Hyde River is an old, dusty town with broken down buildings, peeling paint and prejudiced people. Their only use for outsiders is the bit of revenue they bring in on their way out.
A lingering stranger is a no-no because the town's got a secret to protect. It's dark and reeks of filth and death.
There is a saying that some folks can lie well enough to believe the lies themselves. Most residents of Hyde River fall into that category. They also believe if they pretend evil isn't there, it won't hurt them. If they ignore it, it'll ignore them too, but tragedy will strike for those who acknowledge it, point it out and make it mad.
Shhhhh .... is the code to live by.
For over a century the majority of the Hyde River populace has lived by this code. It's mandated in their town charter. The Oath was established in a ceremony by their ancestors, marking themselves, their wives and children with blood to seal the deal.
Those who were opposed to the lifestyles and personal practices of the town's leadership were dispatched cruelly. During the passing decades, younger generations experienced the same fate if they didn't maintain the traditions and live accordingly.
Per the charter of Hyde River:
We are the makers of our own destiny. There is no God but reason. Only by reason can truth be established.
If This Be Sin, Let Sin Be Served
To not comply with the charter brought death on the wings of a nightmare from Hell.
The dungeon door ripped from its hinges ...
Cliff Benson was an outsider; a nature photographer who spent a little too much time in Hyde River. He kept going back and hanging around. He got dirty. He got marked.
The magnificent mountains, lakes, river and trails were the initial attractant to the place, but after just a couple of trips, something else there caught his eye. He reached for it and things went downhill from there, not just for Cliff, but for his family too, and the entire town of Hyde River.
His actions, reactions and the trouble it lands him in brings new faces into town. People with questions who are determined to get answers. Ones that make sense not the ones the locals are accustomed to handing out, the ones that aren't true.
One of those with questions and a determination to uncover the truth is Cliff Benson's brother, Dr. Steve Benson. He keeps coming back, turning over stones, poking into secret and dark places where he isn't wanted.
The locals don't want him there, and their pet monster doesn't want him there. He's bringing to light what wants to remain in the dark.
He has no idea that he's walking on a small, high ledge and with just one wrong step he'll be falling fast and finding out more than he ever wanted to know.
The beast has its eyes on him, but there is a way of impeding it, holding it back, fending it off.
To Dr. Benson's benefit, some folks who care for him are feeling an urgent pressing in their spirits. Steve is in danger. Pray for him!
The beast has no choice but to stand down, yet it remains close enough to watch and wait patiently from a safe distance. It will observe, hoping Dr. Benson will falter and give in to what looks right and feels right -- until he reasons to indulge in the very things that will be his undoing. Those crucial errors will open a gate, allowing a border to be breached and a claw to sink into a heart and mind the beast hungers for and is determined to devour.
A wild, frightening and fantastic story!
If you like thriller-chillers with a supernatural twist and haven't read this book, you've missed a great novel!
It's no secret that Frank Peretti is my favorite author of his era. This story is yet another example of why I love to promote his work.
There is no adult language in this book and I can easily recommend it for young adult readers and up. In fact, I encourage it.
There's stuff in here they can learn from and need to know; knowledge and tools that can help them for the rest of their lives in all sorts of situations.
I hope I've intrigued you enough to add this book to your "I absolutely must read this!" list.
It's not my favorite of Peretti's work.
It's just one of my favorites!
I love it enough to have read it several times and have recommended it to many friends and acquaintances over the years.
This story will make you think hard and consider the possible consequences of your actions in ways you never dreamed of. But, it will also help you understand there is help to be found when confronted with horrific circumstances and mind-dazzling temptations that have the potential to rot the soul if allowed to continue or left unattended.
When you finish it, please stop back by here and let me know your own thoughts on it. You can access it via the provided links, or click that little pic just up and to the right.
I truly appreciate your support and interaction with the blogs on Sibling Synergy. I've moved us into a rhythm of publishing on Tuesdays and Thursdays (at least 99% of the time). I'm maintaining Thursdays for publications on femme's Desk so I can easily update you on anything else that's been put up for you elsewhere on the site or the few other places I freelance for. Hope you're enjoying the pace and easily navigating the information.
So, that's it for this one!
God bless you, thank you for the read and please don't forget to thank a veteran at your next opportunity!
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