Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mile Marker 59

Mile Marker 59
B. J. Betts
Fire Star Press
ISBN: 978-1412237566
$ 9.99
164 pages

"Now, he believed there was something out here. He just didn't know what.  A feeling of dread washed over him whenever he stepped from the cruiser in response to automobile accidents here.  Something tangible filled the air; he could feel it. Something dark - - and evil."

Marissa Daniels has everything many people desire.  She is successful with her career as a pediatric surgical nurse and would soon be marrying the love of her life who happens to be a handsome orthopedic surgeon.   With their best friends, the four are returning from a relaxing outing in Sturgis and looking forward to her upcoming wedding. 

What seemed a certainly changed instantly.  Brody James is driving home along Interstate 29 with Marissa in the front seats and their, Evie and Tyler Brooks snoozing in back.  Brody asks for something cool to drink so Marissa twists around in the seat to reach the cooler.  She just needs another inch or two so she temporarily releases her seatbelt.

As she is reaching, turning and stretching into the back seat, a wolf bounds onto the hood of the car.  Naturally, Brody swerves in an attempt to throw the beast.

Seconds later, the car is overturned with Marissa being thrown from the vehicle.  The wolf seems to view her as prey and runs to her, immediately pinning her to the ground with its paws.   The creature tears into her side causing Marissa to scream as she hears her friends also screaming and smelling gasoline.  She is helpless and isn't able to save them before the car burst into flames.  

Marissa survives however she is still haunted by her friends' screams and the wolf who changed her life.

Slowly she physically heals and returns to her career, heavily carrying the burden of the guilt by being alive.   Every night is filled with the nightmares of those few seconds.   What really happened?   Certainly wolves do not attack cars on the interstate in western Iowa.  What can explain this, logically?  She doesn't believe in ghosts, but was that really a wolf?

Marissa decides that she need answers so she returns to the town near where the accident happened at Mile Marker 59 near Cutter's Bend, Iowa.   She quickly learns that this wolf has appeared to others and has caused many accidents becoming a local legend.   With the help of the local sheriff, Michael Morris and another accident victim, the three hope to put an end to their nightmares and to stop this creature, whether supernatural or real from hurting anyone else.

Council Bluffs' native, B. J. Betts married her high school sweetheart while raising their children.  Previously she has written Saigon Moon and Echoes in the Night which are both set in the Vietnam War and inspired by her grandson who served in Iraq.  She in a member of Romance Writers of America and Romance Authors of the Heartland.

Mile Marker 59 is a haunting tale by a local author scary enough that when you are on Interstate 29, you will look to see if the marker exists.   The story is well-organized and developed into a fast-paced adventure that will leave you wanting to read more by this author.

Who would most enjoy this novel?   Even though it involves the supernatural, Mile Marker 59 is still a romance book with an intended audience of middle-aged women.

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