Bewilderedby C. H. Foertmeyer
Doctor John Roberts has only been a member of the community for the past five years, having moved to
In a remote mountain area of Tennessee, there is a small, virtually unknown town, named Jessup. The inhabitants of this town, the Jessupites, are all descendants of the original Puralist religious movement that settled Jessup in the early 1800's; all save one.
Doctor John Roberts has only been a member of the community for the past five years, having moved to Jessup upon the occasion of his grandmother's death. John's grandmother had at one time been a Jessupite but had left the community in disenchantment with the Puralist way of life. What Abigail Wilson Roberts left behind at her demise was a diary that told all about Jessup and the Puralists, and something else that immediately caught John's attention. What he read, in the diary, motivated his move to his grandmother's former home in the mountains of Tennessee.
Now that John Roberts had moved into Jessup, the Puralists had a real doctor for the first time in their existence, and along with him came problems the Jessupites never imagined they would ever face. What John Roberts brought with him would test their moral convictions, and, eventually, threaten their very existence.
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C.H. Foertmeyer is the award nominated author of seven previous books in the fantasy genre. Fans will find no time travel, shape shifting Native Americans, or other fantasy storylines in Bewildered. What readers will experience is a nifty suspense thriller, a reality based adventure with cunning twists and turns of plot that will keep you guessing until the end. Annie and Charlie McVee plan to hike two hundred miles of the Appalachian Trail as a tenth anniversary gift to themselves. Never one to stick with the ordinary, Charlie plots a hike off-trail, in uncharted territory. Annie is uneasy when they discover impassable cliffs, then a small 18th century town with no inhabitants in sight. They decide to return to the trail, which takes them on a grueling experience that turns deadly when their GPS is damaged in a fall. Charlie wakes up in the Harlon County Tennessee hospital with two broken legs and a fractured hip. The hospital is staffed by one doctor and one nurse, and the facts don't match up with what Charlie remembers. He's told Annie died in a fall. After six weeks of recuperation, he returns to their home in Cincinnati to resume life without Annie. He's transported home by Michael McClellan, a resident of the tiny town they ran across while hiking. The town is Jessup, a Puralist community of people who do not believe in modern technology or violence. After several weeks at home to think about his experience, Charlie discovers chilling truths. His family doctor says x-rays show no sign of badly fractured legs or hip. No medical bills have been sent or insurance claims filed for his six weeks in the hospital. And the hospital, town, and county where he recuperated do not exist on any map or record. He enlists a long time friend to accompany him back to Tennessee in search of answers. Dr. John Roberts joined the Jessup community five years prior to Charlie's accident. He masquerades as a Puralist, who practice pure motives, when in truth he is after gold rumored to be buried nearby Jessup. He's developed an elaborate series of lies to throw Charlie off the truth and convinced the Puralists to go along. Roberts' sanity hangs by a thread as he bides his time anticipating a life of wealth with contraband gold. He definitely does not live by the Puralist philosophy of non violence and is prepared to kill everyone who interferes with his plans. People die. Horrible lies are concocted. And in the end, no one will be the same -- not Charlie, and certainly not the shy Puralists whose way of life is changed forever. Bewildered features appealing characters and wild Appalachian terrain in an exciting storyline. Foertmeyer's first venture into the suspense thriller genre is a heart pounding experience. Laurel Johnson Midwest Book Review