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Healey's Cave

Healey's Cave

4.8 10
by Aaron Paul Lazar
Sam Moore's little brother vanished fifty years ago. No body. No answers. What Sam has is a boatload of guilt, since he failed to accompany Billy on his final, fateful bike ride.

While digging in his garden, Sam discovers a green marble with a startling secret--it whisks him back to his childhood, connecting him to Billy. Thrust back and forth through time, Sam


Sam Moore's little brother vanished fifty years ago. No body. No answers. What Sam has is a boatload of guilt, since he failed to accompany Billy on his final, fateful bike ride.

While digging in his garden, Sam discovers a green marble with a startling secret--it whisks him back to his childhood, connecting him to Billy. Thrust back and forth through time, Sam struggles to unlock the secret of his brother's fate.

When the FBI investigates remains found nearby, Sam learns of a serial killer with a grisly fifty-year record. Sam's certain it's Billy's killer. But what's worse, his grandson fits the profile of the murdered boys. Will the killer return to Sam's town to claim his final kill?

Editorial Reviews

In The Library Reviews - Joyce Handzo
...a delightfully diabolical mystery with a chilling paranormal plot. Exceptionally written, this book will capture readers with a unique chase for a murderer that transcends time and space.

Product Details

Paladin Timeless Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.58(d)

Meet the Author

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. The author of LeGarde Mysteries
and Moore Mysteries savors the countryside in the Genesee Valley of upstate
New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids,
grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys.

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Healey's Cave 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
meladolce More than 1 year ago
When I was a youngster, I played many a game of marbles and held many a marble of different sizes and colors in my hand. But I never experienced what Sam-the central character in Healey's Cave-experiences when, working in his garden, he unearths a small marble. In the author's words: "The sphere was small and partially opaque. A cat's eye . . . Light sparkled through glass the color of lichen; muted pale green overlaid swirls of deeper green within." Sam looks at it, admires the colors, then without further thought puts it in his pocket and goes into the house for dinner, not knowing how that small piece of glass will change his life. Sam's life, much like that little bit of glass, is overlaid with different colors, the darkest coming from the disappearance without a trace, a half-century ago, of his younger-by-a-year brother, Billy. Over all the 50 years since Billy disappeared, Sam has been haunted by an unrelenting sense that he, Sam, should have protected his brother. Lazar weaves an engaging tale around the little piece of jade green glass, which, Sam finds, has an astonishing ability to take him out of his daily life and carry him back in time to his childhood days. His friends of those days are still in his life today in one way or another, and Sam learns during his time-traveling with the marble, that incidents-and people-are not always what they seem. Almost from the beginning of the story, a reader roots for Sam, hopes for the best for him, urges him on toward a successful search for what happened to Billy. Sam is a nice man, a good man, who, despite his problems-not the least of which is a disabled wife-believes that the world is a good place. And with the help of his magical green marble and his own courage and smarts, he proves that to himself. One of the outstanding elements of this book is Lazar's vivid descriptions of the landscape, the mountains, forests, lakes in Sam's neck of the woods. He creates Sam as a gardener, a lover of the land and its fruits, who has, among his garden plots and cultivated areas, a "white garden." Naturally, everything in it is white: florabunda roses; double Aglaia daisies, sneezewort, lupines, bleeding hearts, Asiatic lilies and dianthus. As I write this, I can see the garden clearly, smell its fragrance, and if I didn't live in a condo, I'd consider planting one myself. It's clear to the reader that Sam garners much comfort and solace while working among growing things; any gardener knows this, and the descriptions make for a delightful break in the action, in Sam's life, and in the novel's development as the tension builds and revelations come bit by bit. The conclusion is both surprising and satisfying.
canuckJH More than 1 year ago
I just read Aaron Lazar's Healey's Cave and I loved it. Edge of the chair stuff. I enjoy reading in bed, and I kept putting it down to go to sleep and picking it back up again, telling myself I'd read 'just one more chapter'. The suspense builds slowly but surely, and the mystery is sustained until the end of the book, which comes as a shocker. I challenge you to guess who the killer is. But the book is more than a thriller: the dialogue is so believeable, the description and sensory detail so strong you feel like you are right there, in the story. The characters are real. You care about them. You will love baby Timmy, and you just know the author has grandchildren, and is also a gardener, even before you read the bio at the story's end. He really knows how to draw on the reader's emotions. At one point in the book, I was wiping my tears away. Some of the scenes with the boyhood friends reminded me of Stephen King's 'The Body'. You may be more familiar with the film 'Stand by Me' adapted from the story. I can easily see Healey's Cave as a movie. I recommend this book highly. I'll be reading more of Mr. Lazar's books.
BerylSBissell More than 1 year ago
With the introduction of his newest series, Sam Moore Mysteries, Aaron Lazar has given his many fans another cause for rejoicing. I've just finished reading Healey's Cave which so engrossed me on a busy traveling holiday that it commanded every free second. Sam Moore, the protagonist, is a just-retired small town family doctor, loving husband, devoted grandfather, avid gardener, and enthusiastic chef. On his first morning of retirement Moore sets out before breakfast determined to eradicate the 12-foot high invasive Japanese Knot wood "jungle" threatening to overtake his gardens and unearths a cloudy green marble known as a cat's-eye. The marble reminds him of those his younger brother Billy and he played with as children. Fifty years earlier, Billy mysteriously disappeared on his 11th birthday. The marble exerts a strange pull on Moore's psyche, alarming him with strange experiences as he starts to plum the questions surrounding his brother's disappearance Might the marble have been Billy's, he wonders. Was Billy really dead? Was he a victim of a serial killer that had been murdering 11-year-old boys every five years? Was Moore's own grandson the next victim? Or was Billy still alive and trying to reach him? Lazar has aptly named this mystery Healey's Cave, for its pages hold many a surprise tunnel and twisted turn. The warm portrayal of Moore's love for his family, the insights into the MS that crippled his wife and the details of his work in gardens rife with blooms and in kitchens redolent with scent bring to this mystery a dimension of humanity I found very appealing. Lazar has woven an intriguing tapestry of secrets that kept me guessing until the end. I look forward to the next in the series and more of Lazar's writing.
AFStewart More than 1 year ago
Healey's Cave by Aaron Paul Lazar is a wonderful, mellow mystery, gently wrapped in a mist of paranormal phenomenon. This is not your typical whodunit with detectives, amateur or professional; it is more of an absorbing unravelling of secrets, heartbreak and murder. Healey's Cave centers on Sam Moore, his family, friends and the unsolved childhood disappearance of his brother Billy. When a grisly discovery reopens Billy's case and links it to a serial killer, long kept secrets and fresh danger start spilling into Sam's life. If that wasn't bad enough, the unearthing of a strange green marble is pulling Sam back into the past to his and Billy's childhood. Is Sam time-travelling, going crazy or is Billy's spirit trying to tell him the awful truth? That a killer might be closer than he thinks. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, from its engaging plot, to the realistic setting and characterization. Even the haunting paranormal aspects of the book meld seamlessly and add an extra depth to the story; the supernatural side of the plotline is not overplayed. The reader may wonder at the how of the strange happenings caused by a small green marble, but there is never a feeling of being cheated. The author is very skilled at convincing you of the urgency and the need of these inexplicable events. The rest of the book satisfies as well, with the mystery elements pulling just enough twists and turns (plus one or two red herrings) to keep you guessing. There are ample suspects, a demented killer, motives, tragedies, and a bittersweet conclusion to gratify the average mystery lover. However, the best part of the novel is contained in the rich depiction of the characters and their interaction. These characters are three-dimensional, well portrayed people, be they strong and family oriented, flawed with secrets or the puzzling dark villain. And they live in a world just as fully realised; you can almost smell the fragrant flowers on a wafting country breeze as you read the words. Healey's Cave is a superb book that anyone should take pleasure in reading.
ALLBOOKSREVIEWSJW More than 1 year ago
If you're hankering for a page-turning mystery enmeshed with plenty of nostalgia and even a teensy touch of the paranormal, then Healey's Cave should service your needs. It just so happens that I'm partial to mysteries myself and since I'm pretty much the same generation as the author, this book really rang my bell. Mr. Lazar, the author, is obviously an outdoors person because he masterfully sets his scenes, putting the reader right there. And his plot is relentless. His dialogue flows smoothly and his transitions are seamless but his real talent lies in captivating us with his idyllic, Norman Rockwellian flashbacks, harking back to the '60's: bullying older kids, an Oldsmobile station-wagon with sticky plastic seat covers (no seat belts), bikes with plastic streamers on the handlebars, yo-yos, baseball cards, cat's eye marbles, Tonka trucks, and tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches. Whoa, tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches? Definitely 60's comfort food. Definitely. Sam Moore, our protagonist, is a retired MD with a seriously ill wife who suffers from MS. Sam is obsessed with his missing little brother from fifty years ago. Could his little brother's fate be linked to a current serial killer who inexplicably pins old WW II medals on his victims: all young boys along the east coast, all murdered on their 11th birthday? And if this psycho killed Sam's little brother, is he coming after Sam's grandchildren fifty years later? And what does all this have to do with a green cat's eye marble that grows warm and changes colors? The author skillfully moves in and out of the past, from both the protagonist's point-of-view and also that of the psychopathic killer. He provides an excellent red herring as well as an unexpected climax, enshrouded in revenge. Ultimately, all is revealed, neatly wrapped up. I like that in a book. The book jacket tells us that the author, Aaron Paul Lazar, lives in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens and chase bad guys. Says he writes in order to sooth his soul. Turns out, that means enjoyment for us readers. A Great Read, reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews, 10 September 2010
bucmjt More than 1 year ago
Healey's Cave by Aaron Paul Lazar came as a complete surprise for me.  I am a die hard Gus LeGarde fan, so was very excited to meet Sam Moore.  This story adds a supernatural twist to a very compelling mystery.  I love getting the back ground information on all the characters and the story line in really compelling.  Lazar is a pro at the details, which is my favorite part of his mysteries.  Sometimes the answers are in the details. A definite must read! 
Jani417 More than 1 year ago
This is the first of the Sam Moore mystery series and readers will be challenged to sort out a series of peculiar events, misunderstandings, relationships, and erroneous conclusions to learn the truth about a cold case disappearance.   It has been fifty years since Sam’s younger brother, Billy, vanished without a trace.   At last, there is a break and where it leads is incredible.  Time travel and otherworldly contact is involved.  Although the concept of time travel is fanciful, in this story it is believable and fascinating.    As the story begins, Sam, a recently retired doctor, finds one of his long lost brother’s old marbles, while he is gardening.  The green marble becomes a spirit connection between Sam and Billy.  Suspects show up in the form of old friends, neighbors and other connections.  Billy’s disappearance may be linked to a serial killer who is believed to be still killing boys and due to strike again soon.  The killer targets boys the same age as Sam’s grandson, so the tension is high and the pressure is on. Lazar has a real talent for scattering clues and slipping in red herrings to keep the reader guessing.  He doles out hints little by little, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.  Not all the pieces fit, however, so readers must be discerning.   With Billy’s guidance, Sam is able to uncover the truth and solve the mystery that has baffled law enforcement officers for decades. Readers will be pleased to know that there are more mystery books in the Sam Moore series.  Sam is a very likable, easy-going man who loves spending time with his family and will do anything to protect them.  Grab a copy and get to know the Moore family.  You’ll be glad you did.
djjames More than 1 year ago
Article first published as Book Review: Healey's Cave on Blogcritics. Aaron Paul Lazar is a writer of popular country mysteries. He is a master at conjuring up warm family life in his corner of the world—rural upstate New York—and disrupting his happy families with murder and mayhem. Healey’s Cave is the first novel in his Sam Moore series, in which Lazar leaves the terra firma of realistic story-telling and risks entry into the “paranormal” genre. Sam, a newly retired family doctor, is a typical Lazar character—a kind, loving man who adores and cares for his wife, a sufferer from multiple sclerosis. A passionate gardener, he grows food and, with his wife, cooks it for the whole family. Sam, like Gus Legarde of the earlier series, is first and foremost a family man, and the scenes in which he interacts with the children, whether they advance the plot or not, are important in creating the atmosphere of the series. But—enter the paranormal—Sam finds a green marble in his garden which turns out to have magical properties. I am not a fan of the paranormal genre, and I was curious about how a writer with his feet so firmly on the ground of the real world would deal with it. To my surprise, I found that I was soon able to accept the notion that Sam Moore could be whisked into the past when the mysterious green marble glowed. I could do this, in part, because the scenes of childhood conjured up by magic were not in themselves “supernatural,” but were realistic representations of events that happened when the sixty-year-old men were only boys. Lazar is good at the depiction of childhood and young boyhood. Several successful novels in the Gus LeGarde series are set in Gus’s childhood (e.g. Tremolo), so Lazar readers are used to being whisked into the past, not by magic, but by the narrative skill of the writer. Here the magic marble moves the solution of the mystery forward, but it works the way a psychiatrist (or a novelist) might work on opening up a person’s memories of the distant past. The plot centers on the unexplained disappearance fifty years previously of Sam’s little brother, Billy. Sam’s periodic magical excursions into the past open up, piece by piece, the mystery of what happened to his brother. In the course of discovering who was responsible, we get to know three of the prime suspects, both as children and adults, best friends of Sam then and now, a very clever plot device. And threaded through the flashbacks is the knowledge that a serial killer of young boys will try to strike again. In certain sections, he speaks incognito in his own voice, another new departure for Lazar. The suspense builds slowly and the mystery is not solved until the very end, by which time Lazar has had ample opportunity to work his own narrative magic and carry even the skeptics among us on a paranormal path to an unpredictable but plausible solution.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
A deep black cover with a haunting image of a cave invites the reader into this slightly paranormal mystery about surprisingly genuine and normal people. Healey's Cave by Aaron Paul Lazar tells of a local doctor just entering retirement, looking forward to working on the land round his childhood home. The place holds plants with weeds that threaten to overcome, and memories with sorrows that threaten to destroy them all. When Sam was twelve, his eleven-year-old brother disappeared. Sam never came to terms with the loss, always feeling like an outsider, left behind and alone, till he fell in love and married the beautiful Rachel. These days Rachel's dealing with losses of her own as her health fails. But delightful grandchildren lighten the couple's days and give meaning to the future. Till Sam finds a marble and falls into memories and fear. The mystery of Sam's loss blends with the scents of a summer's day barbeque and the sound of friends laughing over drinks. The joy of the present blends with guilt from the past and fear of the future. Suspicion falls on friend and foe alike, and the marble glows. The prose is lyrical, the dialog just right, the characters intriguing, and the sense of present and past times very real. A pleasing mystery, easily read and comfortably satisfying, Healey's Cave brings cozy mystery to the great outdoors of the Genesee valley and the smoky feel of a camp-fire tale. Disclosure: I read this as a judge in the mystery section of the Dan Poynter Global eBook Awards
Natalie_Neal_Whitefield More than 1 year ago
From the very first chapter of this book, I was captivated and intrigued by how the author, as an artist, has drawn his characters. He sketches the relationship of man and wife in soft strokes, like a lovely pen and ink drawing on fine paper. A grandparent taking delight in the love of his grandchildren, is a pastel portrait framed in gold. Childhood friendships drenched in sepia tones are like old photographs in a long forgotten album taken from the shelf. Flowers in a garden, horses long gone from their stalls in a barn, the feel of leaf mold in the hands of a man who loves the earth- are sense memories so strong, that individuals spontaneously manifest themselves in complete fullness upon the page. The pace of the book also is to my liking. Nothing is rushed. There is no leap headlong into a maze of frantic action nor is there a plunge into needless back-story. There is a gracious and soft unfolding of detail, layer upon layer, as if one were looking at a painting of a lush landscape. At first we see the truth of things as through the mists of the natural world in early morning. Gradually the early light matures, and forms emerge; moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour, the mid-day comes. Characters reveal themselves. The story unfolds. Sam Moore is a methodical man, used to figuring out mysteries in life by using tried and true principles. He has honed his solid intellect during many years as a physician and isn't prone to imagining things. He begins the very first day of his retirement from private practice with a degree of certainty that he would eventually like being away from the office, but before the day is over he is not quite sure whether or not he will be able to keep from going crazy. It all begins with the innocent discovery of a marble in the soft friable earth of Sam's garden. A big, bright, green glowing cat's eye marble that flashes scenes of his boyhood before his eyes, scenes with his younger brother Billy, who had been so dear, the brother whose disappearance had left behind an unsolved mystery and a hole in Sam Moore's heart. Had it really been fifty years? Could it be he was hearing his brother speak to him from across the void? A strange ritualistic serial killer had been targeting young boys every five years since the time of Billy's disappearance. Could Billy have been one of his victims? Bodies of other young boys had been found. But Billy simply had disappeared without a trace. Questions swirl and whirl in Sam's mind. Was the killer still alive? Would he strike again? Was his own grandson a potential target? Aaron Paul Lazar is a master storyteller. The sense of intrigue never dims in this book. As we look over Sam Moore's shoulder into the fire of the Green Marble, we are drawn with him into an experience of the paranormal, seeing into the unseen worlds he unearths, never to rest until we know the whole truth about what happened to his brother Billy- and to the others. Though never fond of detective stories or murder mysteries myself, even when written by such greats as PD James, or Agatha Christie, I now must confess that I feel quite compelled to read all of Aaron's novels. I love a good story and this is one of the most intriguing stories I have read in a very long time.