Dreams and Shadows - By C. Robert Cargill

The circumstances of this book getting from my hands into yours would not have come about without the efforts and support of a number of incredible people to whom I owe debts I feel I can never truly repay. They are wonderful people, one and all, and I hope, over the years, to find some way to settle our balance.

For Harry Knowles, who tossed me blindly into the sea to let me sink or swim, who often tossed me to the wolves to toughen me up, and who tossed me a rope when I needed it most. For Brian Keene, who asked me why I wasn’t doing this and told me that I could.

For all my readers over the years, everyone who has ever sought out my articles, written a letter or tweeted a tweet, for good or for ill (but mostly for the good). For all the editors over the years, too numerous to name, who hired me, poached me, or all around coached me. And for every person who ever fired me from a job or drove me to quit, reminding me what I really wanted to do.

For Paul Gandersman for all the coffee and for helping me find the book’s pacing; Ari Marmell for all the coffee and for helping me find the book’s structure; Jason Murphy for the scotch and helping me find the courage; Patricia Knowles for slapping Harry every now and again and letting me know I was on the right track; Luke Mullen for being the guy you can call for a favor no matter what the hour and no doubt will at some point help me bury a body. Their early notes all proved invaluable.

For the trickster Diana Gill, who Mr. Miyagi’d me into writing a better book than she found, and the entire team at Voyager: Shawn Nicholls, Dana Trombley, Will Hinton, Adam Johnson, Jesse Edwards, and Pam Spengler-Jaffee. For Simon Spanton, whose enthusiasm proved to be a beacon on the darker, harder nights. For Peter McGuigan, a rock star of an agent who once showed me more swagger in two weeks than I’ve seen out of most people in a lifetime, Stephanie Abou, and the outstanding team at Foundry. For my manager, David McIlvain, whose advice always clears the static, and to his confidant, Mac Dewey, who was an early believer.

For Scott Derrickson, my writing partner, my friend, and the guy who held the door open for me. He read this before anyone else, made suggestions before anyone else, and believed in this before anyone else. And I am all the better for it. We also make movies.

And for Jessica, who loves her writer, whose writer loves her more than breath, and who loved this story so much she demanded I write it down. She met a boy, she made him a man, and she never let him give up. For all that, this book is truly hers, because without her, none of the people listed above would have ever seen it. And neither would you.

And for the tireless efforts of Deputy So-and-So of the local police department, without whose research this book wouldn’t be possible.




Book One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Book Two

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-two

Chapter Thirty-three

Chapter Thirty-four

Chapter Thirty-five

Chapter Thirty-six

Chapter Thirty-seven

Chapter Thirty-eight

Chapter Thirty-nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-one

Chapter Forty-two

Chapter Forty-three

Chapter Forty-four

Chapter Forty-five

Chapter Forty-six

Chapter Forty-seven

Chapter Forty-eight


About the Author



About the Publisher




Once upon a time, there were two people who fell very much in love. They met in a high school library, peeking over tenth-grade French books, his eyes sneaking up from a rather dense untranslated passage, hers waiting perched behind a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. He was a sucker for horn-rimmed glasses. Hearts thundered. Breaths shortened. Stomachs swarmed with butterflies. She smiled and his world stopped.

He stammered, he sputtered, trying to smile back, failing in a train wreck of lips sneering back over teeth. And when his head slumped forward into his book, she giggled, for she knew that he was hers.

From the first words they spoke, they rarely spent a silent moment together. Each shared a passion for conversation—one that drove most around them mad—and it was never hard for them to find something to talk about. Their first date led from a movie theater to the Dairy Queen, on to a slow walk home, talking at length about every aspect of the