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Caves In The Rain

A bereaved father stumbles across evidence of an old murder and tries to find healing in bringing a child-killer to justice.

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    Mike Latta can’t forgive himself for the death of his daughter. It was a freak accident, but fathers should protect little girls from the bad things that can hurt them. He didn’t, and a descent into divorce and the bottle has gotten rid of every happy ending he ever hoped for.

    A year of solitude on an island in northern Hollow Lake, away from the booze and the reminders of grief, may be the last chance he has. There’s more than peace and quiet on the lake though, because the ghosts of a long-ago murder haunt Echo Island. If Mike can’t figure out what the ghosts want from him, it may cost another little girl her life.

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    Caves In The Rain

    Caves In The Rain

    A bereaved father stumbles across evidence of an old murder and tries to find healing in bringing a child-killer to justice.

    Excerpt

     

    Molly answered on the second ring.

    “Can you come here?” I asked.

    “Yes,” she answered, and hung up.

    In a minute or two, the sound of a motor wound up from across the lake. I sat and watched the white dot move across the water in a wide arc against the tree line. It settled in less than a minute into a steady course toward me, and then resolved itself into the red-and-white bow of Molly’s boat. The sun glared off the windshields, rectangles of white light.

    The wake rocked the dock under my legs, and then she was kneeling beside me. The fragrance of her, warm skin and lotion, washed away the foul odor of the boathouse. She leaned around to search my face.

    “What’s going on, Mike?” she asked. “What’s wrong?”

    “Ghosts,” I said. My throat hurt, as if I had been sick in bed for days. “There are ghosts here,” I repeated.

    “Tell me,” she said.

    The dog, strangely subdued, had remained sitting beside me. Between us, she nuzzled Molly, who absently placed a hand on her collar. I knew it was lunatic, and I knew I couldn’t filter it. I told her as much as I remembered.

    “I saw the lady with her daughter… the ones we saw hunting for their dog,” I said. “They’re ghosts. I’m sure of it, and I’m sure it was Ron Baptiste with them.”

    “Do you think it was real?” she asked.

    The question surprised me. “Real in what way?” I asked. “Are ghosts real?”

    She stared into the water, as though there might be an answer in the rocks on the bottom. “I think so,” she said. “People in my family have been known to tell stories. I think ghosts are as real as we are. I had a feeling about the woman and her daughter when we saw them…but I had just met you. I didn’t want to seem crazy.”

    Her brow wrinkled. “Ron isn’t a ghost, though,” she said. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

    “They were as solid as you,” I said. “They were absolutely real. He didn’t—he was almost transparent.”

    I thought again about the way he had jerked and stuttered, like an old film.

    “There can be physical reasons for seeing things,” Molly said. “You need to be checked by a doctor. Have you had any kind of health problems that could cause this? Seizures?”

    I thought about my drinking, but there had never been any incidents like what I had just been through. I shook my head, but she must have picked up my hesitation.

    “You need a doctor.”

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