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Purgatory Road

Purgatory Road

3.5 2
by Samuel Parker

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"Exceptional first novel."Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Will grip suspense aficionados from the first page."Library Journal, starred review

"A skillfully written, gripping thriller."Booklist

"Action-packed with breakneck pacing."Foreword


"Exceptional first novel."Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Will grip suspense aficionados from the first page."Library Journal, starred review

"A skillfully written, gripping thriller."Booklist

"Action-packed with breakneck pacing."Foreword Reviews

When a day trip out of Las Vegas with his wife takes a turn for the worse, Jack is sure that he has the ability to get them home. But he drove into something far beyond reason.

Rescue comes in the form of a desert hermit, but hope fades as the couple comes to realize that the nomad has no intention of letting them leave. A chance encounter with a kidnapped runaway and her crazed abductor leads them all farther into the wilderness—and closer to the cold brutality that isolation brings.

At the edge of his sanity, Jack begins to learn that playing by another's rules may be the only way to survive.

In a voice that is as hypnotizing as a desert mirage, debut novelist Samuel Parker entices readers down a dangerous road, where the forces of good and evil are as crushing as the Mojave heat. This is suspense in its purest, most unfiltered form.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 11/28/2016
In the prologue of Parker’s exceptional first novel, a runaway named Molly, who claims to be 18, heads for trouble near Las Vegas, Nev. Meanwhile, Chicagoans Jack and Laura, a married couple, are enjoying a cheap vacation in Vegas. After a few days, they decide to take a break from the strip and explore the barren countryside outside the city, where their car stops running, despite still having gas, and both of their phones die. Stranded in the desert with a small and rapidly diminishing supply of food and water, the pair are near death before an eccentric recluse, who calls himself Boots, rescues them. Boots’s intervention doesn’t end their peril, and they’re unsettled to learn that he seems to have supernatural abilities. Jack and Laura’s story eventually intersects with Molly’s with violent results, but Parker, unlike lesser suspense writers, succeeds in making the reader feel the tragedy of the victims’ deaths. The strong execution of an original idea makes the prospect of his next book welcome. (Jan.)
Library Journal
★ 02/01/2017
Married couple Jack and Laura decide to see the desert sights outside of Las Vegas, but soon find themselves in their own version of hell when their rental car breaks down. With no cellular service and little water, they are on the brink of death when they are rescued by a desert hermit named Boots. Meanwhile, in Vegas, Colton sets his sights on Molly, clearly a runaway, and abducts her, playing a nasty game of cat and mouse when he chains her up in a cave. Boots and Colton are no strangers to each other, and this turn of events casts an epic battle of good vs. evil. The suspense of this briskly paced, emotionally charged plot becomes almost unbearable as events unfold. VERDICT Written in short, page-turning chapters, Parker's dark debut thriller will grip suspense aficionados from the first page. Fans of Irene Hannon and Dee Henderson who are looking for something a bit grittier will find plenty of it here.

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

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Meet the Author

Samuel Parker was born in the Michigan boondocks but was raised on a never-ending road trip through the US. Besides writing, he is a process junkie and the ex-guitarist for several metal bands you've never heard of. He lives in West Michigan with his wife and twin sons.

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Purgatory Road 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SeasonsofGrace 11 months ago
All the raving reviews and the back cover blurb made me really want to read this novel. I enjoy thrillers, suspense, mystery. I can honestly say, this book is probably the most different book I have ever read. It begins with two characters, a runaway girl, and a couple. Both in Vegas, for different reasons. The girl is just tired of her mundane boring life and is looking for adventure. She is headed to California. The couple is on vacation. Seeking a bit of a thrill for a day, yet tired of the Vegas strip, they take a car trip out into the desert, only to end up stranded on a road to nowhere. The characters are developed enough. A wife who pretty much always does her husband's bidding, compliant, letting him have the glory, be in charge, while feeling lost and lonely and undesired in the relationship. A husband who wants to be something he is not; who is overconfident, yet insecure, hence his somewhat macho attitude; who desires freedom... but from what; and whose life is based on his routine and security of his work, his self-made person. Then throw in a few other characters. A sadistic man, who preys on vulnerable girls or people, giving them hope, then killing them. His character is fueled on by a man named Seth... real or imaginary is for you to determine. Then there is Boots, a good guy? Sometimes it's hard to tell. He has a strange way of handling things. To me, this book was typical of a behind the scenes, sort of spiritual warfare. A battle between good and evil which plays out in the lives of the characters, as well as, between Boots and Seth. It's a bit twisted and creepy weird at times. I am not sure I would call it Christian per say. It isn't extremely clear on God, or what part he plays in this book. The author kind of leaves it to the audience's imagination. Even though it was interesting enough to keep me reading, there were times I wondered why I was reading this.... I am having a hard time deciding if this is a 3 or 4 star book. I guess somewhere in between. Some will like it more than others. I haven't quite decided if I would read another book by this author in the future or not. I would recommend this book for adults only, possibly older teens This book was provided to me free courtesy of Revell to read. I was not asked to post a positive review and all opinions are my own.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"Purgatory Road" is an intriguing thriller telling the stories of Molly and Jack & Laura, who wind up around Vegas. Molly is a teenaged runaway who is kidnapped and psychologically tortured. Jack and Laura are a couple who have lost touch with each other and their marriage. Jack takes Laura away from the city and out into nowhere when the car stops working on the highway and they are left to die of thirst miles and miles away from the nearest people. They are rescued inches away from death by Boots. Jack comes to some realizations out on the road but still has some lessons to learn. Boots is a hermit living in the desert that comes to all three of their rescue. A patient man, he seems to know the lessons they need to learn. It's unclear exactly who he is or what he is, but the book creates more questions than it answers. Early on, you get tidbits that everything is not what it seems. It appears that this book will have a sequel, so be prepared to be left with some questions. Everything is not wrapped up in a bow at the end, though many storylines are concluded. Overall, it was a quick and intriguing read, and I would be curious to read the next! Please note that I received an ARC through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.