backwards, arms flailing, eyes wide, into the water. He landed on his back with a loud splash, but he was already scrambling to his feet. Rath pushed him back down again, and, dropping to his knees, held him there. He grasped those small shoulders in his hands and pressed down, until the face that still held its babyness, was wavery and distorted under the water. A sense of power flowed through Rath as he glared into those eyes so big and blue and filled with panic. Even as bubbles rose and broke on the surface, Rath felt nothing but pure rage that fed his need for revenge for all that had been taken from him. When the terror gradually washed from David’s eyes, and at last he lay still, moving only when the water nudged him, like so much flotsam, Rath stood up. The dark fury at last drained off, an eerie calmness remained in its wake. Like the lancing of an abscess, though the core remained. Gasping for breath from the exertion, he wiped his hands on his jeans. The front of his tee shirt was wet, but no big deal; it would dry on the way home. Leaving his little brother behind, bobbing in the water, not unlike the bobber farther out on the lake, he drove the bike home and wheeled it back into the garage. Then he went inside the house, a smile on his handsome face. “Hey, ma.”
Camille A. Collins’s lyrical debut novel speaks to the passionate engagement of adolescent girls—with music, with injustice, with love, with life. This is a courageous coming-of-age story, one that poet Nikki Giovanni recommends “sharing with our teenage sons and daughters.”
Collins’s 1980s southern California set novel is a literary debut that tackles social inequality with poetic riffs and heart-pounding angst.
It was not the paper doll cutout, but Exene’s actual mouth that Lia imagined, twisted into a snarl, blaming her. ‘It’s you, Lia! It’s all your fault what happened to Ryan!’ Because Lia’s mother had woken her to say Ryan never made it home the previous night. Fraught with worry, Mrs. Green had already phoned the police, and Lia’s first thought was that Ryan must be dead.
Right away, Lia found the only way to deal with the worst possible scenario was to confront it head-on, to embrace it as though she were cradling in her arms a soft kitten. Lia’s rendition of the death of her very best friend was not especially morbid, or as gruesomely detailed as it might have been. It was the quixotic rendering of a burgeoning poetess.
At the very least, Ryan deserved the grandeur of theater. So Lia envisioned the most enchanted garden, a neat little knoll of green, green grass nestled beneath an elegant magnolia tree in full bloom. That graceful magnolia would weep its ripe, inflorescent tears down onto a grand mausoleum. Ryan’s body would lie inside, near the hollow mouth of her final abode, a structure built of the finest marble, festooned with chiseled hearts, and inside those hearts would be inscribed eternal valentines proclaiming, “Ryan we love you” and “Forever in our hearts,” all with floating cupids, their arrows shooting heavenward. Ryan’s body would lie cold, her skin luminous, enlivened by the candent glow of four flaming torches, bathing her heart-shaped face in a delicate nimbus of pale yellow light. Her body would be covered by a white linen sheet, and nestled against the slope of her shoulders and the tapering silhouette of her waist and legs would be flowers: orchids and white roses, failing in all their beauty to compare to Ryan’s infinitely ravishing, cold, dead grace. Lia’s short reverie was disturbed by her mother’s persistence—Mrs. Payne stood in the doorway of Lia’s bedroom with a hand on her hip. “Baby, you’ve got to get up. Don’t be scared now. The police just want to talk to you about what you and Ryan did last night.”