Under the Beetle's Cellar

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9780006498285: Under the Beetle's Cellar

The author and heroine of The Red  Scream return in a novel so terrifying, so  filled with squirming suspense, it's bound for the  bestseller lists. When Kirkus  Reviews greeted Mary Willis Walker's last book,  The Red Scream, with "welcome  to the big time," they weren't kidding. That  novel established Walker as an author with  "the kind of clout that sets publishers' mouths  watering" (The Philadelphia  Inquirer). And now she has done it again, with an  unforgettable tale ripped from the headlines and  more terrifying than our worst nightmares. Kidnapped  by a cult of religious fanatics, an Austin school  bus driver and eleven of his young charges have  been held underground at the group's highly  fortified compound for forty-six days. While a team of  federal negotiators begins to lose all hope of  rescuing the hostages, crime reporter Molly Cates sets  outto discover everything she can about the cult's  iron-willed leader, Samuel Mordecai. And as  the clock ticks inexorably, she takes the role of  Clarisse Starling opposite Mordecai's Hannibal Lecter,  engaging in a psychological confrontation as  harrowing as any in The Silence Of  The Lambs. Tough, terrifying, and relentlessly  heart-wrenching, this is a novel whose images no reader will  ever forget.
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From AudioFile:

This psychological thriller will chill the listener to the bone. A group of fanatical, right-wing religious extremists kidnaps 11 children and their bus driver. Reporter Molly Cates races against time to find and rescue them. Judith Ivey performs this story with an incredible number of voices and accents, each carefully crafted for the appropriate character. Samuel Mordecai, the fanatics' leader, is particular strident. Ivey captures the New York City and Hispanic accents as easily as the Southern Texas twangs. Music dramatizes the performance and the horror of the situation. The story line is disturbing, but the performance is worthy of the best suspense novel. M.B.K. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

From Publishers Weekly:

Walker, whose The Red Scream won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of 1994, returns with a knockout novel that may send her back for another bow in '95. This time, Texas journalist Molly Cates is drawn into a headline-grabbing multiple kidnapping: religious fanatic and self-proclaimed prophet Samuel Mordecai has abducted 11 Austin elementary schoolchildren and their bus driver. The children and the driver, Walter Demming, are being held in another bus buried beneath a barn on the heavily protected compound of the Hearth ("earth with an h, which stands for heaven," says Mordecai) Nazarenes until the end of the world?a mere 50 days away, according to Mordecai's prophecy. Joining the action on day 45, Walker moves her story both forward and back, holding her readers with two narrative threads: one traces Demming's and the children's dark endurance under the earth; the other moves with Molly as she delves into Mordecai's past to help the feds and the cops (the latter of whom include her former husband, who is also her current lover) understand Mordecai's intentions. Readers quickly become attached to the private, utterly believable Demming, a Vietnam vet, and to the brave, alternately defeated and defiant, youngsters, one of whom suffers from severe asthma. Above ground, Molly bends her own rules to uncover the circumstances of Mordecai's birth and childhood, which figure prominently in his religious fantasies. With unerring pacing and a vivid supporting cast (including a frustrated FBI negotiator and a cunning killer operative who is a former nun), Walker leads up to her superbly orchestrated final act, which will leave readers cheering, weeping and gasping for breath. Mystery Guild selection; paperback rights to Bantam; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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WALKER WILLIS MARY HARPER & COLLINS 1996
Published by LE LIBRAIRE 18/07/1996 (1996)
ISBN 10: 0006498280 ISBN 13: 9780006498285
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Mary Willis Walker
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