Mira, Dec 2008, $13.95
He spent two decades and one year behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Now finally in 1980 Ben Purdue leaves the Harrisburg Federal Penitentiary where he spent much of his time in protective custody after two inmates tried to kill him. He knows someone wants him dead; most likely tied back to the felony that led to his incarceration. Still in spite of the danger of going home where the source of his assassin probably resides, he needs to learn the fate of his mom and brothers following the shooting that led to his incarceration; which means going to the place he loathes more than prison, his hometown Shady Hollow, Virginia.
In Shady, Ben learns his family is all buried. Used to being alone due to his imprisonment, Ben mourns their death but easily deals with the solitude. He seeks to learn the truth about that fateful September day in 1959 that changed his world from a teen with hope to a bitter felon. Even more so he needs to know why his family resides in graves. The Shady “Keepers”, people who he should have been able to trust from the girl he loved to the preacher to the law were involved, but someone wants him to join his family before the truth surfaces.
This is a terrific character driven suspense thriller that grips the audience from the moment Prison Officer Dollinger explains to Henry (Ben) that he is being released a few days early so whoever wants him dead will not kill him in the penitentiary. The story line never loses that level of intensity as Ben affirms that you can never go home as the memory never existed and besides what is accurate no longer lives at least in his case. The tension mounts with each revelation as an obsessed Ben needs to know as does fans who will relish Charles Davis’s strong thriller in one concentrated sitting.