Monday, December 10, 2018

{New Release & Giveaway} "Deadfall" by Stephen Wallenfels

Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary/Mystery
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publishing Date: December 11, 2018
Page Count: 384
Format: Ebook

Description from
Twin brothers Ty and Cory Bic are on the run. When they encounter a dying deer in the middle of a remote mountain road with fresh tire tracks swerving down into a ravine, they know they have to help. But when they reach the wrecked car the vehicle appears empty, with signs that the driver escaped.
Until they hear a sound coming from the trunk.
 Ty and Cory are escaping demons of their own. But what they discover in the trunk puts them in the crosshairs of something darker and more sinister than their wildest nightmares.
Told through a gripping, lightning-fast narrative that alternates between present and past, this unputdownable survival thriller unravels the tangled circumstances that led Ty and Cory to the deer in the road and set them on a perilous course through the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

We run the final thirty feet. Inhale the stink of gas and oil and burning rubber. Shattered bits of glass are everywhere. I shed my pack while Ty checks out the driver’s door, which is crushed inward. The window is gone. He crouches down, pokes his head inside. I run to the rear passenger window, which is also gone, and shine my headlamp inside, fully expecting to see multiple dead bodies. But the backseat is empty. I don’t see anyone in the front passenger seat.
Ty says, “Nobody here. But there’s plenty of blood on the airbag and the steering wheel. Oh, and there’s more on the roof. Shit. There’s a lot on the roof.” Then, “Hey. Check it out.” Ty shines his headlamp on the seat belt clip. A six-inch piece is hanging down, sliced at an angle. He says, “Looks like the driver had to cut his way out.”
“Any sign of a passenger?”
“Don’t see any blood. And the airbag didn’t happen.” I say, “The gas smell is pretty bad back here.” Then I step away from the car and throw up.
Ty knows the drill. He waits till I stop heaving, says while I’m wiping my face with my sleeve, “There’s a bloody handprint outside the driver door. And a couple boot prints going that way.” He points up the slope we just hiked down. “Looks to me like he didn’t want to hang around here with all this gas leaking.”
“I know how he feels,” I say as my stomach finally settles and the surrounding trees wind down to a slow spin.
He says, “So? What’re you thinking?”
“If he’s bleeding as much as you say, he could be hurt pretty bad.
Since we didn’t see him up at the road, or on the way down, it could mean he collapsed somewhere between here and the road. With this fog it would be easy to miss him.”
“Or her.”
“Right. Or her.”
“So? Can we go now, or do you need to search for the body?”
“Maybe we should yell first. Do you mind?”
“Go for it.”
I yell, “HEY! WE’RE HERE TO HELP! WHERE ARE YOU?” We wait. Hear nothing. I yell again. Still nothing.
“Well?” Ty says.
Then I do hear something. But it’s not coming from the forest. It’s close by. A muffled, metallic sound. I look at Ty. “Did you hear that?”
“Hear what?”
“A sound. Kind of a clunky metal sound.”
“Nope. All I heard is you yelling.”
We wait a couple more seconds. The fog-drenched silence seeps in from the trees, coils in our headlamps, crawls up and over the big rock where the trunk of the car is resting. Whatever the sound was, it’s gone.
“And the verdict is . . . ?”
I say, “Let’s spread out. Stay about twenty feet apart and hike to the car. If we don’t find the driver, then we’re back to plan A.”
Ty smiles. “Okay. Let’s do it. But do it now. I don’t want to kill the battery.”
I put on my pack. Ty finds another boot print. It’s about the same size as his hiking boot, so I figure the driver is our size, six foot, maybe a little more. Ty walks fifteen feet away, starts hiking up the hillside. I walk fifteen feet in the opposite direction, then head straight up, scanning the beam from my headlamp in 180-degree arcs. I walk ten steps, when I hear the same sound again. But this time there’s no question about the source.
I call out to Ty, “Wait! I heard something.”
He swings around.
I run to the car. Bang on the frame with my fist and yell while scanning the interior, “Hey! Where are you?”
By this time Ty is back. He says, “Cory. The car’s empty. We checked. There’s nothing—”
Then he hears it. A muffled thump, thump.
He looks at me, says, “Oh shit.”
The sound is coming from the trunk.


About Stephen Wallenfels:
Stephen Wallenfels lives in Washington state with his wife. He wrote freelance for the Health and Fitness industry for fifteen years before turning to writing novels. His passions are family, hiking, cooking, reading, movies, climate change, and especially writing.