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Shady Cross
     

Shady Cross

4.6 5
by James Hankins
 

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In one hand, small-time crook Stokes holds a backpack stuffed with someone else’s money—three hundred and fifty thousand dollars of it.

In the other hand, Stokes has a cell phone, which he found with the money. On the line, a little girl he doesn’t know asks, “Daddy? Are you coming to get me? They say if you give them the money

Overview

In one hand, small-time crook Stokes holds a backpack stuffed with someone else’s money—three hundred and fifty thousand dollars of it.

In the other hand, Stokes has a cell phone, which he found with the money. On the line, a little girl he doesn’t know asks, “Daddy? Are you coming to get me? They say if you give them the money they’ll let you take me home.”

From bestselling author James Hankins comes a wrenching story of an unscrupulous man torn between his survival instincts and the plight of a true innocent. Faced with the choice, Stokes discovers his conscience might not be as corroded as he thought.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 12/15/2014
This outstanding crime thriller from Hankins (Brothers and Bones) grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck and never lets go. When second-rate crook Stokes ransacks a wrecked car that’s run off a country road near Shady Cross, Ind., he discovers that the dead driver had a knapsack stuffed with $350,000; the bad news is that Stokes also finds a ringing cell phone that announces the money was ransom for the dead man’s little daughter. His first impulse is to ditch the phone and run with the cash. Instead, Stokes plays along with the kidnappers over the phone, trying to figure out their plan and save the child. He has no experience as a hero, and the new role forces him into situations that are deadly dangerous and grotesquely hilarious—while the kidnappers keep calling every hour to threaten the girl. Hankins skillfully keeps the story from going warm and fuzzy as Stokes gropes toward redemption. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-12-22
A low-level crook finds himself in the middle of a kidnapping plot and must choose whether to save a child or his own neck.Stokes isn't the kind of man you'd want to have a beer with; in fact, he'd probably steal your wallet at the end of the night. Hankins (Jack of Spades, 2013, etc.) goes to great lengths to paint the small-town criminal as some kind of neonoir antihero: He's gruff, practically monosyllabic, and his intentions are definitely not good. But instead of being endearingly villainous—or even haplessly troubled—Stokes is merely a caricature of a "bad guy." After fleecing an out-of-towner for a round of drinks and all the cash in his wallet following a long night at the bar, Stokes takes a ride on his one prize possession, an expensive motorcycle, and inadvertently causes a wreck. The other driver—a man Stokes later identifies as Paul Jenkins—is killed. In the car, Stokes finds a backpack full of cash—$350,000 to be precise—and a cellphone. Since he owes one of the local loan sharks—the small Indiana town inexplicably has two—$100,000, Stokes plans to pay off his debt and take off. Then the phone rings, and he realizes the money is ransom for Paul's 6-year-old daughter, Amanda. Trouble is, the kidnappers want the full amount. Stokes races around town against the clock to find another hundred grand, stumbling through a series of shockingly coincidental events. Even with a child in jeopardy, the tension here is entirely manufactured, and any sense of urgency is deflated early on when Hankins fails to render Stokes beyond tired stereotypes.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781477820988
Publisher:
Amazon Publishing
Publication date:
02/24/2015
Pages:
308
Sales rank:
610,403
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 3.10(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Bestselling author James Hankins pursued writing at an early age. While attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he received the Chris Columbus Screenwriting Award. After career detours into screenwriting, health administration, and the law, Hankins recommitted himself to writing fiction. Since then, he has written three popular thrillers, each of which spent time in the Kindle Top 100. Additionally, Brothers and Bones received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and was named to their list of Best Books of 2013, while both Jack of Spades and Drawn were Amazon #1 bestsellers. He lives with his wife and twin sons just north of Boston.

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Shady Cross 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
karen014 More than 1 year ago
Read this in one sitting. Fantastic just like his previous books. recommend to all who like a good mystery/thriller. Warning: be prepared to ignore all things around you once you start reading!! ENJOY
bluekaren More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story. Shady Cross is a story about a crook named Stokes who finds himself at a crossroads. Hankins has created a story here about redemption. Stokes is the perfect character to pull this off and in need of redemption more then he realizes. Stokes spent the whole morning in the police station being questioned about a burglary gone wrong, where the victim ends up in a coma. One the way home Stokes is in an accident he probably caused. Stokes finds the other driver dead in his car. As any shady person would, he searches the car and covers his tracks, not wanting to be connected to the accident. Stokes can’t believe his luck when he finds a whole backpack full of money in the car, $350K. This is just what he needs to get out of town. Everything is perfect until the phone in the backpack rings. The people on the other end are holding the 6 year daughter of the dead man for ransom, the ransom that now lies in Stokes hands. It is a really bad day for Stokes to grow a conscience. His idea to run out of town with the money gets all messed up right away. The loan sharks find him and they won’t take no for an answer. Stokes is not an easy guy to root for and his credit is shot everywhere he turns for help, but his mission is pure. I really enjoyed his wit. This story takes place in the 12 hours following his accident and his introduction to wealth. The lengths he goes to reach his goal are so admirable. There were quite a few surprises as he tries to do the right thing. In this book we see that bad guys aren’t all bad and good people can be really evil. I really ended up feeling bad for Stokes. Everything goes wrong for him, but he presses on. The kidnappers in this book are no joke. They mean business and a few scenes make me squirm. Stokes faces his past and really shows his redeeming qualities. I read this book in one sitting. It is 298 pages and I don’t regret a single moment of it. The books grabbed my attention right away and kept me hooked. This was a great ride with an ending I did not expect.
VicG More than 1 year ago
James Hankins in his new book, “Shady Cross” published by Thomas & Mercer introduces us to Stokes. From the back cover: In one hand, small-time crook Stokes holds a backpack stuffed with someone else’s money—three hundred and fifty thousand dollars of it. In the other hand, Stokes has a cell phone, which he found with the money. On the line, a little girl he doesn’t know asks, “Daddy? Are you coming to get me? They say if you give them money they’ll let you take me home.” From bestselling author James Hankins comes a wrenching story of an unscrupulous man torn between his survival instincts and the plight of a true innocent. Faced with the choice, Stokes discovers his conscience might not be as corroded as he thought. Can a man be so far gone that he is not redeemable? Stokes is not a nice person. He uses people, takes them for everything he can and then moves on to the next person. When he finds the backpack with the money he may or may not use it to pay off his debts or he may just leave town. However the call for help from the daughter of the dead man from whom he took the money is more than Stokes can handle. Fast paced action and betrayal are just some of the ingredients in this rousing adventure with Stokes. Now it is just a question of whether or not Stokes will be able to rescue the kidnapped girl. “Shady Cross” is a top-notch adventure that will really get your blood flowing as you flip pages trying to find out what is going to happen next and if Stokes can be redeemed. The only complaint I have is the “R’ rated language. If you do not mind the profanity then you will really enjoy this book. I think the book would have been better without it. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
A special thank you to Amazon Publishing, Thomas & Mercer, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. James Hankins delivers a bittersweet, humorous, suspenseful, and intense crime thriller, SHADY CROSS! A complex conspiracy of kidnapping, murder, greed, and best of all–redemption. Stokes is an ex-con living in Shady Cross, Indiana—running from the cops, and hiding from the biggest and meanest of loan sharks and thugs. He is a slick operator, borrows money to get out of one jam, as high interest rates mount, and then finds himself on the run to escape, looking over his shoulder. He has a bad name in town, and appears everyone is after him for something. If he needs a few bucks, it’s a burglary; after all he is not a real killer, even though it happens when people get in his way sometimes; he is not much in the honesty and ethical department. Now, his luck may have turned, when there is an accident (which was his fault); ruining his motorcycle and finds the driver of the other car is dead. He does not need any cops coming after him, so he has to get the heck out of town. However, he discovers a backpack and SCORE - money! He begins to imagine what he can do with this amount of money. He can pay off his loan sharks, (or not), and take the money and leave town and start over. He now has options. He covers his tracks and heads to the bus station, and stops at a diner, when the cell phone rings in the backpack, and it a little girl wanting her daddy to come and get her, as the bad guys have her. Now, he has this little girl haunting him! The closer it gets to the drop off time, he begins to wonder if he actually has a heart, when all he can think about is the little girl he once lost, and this is his second chance to redeem himself no matter the odds. Intense, emotional, and witty, readers will hate Stokes in the beginning and will fall in love and sympathize with him by the ending, with his heroic behavior and may in the end, actually have a heart. Can he save himself and the little girl? I recently discovered this bestselling author, James Hankins, and have devoured all his books. Crossing many genres, each is unique and different and his latest is like no other, I have ever read. Hankins' imagination and creativity is brilliant, with many twists and turns; one obstacle after another, leaving me glued to the pages, heart pounding-- to learn the fate of the innocent kidnapped little girl Amanda, and the man with a past of regrets, who risks it all to save her. Well done! Loved the front cover! Kept waiting to get to this scene with the old carnival. Be patient; hold tight, you will arrive before the dramatic ending.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
From the publisher: In one hand, small-time crook Stokes holds a backpack stuffed with someone else’s money - - three hundred and fifty thousand dollars of it. In the other hand, Stokes has a cell phone, which he found with the money. On the line, a little girl he doesn’t know asks, “Daddy? Are you coming to get me? They say if you give them money they’ll let you take me home.” A wrenching story of an unscrupulous man torn between his survival instincts and the plight of a true innocent. Faced with the choice, Stokes discovers his conscience might not be as corroded as he thought, with the life of a six-year-old girl in his hands. Stokes, 36 years old, is nothing if not a man of contradictions. A high school dropout living in an Indiana trailer park, he has, as the story opens, spent the last night in jail being questioned about breaking and entering and robbing a local homeowner, the latter now in the hospital being treated for serious injuries sustained during that incident. But Stokes is also a man of compassion and empathy, perhaps belied by the fact that when necessary, he could still, among other things, break into a house and steal its contents, and make a cuckold of a neighbor with a pretty wife. Shortly after his release from jail, he causes the death of a man by his careless driving and, after finding a windfall of over a quarter of a million dollars in the dead man’s car, steals it. But as the story evolves, he realizes that he has stepped into the middle of a kidnapping, and that a little girl’s safety - - and perhaps her life - - are in the balance. Images of his own little girl, who he hasn’t seen in 13 years, since she was two years old, keep intruding on his thoughts, and his decisions. In debt to a loan shark for $75,000, which has now grown to $100,000, he contemplates leaving Shady Creek, a city that “may have grown up around a shady crossroads in the middle of a small town, but in the hundred fifty-odd years of its existence, Shady Cross had gotten quite a bit bigger and uglier.” He is determined to try to save the little girl, but has no idea how. This is a page-turner of a novel, filled with suspense, as the clock literally ticks down, and it is recommended.