Cover image for Dead run
Dead run
Spindler, Erica, 1957-
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
[Waterville, Me.] : Wheeler Pub., 2004.

Physical Description:
599 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


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X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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When Rachel Ames disappears after leaving a strange message on her sister's answering machine, Liz Ames heads to Key West to find out what's happened. With the help of a former cop, she begins to uncover an evil that they may not be able to escape, even at a dead run.

Author Notes

A New York Times and International bestselling author, critics have called Erica Spindler's stories, "terrific twisted tales." She received the prestigious Daphne du Maurier award for Excellence in 2002 for the novel, Bone Cold, and she is a two-time Kiss of Death award winner.

She lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, an advertising executive, and their two sons.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Troubled teenagers, a satanic cult, a serial killer and hurricane-force evil disturb the island paradise of Key West in Spindler's latest chiller. Divorced family counselor Liz Ames relocates from St. Louis to Key West to investigate the disappearance of her sister, Pastor Rachel Howard, who left Liz a mysterious phone message about a teenaged girl, illegal activities and threats to her life. Local police chief Val Lopez does not share Liz's certainty that her sister has fallen victim to foul play, nor is hers the only island mystery confronting police: a wealthy loan officer with deviant tastes has plummeted to his death, a suspected suicide; another bank employee is reported missing before her body washes ashore, a suspected homicide; and just as Liz gets to know her, a teenage girl is brutally murdered and mutilated, her runaway boyfriend the prime suspect. Liz seeks help from Rick Wells, Miami cop-turned-bar owner and close friend of the police chief; Rachel's successor, Pastor Tim; and Heather Ferguson, the blonde bombshell owner of a bikini boutique. Not knowing which locals she can trust, Liz (who's not entirely honest herself) heads into the eye of a hurricane and a classic confrontation between good and evil. Spindler (Bone Cold; All Fall Down) demonstrates the power of faith over satanic forces with campy descriptions of both and embellishes her by-the-numbers thriller with savvy amounts of sex and moral outrage, investigation and confrontation, psychology and romance. Agent, Evan Marshall. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



St. Louis, Missouri Monday, July 16 8:40 a.m. Liz Ames watched as coffee dripped from the filter basket into the glass carafe. She yawned, cursing snooze buttons, red-eye flights and coffeemakers that brewed at a snail's pace. She needed caffeine now, not five minutes from now. She was going to be really late this morning, she acknowledged. What was with her? She used to be so punctual. So…perky. No matter how few hours of sleep she had gotten the night before. Now she could barely drag herself out of bed. Jared, her cheating weasel of an ex-husband, had happened to her, she thought, squinting against the light streaming in and around the edges of the closed blinds. And in response, her personal and professional life had taken a quick, sanity-stealing trip south. Even Rachel had gone south, Liz thought, thinking of her older sister who had accepted the call from a small nondenominational Christian church on Key West right in the middle of the crisis. She shifted her gaze to her answering machine and its frantically flashing message-waiting light. She really should call her. They hadn't spoken in nearly a month, and their last conversation had been troubling for many reasons, including the fact they had argued. Simultaneously, the coffeemaker gurgled, signaling it was in its final throes of brewing, and the phone rang. Liz grabbed her mug with one hand, the phone with the other. "H'lo?" "Elizabeth Ames?" The voice on the other end of the line was a man's. Liz recognized his official tone from the many calls she had made and received in her capacity as a licensed clinical social worker and family counselor. "Yes," she responded. "Could you hold a moment?" Without waiting for a reply, she set down the receiver, filled her coffee mug then added a splash of cream. She opened the cabinet above the sink and took out the vial of antidepressants her doctor had prescribed. Modern medicine's answer to a cloudy day. She shook one onto her palm, then downed it with the scalding coffee. Wincing, she brought the phone back to her ear. "Now, how can I help you?" "This is Lieutenant Detective Valentine Lopez, Key West Police Department. Are you Rachel Howard's sister?" Liz froze. Finally, she pulled one of the kitchen chairs away from the table and sank heavily onto it. "Ms. Ames?" the detective said again. "You are Pastor Rachel Howard's sister, aren't you? Pastor Howard from Paradise Christian Church on Key West? She listed you as her next of kin." Next of kin. Dear Lord, no. "I am," Liz managed to say. "What's…Is Rachel all right?" "I'm calling because we're concerned about your sister. Have you seen her recently?" Her heart skipped a beat. "Not since she…since she left for Key West." "And that was about six months ago?" "Yes." "When did you last speak with her?" Liz closed her eyes, remembering. Rachel had been subdued and evasive. When Liz had confronted her, she had denied anything was wrong. She had claimed her pastoral duties had kept her from calling. "It's been a while. A month or so. We argued. I was angry." "May I ask why?" "It's personal, Detective." "It's important, Ms. Ames." "I'm going through…was going through a divorce. And one of my patients… I needed my sister and she wasn't available. I was angry." Her words sounded childish to her own ears and she felt herself flush. "What's happened? Is Rachel--" "And that's the last time you talked with her?" "Yes, but I don't understa--" "So, you haven't heard from her in the past seventy-two hours? Not by phone, e-mail or post?" "No, but--" She brought a hand to her pounding head and glanced at the machine's blinking message light once more. "I've been out of town since last Thursday. I planned to get caught up on messages this morning." "I'll need you to contact me after you do." The blood rushed to Liz's head. She tightened her grip on the receiver, suddenly terrified. "I don't think so, Lieutenant. Not until you tell me what's going on. Is something wrong with Rachel?" "Your sister has disappeared, Ms. Ames. We'd hoped you might be able to offer us a clue as to her whereabouts." Excerpted from Dead Run by Erica Spindler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.