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Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Series: Cold Fury #2
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Sara Jane Rispoli is still searching for her missing family, but instead of fighting off a turncoat uncle and crooked cops, this time she finds herself on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and pale white skin chasing her through the streets in ice cream trucks; they can only be described as Ice Cream Creatures. They're terrifying and hell bent on killing her, but they're also a link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them.
While she battles these new pursuers, she's also discovering more about her own cold fury and more about the Chicago Outfit, how the past misdeeds--old murders and vendettas--might just be connected to her present and the disappearance of her family. But connecting the dots is tough and time-consuming and may finally be the undoing of her relationship with the handsome Max--who's now her boyfriend. But for his own safety, Sara Jane may have to end this relationship before it even really starts.
Her pursuers who've shown her her mother's amputated finger and the head of the Chicago Outfit who's just whistled her in for a sit-down make a romance unthinkable. The only thing that matters is finding her family and keeping everyone she loves alive.
"What is the scariest thing in the world?"
It’s a sunny afternoon in early summer. Regular people fill the sidewalk going about their who-cares business – parents push strollers, mail is delivered, hipsters air out their mustaches. Somewhere, a bird chirps. A taxicab slowly rolls past and the sound of children at play rides the air like a zither. All is right with the world – right?
It’s beneath this veil of complacence when guards are dropped and radar is disabled, that the deadliest things occur. To me, there’s nothing as scary as plain, old normalcy.
Even before the moment someone takes her first steps, she’s taught the concept of danger. Hot stoves, talking to strangers, the temptation to juggle knives – the scariest things are presented as obvious. But it’s the non-obvious scenarios, the ones made invisible by routine, that are the most perilous. No one is expecting them.
For example, scratchy footsteps in the attic at midnight is creepy but anyone who’s ever seen a horror movie or read Stephen King knows what to do – don’t go up there! Run away! But what about scratchy footsteps in the attic at noon on a boring Thursday? You’re anticipating nothing more threatening than an overactive mouse, so you walk upstairs, open the door and – your guard is down. Radar is disabled. You don’t see the psychotic, axe-wielding clown until it’s too late.
In FLICKER & BURN, my protagonist, Sara Jane, roams the streets of Chicago during daylight hours searching for her missing family. As desperate as her situation is, the world has not stopped spinning – everyday life progresses around her. What she doesn’t realize at first is that her adversaries – the one who want to do her great harm – use normalcy as weapon. They hide behind and inside of it. An ice cream truck tinkling with a merry tune is just another ice cream truck, right?
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