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A Dark and Lonely Place

A Dark and Lonely Place

A Novel

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“We belong together,” he said.

“Yes,” she whispered fervently in his ear. “We do.”

From Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Buchanan, the novel she has always wanted to write: the gripping saga of star-crossed lovers across generations. A century ago, when Indians and alligators roamed frontier Miami, the legendary John Ashley was accused of murder and sentenced to hang. He insisted he was innocent and went on the run with his sweetheart, Laura. Their crime spree lasted years longer and became far more deadly than the exploits of Bonnie and Clyde a decade later.

John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove became the most notorious, colorful, and compelling figures in Florida’s violent outlaw history. This is their true story of prison breaks, bootlegging, bank robberies, and piracy on the high seas. Their sensual and dreamy saga of love, passion, and violence is juxtaposed with the taut and suspenseful story of their fictional descendants who share the same love and dangers a hundred years later. In today’s Miami, Homicide Sergeant John Ashley investigates a millionaire’s spectacular murder and instantly recognizes a stunning model linked to the case as the girl who has haunted his dreams since childhood. Her name is Laura, and the lightning-fast attraction is supernaturally mutual.

The homicide case goes bad, Ashley is falsely accused of murder, and the new lovers go on the run as history repeats itself. The question is, how powerful is the past? Do the present-day renegades stand a chance? Does anyone? Can any of us with the outlaw patterns of violence and tragedy imprinted in our DNA ever break the cycle? Can we change our own destiny? Or must the end always be the same for dangerous people in dangerous times?

In a sweeping epic that explores the inevitability of fate and the belief in predestination, A Dark and Lonely Place draws the reader into an unforgettable world of intrigue, drama, romance, and tragedy.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 432 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439165843 | 
  • November 2011
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Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE
1904, WEST FLORIDA, NEAR THE MOUTH OF THE CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER


Joe Ashley came home late, grim and smelling of whiskey. He woke his wife, Leugenia, and their nine children and told them to quickly pack up whatever they wanted to keep because they had to leave at once and would not be back.

“Was there gunplay?” his wife asked. Her eyes fearful in the lamplight, her voice trembled. “Is anybody dead?”

“No, but a man was shot. He’ll live, but if we don’t leave now, somebody will die.”

She began to pack her best linens in a wooden chest.
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