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Pinnacle Award for Best Thriller, 2016
Festival of Fear
~ Book 1 in the Paxton Brothers Saga ~
by Ron Parham
Love is in the air but so is murder!
Despite Cold War tensions hovering over the country, love is in the air for football star
Nick Paxton and effervescent cheerleader Sarah Rogers. But evil lurks in their midst. Several
local girls have gone missing and when they are found dead, Sarah becomes the next target.
Can anyone find him in time to save Sarah and Nick?
The kidnapper is cunning, devious, and determined.
Praise for Festival of Fear
It was amazing!
A master at creating multi-faceted, realistic and unforgettable characters, the author breathes
life into a host of colourful personalities like unassuming, observant, and responsible Nick Paxton,
who's gifted on the football field and obsessed with uncovering the killer's identity; vivacious and
spirited cheerleader Sarah Rogers, who struggles with fear and guilt, unwilling to let it overcome her;
and John Walters, the kind, conscientious and trustworthy teacher whose past intrudes on the present.
Yet it's the arrogance, cold-heartedness and sense of invulnerability of a thirty-five year old predator,
haunted by sexual abuse in his youth, that adds a cold chill and terror to the story.
As always in a Ron Parham novel, the plot in "Festival of Fear" is riveting and filled with memorable
characters. It kept me glued to my chair until the end, and I look forward to reading the next book
in this absorbing saga.
~ Wendy Holland
I so enjoy reading the Paxton saga. Could not put the books down once started. Thank you, Ron, for the
great stories and suspense and the sense of family and true, good friendships that are part of your
novels. Can hardly wait for your next one!
~ Jan Miley Zito
He saw lights coming on in the houses beyond, so began walking into the woods, low enough
to not be seen, and found a secluded spot in some bushes with a perfect view of the gray
and white house, just fifty feet away. He spread his tarp out under the bushes, grabbed his
binoculars, and sat down, facing the house.
He raised the binoculars to his eyes and focused
them on the front window, watching for any movement. He scanned the second story, looking for
lights on in a bedroom, but it was dark. He saw a light on the ground floor, and focused
his attention on that. Nothing. He checked behind and around him to make sure he couldn't be seen, even
in the daylight, and was satisfied that he was nearly invisible in the thick brush. He turned
back to the house and watched . . . and waited.
He crouched lower as he saw
headlights coming up the street. The car was going very slowly, as though the driver was looking
for something or someone. As it got closer, he saw that it was a brown Oak County Sheriff's
cruiser. The driver shined a spotlight into the woods, just to the left of him, and he bent down
until it passed. The cruiser stopped in front of the Rogers house and parked for ten minutes,
every now and then turning the spotlight onto the woods.
Jimmy sat motionless, not making a sound,
until the cruiser started up again and made a U-turn and drove back down the street. Jimmy watched
it turn the corner at the bottom of the street.
When he picked up his binoculars and looked at the house, Jimmy saw someone at the upstairs window,
peering out, looking in his direction. The silhouette looked like the cheerleader. His eye began
twitching as he kept the binoculars trained on the silhouette in the window. She finally closed the
curtains and turned off the light.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the sheriff's cruiser coming
up the street again, the spotlight shining on the woods. Damn! This wasn't going to work. Obviously
the local cops were aware of what happened on Friday night and were patrolling the area regularly.
He waited until the cruiser made a U-turn and began driving back down the street before gathering up
his tarp and duffel bag, slowly walking to the path and returning to his truck. Throwing everything
in the bed of the pickup, he got in and started it up. His eye was twitching, his heart beating fast.
He would have to find a replacement for the time being, until things quieted down in Acorn.
backed out of his secluded parking place and returned down Oak Street to the highway, headed for
another town to search for his next treasure. But he would be back to get the blonde cheerleader
and she would be his ultimate, one that he would keep forever.
After thirty years in the global logistics and high-tech industries, Ron Parham retired
on his birthday in 2011 and immediately began penning his first novel, Molly's Moon. He
hasn't looked back. His second thriller, Copperhead Cove, shared another look into the
Paxton world. Now, Festival of Fear shows us the beginning of the Paxton saga, and what
shaped the world of the brothers Paxton.