In Silent Graves

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A TV newscaster descends into a disturbing nightmare world after losing his wife and baby during childbirth.
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More About This Book


A TV newscaster descends into a disturbing nightmare world after losing his wife and baby during childbirth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780843953299
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 378
  • Product dimensions: 4.14 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.13 (d)

First Chapter

In Silent Graves

By Gary A. Braunbeck

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2004

Gary A. Braunbeck

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8439-5329-2

Chapter One


... later-after the sirens died down and the area was cordoned
off, after the strobing visibar lights blinked out and
everyone was questioned, after shock and horror slowly
transformed into disgust and grief, after the crowd was
dispersed and the coroner's wagon pulled away with its
grotesque, grim cargo-one of the officers made a last sweep of
the scene and found a neatly folded sheet of stationery tucked
into a corner of the bureau's chipped and dingy mirror. This
discovery would lead detectives to search the ruins of the
motel room again, this time to find a thick envelope taped to
the underside of a drawer in the writing table. Inside this
envelope were hundreds of pages, both handwritten and typed,
which would answer all their questions-forget that the answers
did not fit neatly into the cubically contained prison of
their consensual reality. But, for the moment, there was only
this small, neatly folded piece of paper, taken from the
corner of the chipped and dingy mirror.

The script was delicate and exquisitely feminine, the spaces
between each word painstakingly exact, the angle of her slant
almost Elizabethan in its fluid grace, each letter a blossom,
each word a bouquet, the sentence itself a breathtaking
garland: Send me a pictureof the daughter we never had, the
bright little girl with chubby pink cheeks and wistful smile
and wide gray eyes that say, I used to feel lonely but it's
all better now.

Most of the world thinks that's where Robert Londrigan's story
came to its end, but we know better, don't we?

It's time now. The moon is full and high above; there are
sounds out there beyond this warm firelight, lonely and
semi-human; and around your feet swirls the fog, night-breath
of the river, come to hide you from the things making those
lonely sounds.

Don't be afraid. Remember the words you were taught? They'll
protect you, if in your heart you truly believe.

Do you remember?

Fine; all together, now:

Come forward, Robert Londrigan, and bring your memories and
the gods and heroes of your childhood with you; come forward
for the wonder of men and women cleaving to one another and
the children who spring forth from the coupling; step from the
shadows of the past and tell us what the good American man you
once were did that was so bad in the eyes of God and humankind
that you were forced to flee the company of people; come
forward eager to cast light all about in the dark corners of
the last thirty-seven days of your life and make clear to us
what happened once upon a time; you don't need a muse to tell
your story, you need a voice that stands in front of you like
a sign marking the end of your journey, one filled with
compassion and some touch of pity and hardened with anger to a
shine; come forward and give body and entitlement and boldness
to your tale before it falls victim to those who would make it
myth. Give it life with a voice that now takes it place in
front of you, ready to begin, to weave the strands together,
to paint your portrait in just detail, to reveal with Ih doll
the nesting set truly begins; come forward! Let us speak the
man you once were back into existence.

* * *

February 13

Cedar Hill Division of Police
Homicide Unit
Inter-Office Memo

From: Bill Emerson
To: Ben Littlejohn

Hey, Pard:

First of all, happy Valentine's Day. Sorry I don't have a box
of chocolates for you, but here's a little present,
nonetheless. Montrose homicide decided to overnight this to us
instead of faxing it piecemeal like they've been doing. I
guess they were sick of me calling them half-a-dozen times a
day (I can be a big pain in the you-know-what, no surprise to
you, I'm guessing). I have their guarantee that this is a
"full and complete copy" of the contents of the envelope they
found taped to the bottom of the desk drawer.

Tell you the truth, after reading this, I don't know what the
hell to think. I should also warn you that they had extra sets
of photographs made, and the Polaroids are even worse than the
few they made public right after it happened. Capt. Goldstein
informs me that after we all have ourselves a looksee, this
stuff is to be sealed and never opened again, case closed,

The investigation is now officially in limbo and, considering
what you're going to find in here, maybe it's best that some
cases be left alone. I don't know. Didn't sleep too well last
night after finishing it. The Polaroids in particular are
pretty gruesome. Considering that you and Cheryl just found
out about her being preggies (congratulations, by the way!) it
maybe wouldn't be the greatest idea for you to look at them.
But you're a big boy, you can make your own decisions.

Okay, that's it for me, pal; by the time you're reading this
tomorrow, Eunice and me will be on our way to London. She's
really looking forward to the trip and keeps reminding me that
I haven't had a vacation in four years. I hope I enjoy it;
from what I understand, they serve their beer room-temperature
over there. Oh joy.

You know what gets to me the most? I talked with this guy
maybe four, five times and not once did my yo-yo alarm go off.

Maybe, to quote Danny Glover from any of the Lethal Weapon
movies, I'm getting too old for this s-t.



Excerpted from In Silent Graves
by Gary A. Braunbeck
Copyright © 2004 by Gary A. Braunbeck.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Best book I ever read. With every twist and turn the author inst

    Best book I ever read. With every twist and turn the author instills every emotion into your being. Not for the faint of heart

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Perhaps a classic in the making, but not really my bag

    Robert Londrigan is an up-and-coming newscaster in the town of Cedar Hill, Ohio. He has a wife he loves and a child on the way and life is good. Then suddenly everything takes an unexpected turn and Robert find his life shattered. His wife dies and the body of his unborn daughter is stolen from the morgue. The kidnapper attacks him and leaves him with the enigmatic message 'Do you despair?' In Silent Graves is much more than your average pulp horror novel. In the beginning things were so surreal that I almost gave up on the book. Luckily Gary's writing was good enough to keep me reading and he pulls off the neat trick of revealing his supernatural world one onion layer at a time, which gave me plenty of 'Aha!' moments, explaining things that had seemed so nonsensical or just bizarre earlier. This was one of the best executed genre books I've read in years. But... I don't know. It just didn't capture me.

    In my eyes, In Silent Graves is more dark fantasy than horror. It reminded me quite a bit of Clive Barker's early stuff (especially Weaveworld and Cabal). One of those stories where a regular guy makes a left instead of a right and winds up in a surreal nightmare world. I don't mean to say that Braunbeck is swiping from Barker. The story and its surrounding mythology is original and unique. Often there were bits of fairy tales woven into the story and he did a good job of capturing the fairy tale narrative style and it was an effective way of revealing his mythology. It's really quite good if that is what you are looking for. I might even call it an undiscovered classic of dark fantasy. But I never had a taste for that stuff myself. As a result though I enjoyed the time I spent reading it, I would close the cover for the day and I wouldn't be eagerly looking forward to my next chance to pick it up.

    My distaste for dark fantasy aside, one issue I had with the book is the lack of any sort of outside threat. Earlier I compared the novel to Weaveworld. But it didn't have anything equal to Weaveworld's Fugue. There is a sort of existential threat in the book, but it is a much more nebulous thing. I never got the feeling that the characters were in any sort of mortal danger.

    Gary Braunbeck really is a fantastic writer. Much better than the level of writing you will usually find in a horror novel. The characters had depth and genuinely made you feel for them. He's taken the time to build lives for his characters so that when bad things happen they have an emotional impact on the reader. He's really has managed to capture the main character's despair and misery at the loss of his wife and unborn child, which can make the book a genuinely unpleasant read.

    On the downside, his writing is sometimes too lyrical for its own good. Sometimes he got a little carried away with his writing. His characters had a tendency to speak in pages long soliloquies. Extended speeches full of nuance and detail. People in anguish don't speak that way outside of Shakespeare or soap operas.

    It wasn't my cup of tea, but if you love the early novels of Clive Barker or think that The Stand and The Dark Tower books are some of Stephen King's best work, I'd say you owe it to yourself to check out In Silent Graves.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2004


    This book was alright, not anything great. I was a little confused about what was going on during some points in the book, but I just kept reading. It was a little spooky, but not anything extremely scary.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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