THE REACH Excerpt

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Excerpts, The Reach

PROLOGUE Ten years ago Beyond the frosted panes of double glass, the wind screamed its displeasure. Day had slipped into night with the coming storm. The WKOB weatherman was predicting three feet of snow today, another six inches tomorrow; the worst storm to hit in thirty years, he said. Do not leave your homes unless it’s absolutely necessary. The young doctor was listening intently to the radio at the second-floor station when her pager beeped. She checked the code, slipped quickly across the wine-red carpet to the nearest window, and peered out on a desolate winter scene. The little hospital parking lot wore a sheet of inch-thick ice pinned by mountains of plowed snow. It was mostly empty, the hospital all but shut down in preparation for the storm. Only three patients today, and two of them had come in on the same call, a couple of skiers who got disoriented in the woods and had frostbite. One of them, a pretty young thing, lost the little toe on her left foot. The doctor found it necessary to amputate. Blood. She saw it again as she closed her eyes, bright-red blood coating her gloved hands. The radio buzzed now and then as the wind made the signal come and go. She opened her eyes. The parking lot lights barely cut through the snow as it started to fall faster. Nothing that looked like an emergency, but she could hardly see anything at all. She shivered as the scene below her faded into a writhing white blanket of dim and mysterious shapes. Down at the front entrance the admitting desk was empty. Above the little waiting area with its row of plastic-molded chairs, a nineteen-inch television set flickered from a bracket on the wall. The rug here felt damp and the color had faded in a trail from the waiting area to the front desk. Smelled like cleaning solution, and something underneath like a boil that lingered beneath the skin. The doctor spotted movement through the sliding glass doors. Two emergency techs were unloading a woman from her car. One of them slipped to his knees and cursed, a black man in a green hospital coat and slacks, bare hands and head, tight, coal-black hair frosted with snow. James or something. No, Jack, that was it. Likely to lose his earlobes to the cold if he isn’t careful, and maybe the tips of his fingers too. It could happen in five minutes in this weather. The other one had a scarf wrapped around his neck and wore knitted pink mittens that had been sitting in the lost and found, and he looked warmer, but not much. A country boy, thick and heavy like he might play linebacker on the local college football team. Stewart was his name, or Stan. Young kid. She had only been working there a week and...

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THE REACH

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Book Page, The Reach

Over 98% of the human genome is considered ‘junk DNA,’ sequences for which no function has yet been identified. Some scientists believe these sequences were once functional copies of genes that have since lost their protein-coding ability. But what if those genes were simply dormant, and could become active with the proper trigger? And what if one of them, once awakened, made the carrier capable of things previously considered the stuff of legend—literally, the power of mind over matter? The vision has haunted graduate student Jess Chambers for years—her autistic brother lying bloodied in the road, one hand still reaching out for her help. She was supposed to have been watching after him. Now nothing she could do would bring him back. When Jess is assigned to work with a young schizophrenic housed in a children’s psychiatric ward, it seems as if her chance at redemption might finally be at hand. But Sarah is no ordinary little girl, and this is no ordinary facility. A shadowy biotechnology company called Helix has been studying Sarah’s remarkable genetic gift for years, enhancing and manipulating its effect, twisting something miraculous into something evil. But their plans have gone terribly wrong, erupting in an inferno of fire and blood, and Sarah has withdrawn deep inside her mind to a place no one else can reach. Now Helix is growing desperate, and Jess Chambers finds herself in the middle of a battle over one of the most explosive genetic discoveries in the history of mankind. Every move Jess makes draws her deeper into a complex web of deceit, making her question her own strength and resolve, until finally she must make a choice; walk away from yet another young child she has come to see as her responsibility, or fight overwhelming odds to stop those who see the girl as nothing more than a tool that must be kept and controlled no matter what the consequence. But Sarah has a mind of her own. Nobody can predict what she will do when pushed to the breaking point. None of them truly understand the terrifying power of The Reach. Read an Excerpt Read Reviews Buy...

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