Dark Ride: A Thriller
From Lou Berney, the acclaimed, multi award-winning author of November Road and The Long and Faraway Gone, comes a Dark Ride
Sometimes the person you least expect is just the hero you need
Twenty-one-year-old Hardy "Hardly" Reed--good-natured, easygoing, usually stoned--is drifting through life. A minimum-wage scare actor at an amusement park, he avoids unnecessary effort and unrealistic ambitions.
Then one day he notices two children, around six or seven, sitting all alone on a bench. Hardly checks if they're okay and sees injuries on both children. Someone is hurting these kids.
He reports the incident to Child Protective Service.
That should be the end of it. After all, Hardly's not even good at looking out for himself so the last thing he wants to do is look out for anyone else. But he's haunted by the two kids, his heart breaking for them. And the more research he does the less he trusts that Child Protective Services --understaffed and overworked--will do anything about it.
That leaves...Hardly. He is probably the last person you'd ever want to count on. But those two kids have nobody else but him. Hardly has to do what's right and help them.
For the first time in his life, Hardly decides to fight for something. This might be the one point in his entire life, he realizes, that is the entire point of his life. He will help those kids.
At first, trying to gather evidence that will force the proper authorities to intervene, Hardly is a total disaster. Gradually, with assistance from unexpected allies, he develops investigative skills and discovers he's smarter and more capable than he ever imagined.
But Hardly also discovers that the situation is more dangerous than he ever expected. The abusive father who has been hurting these children isn't just a lawyer--he also runs a violent drug-dealing operation. The mother claims she wants to escape with the kids--but Hardly isn't sure he can trust her.
Faced with a different version of himself than he has ever known, Hardly refuses to give up. But his commitment to saving these kids from further harm might end up getting the kids, and Hardly himself, killed.
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About the Author
"Remarkable.... Lou Berney's artistry as a writer hits you in the heart and tugs hard at your soul. This tense and riveting thriller unfolds in the shadow of the assassination of JFK and is a deeply moving love story about people caught in moral dilemmas for which there are no easy answers and who together find hope against all odds. It will stay with you long after you read the final page.... Berney is a writer to be read and admired. This is a staggeringly brilliant book and a flat-out terrific read." -- Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author, on November Road
"I am really enjoying a down-and-dirty thriller, November Road by Lou Berney. Cold, violent, and clever. You might enjoy it too." -- R. L. Stine on November Road
"Nothing less than an instant American classic. Haunting, thrilling--and indelible as a scar." -- A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author, on November Road
"When people say they want to read a really good novel, the kind you just can't put down, this is the kind of book they mean. Exceptional." -- Stephen King on November Road
"Berney's emotional, empathic writing keeps the dynamic between these two lost souls intriguing, and it resonates on a larger scale, placed as it is against such a vivid backdrop. In the tradition of great historical fiction, Berney finds within an exhaustively covered setting his own nooks and crannies. Do we need a conspiracy plot to keep this very human story humming? Probably not. But Berney's a skilled dramatist too, and there's no complaint from this reader on his keeping the pages turning." -- Entertainment Weekly on November Road
This superior novel from Edgar winner Lou Berney melds crime fiction with a tale about people reinventing themselves, played out during a cross-country automobile trip.... An emotional story about the power of love and redemption through sacrifice with the backdrop of a crucial historical moment."? -- Associated Press on November Road
"Berney's gentle, descriptive writing brilliantly reflects these times of both disillusionment and hope.... As the title suggests, there is an autumnal, melancholic sense of loss at the heart of the novel, yet still, the loss is not destructive or debilitating. It is the kind of loss that gives way to a new world order. Perfectly captures these few weeks at the end of 1963--all that was lost and all that lay tantalizingly and inevitably just beyond the horizon." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on November Road
"Wistful and complex, Berney's confident portrait of a roadside America traumatized by Kennedy's death gives the novel literary heft, while the ticking clock of the mob closing in on the family to settle accounts lends a genre bite." -- Library Journal (starred review) on November Road
"Berney creates nail-biting suspense by placing Marcello's top hit man on Guidry's trail, the book's power derives from Charlotte, who finds hidden strength as she confronts unexpected challenges. This is much more than just another conspiracy thriller." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) on November Road
"Berney bends his notes exquisitely, playing with the melody, building his marvelously rich characters while making us commit completely to the love story, even though we hear the melancholy refrain and see the noir cloud lurking in the sky. Pitch-perfect fiction." -- Booklist (starred review) on November Road
"A fast-paced, sexy novel, packed with spine-tingling intrigue and money-induced lust...Excellent." -- Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas) on Gutshot Straight
"A fast-paced, sexy novel, packed with spine-tingling intrigue and money-induced lust...Excellent." -- Abraham Rodriguez, 2009 Dashiell Hammett Award finalist and author of South by South Bronx on Gutshot Straight