When Ruth Butler escaped Texas for a sleepy seaside village in the south of England, it was to rescue her infant daughter from the perverted demon she’d married. But after ten peaceful years in Perrins Point, her daughter Annie disappears.
Not far away, a madman has been trying in vain to turn back time. When Ruth turns out to be a dead ringer for his mother, the voices in his head haunt him day and night. The only way to stop his mother’s nagging is to kill her all over again . . .
Ruth must rely on her instincts and the ally she finds in an undercover detective who’s in town on unrelated business, but neither can search for Annie’s kidnapper openly. Ruth could be deported for living under an alias and Detective Inspector Jon Graham would blow his cover. Nevertheless, the trail leads from a faceless body in Annie’s clothes to a smugglers’ cave, where the killer drains his victims’ blood an ounce at a time. But he’s got a special purpose for little Annie. He is patient. He will wait—until her mother comes to save her.
A deadly dry spell has left the earth parched and souls desperate. Crops are failing. Cities are starving. A missing newspaper man doesn’t account for much in times so terrible, except to the twelve-year-old son he left behind. When Elliot Sweeney discovers the search for his father has been called off, he boards a train alone to find him.
His quest leads Elliot into the depths of an abandoned mine, with a peculiar pocket watch, a blind burro, and a gutsy girl at his side. He discovers a world he never dreamed of, even in his worst nightmares, and lands smack in the middle of a war between two kingdoms. Monstrous insects, smiling villains, and dark riddles are everywhere. Deciding who to trust may prove to be his greatest challenge, while the fate of the world above hangs on Elliot’s choice.