Veinsby Lawrence C. Connolly
The driver calls himself Axle. A local boy, he knows the landscape, the coal-hauling roads and steep trails that lead to the perfect hideout:
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Fleeing from what should have been a perfect crime, four crooks in a black Mustang race into the Pennsylvania highlands. On the backseat, a briefcase full of cash. On their tail, a tattooed madman who wants them dead.
The driver calls himself Axle. A local boy, he knows the landscape, the coal-hauling roads and steep trails that lead to the perfect hideout: the crater of an abandoned mine. But Axle fears the crater. Terrible things happened there. Things that he has spent years trying to forget.
Enter Kwetis, the nightflyer, a specter from Axle�s ancestral past. Part memory, part nightmare, Kwetis has planned a heist of his own. And soon Axle, his partners in crime, and their pursuer will learn that their arrival at the mine was foretold long ago . . . and that each of them is a piece of a plan devised by the spirits of the Earth.
Meet the Author
Lawrence C. Connolly�s books include the novels Veins (2008), Vipers (2010), and Vortex (2014), which make up the three-book Veins Cycle. His short story collections, Visions (2009), This Way to Egress (2010), and Voices (2011), collect his stories from Amazing Stories, Cemetery Dance, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Twilight Zone, and Year�s Best Horror. Voices was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection. He serves twice a year as one of the residency writers at Seton Hill University�s graduate program in Writing Popular Fiction. Please visit him at www.lawrencecconnolly.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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VEINS will pull you in within the first few pages and take you on a fast paced ride through the entire story. You will feel as though you are sitting right next to the main characters in the mustang on the back county roads of Pennsylvania. The author paints a vivid picture of the coal region in the Northeast with a twist of mythical Indian lore. The fantasy character and dream sequences are as real as the landscape and back roads. I liked the crime-mystery aspect of this fantasy thriller and read this book in one afternoon, there was no place to pause. You will find you self-wanting more when you finish the book “I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.”
Darkly brooding and at times baffling, Veins by Lawrence C. Connolly lands in a unique genre somewhere between rural fantasy and legend. There's no use trying to categorize this one; readers can only open the novel and read it. And then read it again, fascinated by the twisting plot that curves and folds like the road on which it's set. A trio of thieves in need of a driver recruit Axle, a down-on-his-luck body shop owner with a restored Mustang. A few thousand dollars will rescue Axle's business and the crime they've planned is so smooth, it shouldn't land any of them in trouble, much less jail. But of course the gentleman named Murphy intervenes, as well as a legendary creature known as Kwetis, the nightflyer. Now they've got the cash, but Axle is pushing his muscle car through the back roads of western Pennsylvania, with a V10 Viper on their tail and a tattooed, maniacal Native American wannabe shooting at them Being a local boy, Axle knows all the back roads. He cuts through a trailer park into the perfect hiding place-an old, abandoned strip mine. It used to be a mountain; now it's a crater, and his father, killed before his birth in a mining accident, still rests there. Only the most drastic emergency can force Axle to the crater. Things happened there years ago, frightening and confusing him, things he's convinced himself didn't happen. But Kwetis knows they did. Described as "part ancestral memory and part nightmare," Kwetis intends to recruit Axle to a path chosen for him by the spirits of the Earth, a path called the oohaate. All of them-Axle, his partners in crime, their pursuers, and the Earth itself-have ordained roles to play along that twisting path, with their lives and their deaths. In constructing Veins, Connolly made use of intertwining time lines (Star Trek couldn't have done it better) and multiple story levels. The result is a convoluted plot that folds back onto itself, and onto the realistic but not necessarily likeable characters. Connolly's writing is elegant and mesmerizing, a suitable vehicle for the plotline. Occasional touches of poetry in the descriptions ("A gibbous moon lay in the tree's branches, glowing through brittle leaves, mottling the forest floor with silver light") provide a graceful counterpoint for the punchy action exposition ("Axle downshifted as he hit the bend, burning rubber through a sideways skid, putting the bend between them and the Viper"). All in all, Veins is a powerful and hypnotic ride, best saved for a long, uninterrupted weekend, as there's no convenient pause point throughout the entire story. This reviewer read it in one hit. And for the aficionado, the publisher also offers a T-shirt and soundtrack.