Deadfall (John Hutchinson Series #1)

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Overview

Deep in the isolated Northwest Territories, four friends are on the trip of a lifetime. Dropped by helicopter into the remote Canadian wilderness, Hutch, Terry, Phil, and David are looking to escape the events of a tumultuous year--a bitter divorce, bankruptcy, depression, and job loss--for two weeks of hunting, fishing, and camping.

Armed only with a bow and arrow and the basics for survival, they've chosen a place far from civilization, a retreat from their turbulent lives. ...

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Deadfall (John Hutchinson Series #1)

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Overview

Deep in the isolated Northwest Territories, four friends are on the trip of a lifetime. Dropped by helicopter into the remote Canadian wilderness, Hutch, Terry, Phil, and David are looking to escape the events of a tumultuous year--a bitter divorce, bankruptcy, depression, and job loss--for two weeks of hunting, fishing, and camping.

Armed only with a bow and arrow and the basics for survival, they've chosen a place far from civilization, a retreat from their turbulent lives. But they quickly discover that another group has targeted the remote region and the secluded hamlet of Fiddler Falls for a more menacing purpose: to field-test the ultimate weapon.

With more than a week before the helicopter rendezvous and no satellite phone, they must risk everything to help the townspeople who are being held hostage and terrorized.

An intense novel of character forged in the midst of struggle, survival, and sacrifice, Deadfall is highly-acclaimed author Robert Liparulo's latest rivetingly smart thriller.

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  • Robert Liparulo
    Robert Liparulo  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Utilizing more than a few narrative elements from James Dickey's 1970 classic Deliverance, Liparulo sends a quartet of middle-aged Colorado buddies on a 10-day vacation in the remote wilds of northern Saskatchewan in this slow-moving techno-thriller. Journalist and avid bow-hunter John "Hutch" Hutchinson and his fellow urban professionals are all tired of dealing with their own personal adversities and looking forward to a few idyllic days of hunting and fishing. When they encounter crazed millionaire Declan Gabriel Page and his plan to obliterate an entire town and its 242 residents with a space-based laser, their wilderness retreat turns into a nightmarish battle for survival. The implausible technology and all-too-predictable ending will leave readers longing for a few guitar-banjo duels. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

What begins as a hunting-and-fishing getaway for four male friends into the wilds of Saskatchewan, Canada, turns into a Deliverance-style nightmare in which they are hunted by a high-tech menace named Declan Gabriel Page. Declan has taken over the town of Tiny Fiddler Falls and plans to use a satellite laser cannon to obliterate human beings at will. This long thriller tries to keep readers engaged until the climax, but it may move too slowly at times for some. Still, it will appeal to fans of Ted Dekker or Mark Olsen and those who enjoy thrillers with male protagonists and a futuristic, technological edge. Recommended for suspense collections. Liparulo (Comes a Horseman) lives in Colorado.


—Tamara Butler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780785261797
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/6/2007
  • Series: John Hutchinson Series , #1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Liparulo
Robert Liparulo has received rave reviews for both his adult novels (Comes a Horseman, Germ, Deadfall, and Deadlock) and the best-selling Dreamhouse Kings series for young adults. He lives in Colorado with his wife and their four children.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Fiddler Falls, Saskatchewan, Canada

On the north shore of the Fond du Lac River, thirty miles from

the Northwest Territories

Population: 242

The people trying to kill Roland Emery quickly closed the distance behind him.

"Back off!" Roland yelled at his rearview mirror, where the big front grille of their truck loomed.

This rutted half-road was as familiar to him as the ever-increasing contours of his face. He knew every bump, every bend, every place where the trees stepped in closer to slash at your paint or, if you really were not paying attention, kick a dent in a side panel or door. Still, the newcomers stayed on him, falling back on the turns, then roaring forward when only rough terrain stood between them. Their truck was one of those big fancy jobs, those pseudo-military monsters that ate ruts and boulders like granola.

A jolting bump gave him a glimpse of his own face in the mirror: red-rimmed eyes, bulging in fear. One of his shaking hands came off the wheel, fluttered to his face, and wiped at the oily sweat on his brow.

What do they want? he thought. No, no, no . . . That wasn't the question. The question was why? Why did they want to kill him?

Steering around each tight curve, he tried to get hold of his frenzied mind. What appeared to him, calming him, was his wife's face. Lizzie. What would happen to her if he died? Fine lady, tough as the wolverines they trapped together; but she always said what kept her going through the cold mornings checking traps and the long days guiding hunters into the hills was knowing Roland would be there at night to stoke the fire and fix a cup of Nahapi "sit down" tea just the way she liked it.

He pushed his lips together and cranked the wheel, taking the car down through a shallow stream and out the other side. He felt his panic pulling at him, trying to make him do something stupid. He squinted and forced Lizzie to fill that place in his mind instead of the terror.

He wished they had put some money aside so the old gal wouldn't have to work so hard by herself if these guys after him got their way. Thank heaven she wasn't with him now.

Oh yes, at least there was that.

She'd risen with him at five, as usual, but moving a little more slowly, with a little less spunk.

"Just a little tired's all," she'd said. "Ain't nothin'."

But he knew her. "Just a little tired" for Lizzie was "I'd better go see the doc" for most people. So he had insisted on checking the traps alone.

Which is what he had been doing when the big truck appeared, as bright yellow as a birthday balloon. He soon realized that the color had nothing to do with the owner's fun-loving disposition. Rather, it was ironic or sarcastic or one of those words that meant "you can't judge a fellow by the color of his car."

Roland had been coming back from checking yet another empty trap when he'd spotted the truck. He'd left his old Subaru right on the rutted trail since travelers in these hilly woods were nearly unheard of this time of year. The big yellow truck had been farther up, as though returning from camping. But he had seen it parked in front of Ben Mear's B&B on his way out of town. Fiddler Falls was too small for visi­tors to go unnoticed, let alone a group with a fancy machine like that.

Sure enough, he'd seen where the vehicle's wheels had pushed down the grass and some saplings on its way around the Subaru. The driver must have realized there was nothing to see but more trees along that route and turned around. He had stopped fifty yards away, as though waiting for Roland.

A man and a girl had appeared to be standing in the bed of the truck, but straps crossed over their shoulders and chests, so they must have been sitting in chairs. The chairs positioned them high enough to see over the cab's roof. And that was just weird.

He had waved, but the strangers had not waved back. Instead, the man seated in the bed had pointed at a tree between them.

The tree had exploded.

There had been the sound of thunder, a blinding flash, a wave of hot air, and the tree had disappeared. It hadn't been blown out of the ground or knocked off its trunk. It hadn't fallen into the woods or across the path. It had just . . . disintegrated. Needles and splinters and dirt had shot straight up, then rained down. The branches closest to the destroyed tree had ignited, burning like a thousand tiny torches.

Roland had fallen back into the brush, then staggered to his feet. The man's finger had swung slowly toward Roland. Roland had run around the car, hopped in, and reversed off the trail. He had turned the Subie toward town and punched the accelerator. The station wagon had coughed and sputtered, and he'd slapped his palm against the steering wheel and cursed himself for not giving it the tune-up it had wheezed for since summer.

Now it was moving pretty good, bouncing over rocks and ruts, but it was no match for the newer, bigger truck on its tail. Every now and again he'd catch a glimpse of the two heads bobbing furiously over the cab's roof. They would duck under branches hanging over the trail, and Roland thought the trees must have batted them a few good times. Still, they appeared to be laughing. When he squinted for a better look, he almost went off the road.

Finally he came out of the heavy woods and onto the dirt road that became Shatu' T'ine Way a quarter mile up: town, people, Constable Fuller. No way his pursuers would follow him there, not into the heart of Fiddler Falls. Small as it may be, witnesses were witnesses.

Weaving from side to side, too many thoughts crowding his driving etiquette, he saw the truck plow out of the trees and grow larger in the mirror.

"Not here!" he yelled out loud. "Not in town!"

He flew past the B&B, where he'd seen the truck earlier. App­roa­ch­ing the town's main street, he braked. The car's rear tires tried to slide out from under him. He gave it more gas, bumping up onto Provincial Street's blacktop. The avenue was barren. Most of the town was only now waking up. The autumn sun was still burning off the gray haze of morning twilight.

"Be there, be there," he said, speeding past the community center on his left.

His pursuers swung into view behind him. As he crossed Fife Street, he swerved to the left curb. The RCMP substation was dark. The Closed sign Tom used to inform folks he was out and about leaned against the big front window. Tom made it a point to tell everyone that he, as constable, never really closed; they simply needed to find him somewhere else.

Home , he thought. I'll go to his--

He saw Old Man Nelson sweep a plume of dust out of the general store's front door across the street. He cranked the wheel and shot to the opposite curb, but the old man had stepped back inside.

Roland grabbed for the door handle, flicking his eyes to the mirror as he did.

The truck had stopped at the intersection.

The man in the cab was pointing at him.

Everything happened at once, but for Roland, it seemed to take a lifetime. Metal ripped and tore. Glass shattered. Roland burst into flames. It wasn't that part of him caught fire and quickly spread. No, he was instantly engulfed. His arm spasmed. His fingers caught on the handle, and the door opened. He rolled out and stood, thinking what he needed to do . . . thinking . . .

His hair singed away, his flesh blistered, his blood boiled.

He was blinded by agonizing pain . . . then by the physical destruction of his eyes. He stumbled, may have fallen; he did not know. Every nerve--head to toe, skin to marrow--cried out for relief.

A thought, an image occurred to him. He was frying. He tried to scream.

He flailed his arms . . . or thought he did.

He--

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    DEADFALL

    I just finished it and frankly, I think I want to read it again! Great thriller! If you like realistic fiction but with just a touch of something futuristic, this is for you!

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  • Posted July 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You'll Be Trapped into Deadfall The Second You Open the Book

    I find that Robert Liparulo is incapable of failure in the writing department. This book only confirms it. Not one sentence of this book is slow-paced. Every plot line ties together, with no room for pointless events. Yet in the fast-moving storyline, he developes characters like no other. If I meet someone who enjoys reading large books, yet they've never read Deadfall, I suggest for them to read it straight away.

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  • Posted November 15, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    I don't think "boring" is in Liparulo's dictionary....

    This book is one of the best thriller I've ever read! I'm personally going to tell you, I will NEVER look at gaming publishers the same way again. This psychopathic killer by the name of Declan decides he's going to show the residents of Fiddler's Falls what true evil really looks like. Along with his gun-toting adolescent companions, this dude decides to end a good hunting trip for 4 Americans, and lots of lives to. This is a must read. Period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2008

    When Is This Guy Gonna Miss?

    Four friends looking for some much needed downtime from the stresses and struggles of life are dropped off via helicopter into a remote area of the Canadian wilderness. Unknown to them, a madman and his naive followers are nearby. Not only do these nefarious folk have in their possession the most technologically advanced weapon known to man, but they hold a small town and it's residence in their grip as they film . . . mo-cap for a video game. It's up to one of the four friends to stop Declan and his posse. Armed with only a bow and his wits, what good can Hutch expect to be to a group of people who need divine intervention? I first learned of Robert Liparulo upon the release of his debut novel Comes A Horseman is 2005. I read the first chapter of that novel somewhere, his website I think, and was immediately hooked. His writing style was one that I hadn't seen in a long time. The likes of Ted Dekker and Dean Koontz come to mind for comparison's sake. A year later Bob followed up with Germ and a short story in the Thriller anthology which was edited by James Patterson. These proved to solidify his place in the thriller genre and the hearts of his fans. Late last year, he released Deadfall. This time out Liparulo shows that he can scope things down to smaller details. His previous novels have had global consequences to propel the reader forward, raising questions of earth's survival. With this latest release, the focus is on one man in whose hands fall the fate of a small town's inhabitants. Along the way many themes are brought into play. Friendship, family, love, just to name a few. And even with this more detailed, smaller focus there's the undercurrent of a global catastrophe. What if Declan gets away with this? Where will he go next? Will the world be held hostage one day by this maniac? As usual, Bob's writing is crisp, clean, minimal and to the point. He created characters to care for, to cheer and to jeer. Along the way you might just learn something as you're entertained. That, to me, is the best kind of fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    completely awesome

    i havent been into far fetched fiction books before but the way the book was wrote makes the laser seem like something that could actually be real. its more realistic than i thought. great thriller, keeps you on your toes wanting more.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great thriller

    In Saskatchewan, Canada is the small isolated hamlet of Fiddler Falls where everyone knows everybody else and crime is non-existent but that serenity changes when the strangers come to town. Declan, his teenage brother Julian and four other men and women have come with a specific goal, to test a new weapons system using a satellite driven by nuclear power to power up the attached laser. They want to see how accurate it is when targeting specific objects and people. They kill the town¿s only police officer but his wife Laura and son Dillon get free.--------------- They are separated and each falls in with a group of hunters from the United States who wanted to take a two week vacation from the stress of home. Hutch and Dillon find each other and make it to the rendezvous point his mother told him about. While Laura and Terry also head for their vacation cabin unfortunately, Declan and his pals are right behind them and what ensures is the biggest cat and mouse game with the stakes the lives of the townsfolk, the hunters and the mother and son they rescued.---------------- Think Deliverance with a high tech weapons system that is being tested by an evil sociopath who views the lives he takes and the people he rounds up as cattle to be culled. Then the reader will have some idea what DEADFALL is all about. The action never lets up in this thrill a page, pulse pounding blockbuster. Robert Liparulo is a grand storyteller who keeps thriller readers¿ interest with his two groups competing against each other in a winner take-all survival contest.--------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

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    Posted January 5, 2011

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    Posted June 13, 2011

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    Posted October 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2011

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    Posted June 10, 2010

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