A man who longs for a son and a boy who can’t escape his father’s violence.
Even death can’t break their bond.
Alex is a machine whisperer. He can tell what’s wrong with a broken-down car with a touch. But his gift can’t save him from the brutality of his meth-addict father. For two years, Alex experienced kindness through Cole, his mentor. Now Cole’s dead, and the violence in Alex’s life is escalating.
When Cole reappears as a ghost, Alex clings to the tenuous link. Then he learns Cole might’ve sacrificed his chance to cross over. Jade, the first girl to look beyond Alex’s past, assures him Cole can reach the Other Side—if Alex escapes from his dad. But a previous terrifying attempt has convinced Alex it’s impossible. Unless he can find the courage to try, his friend may be earthbound forever.
“Dead Heat blew me away. It’s a gritty ghost story interwoven with all-too-real subject matter that will make you cry for Alex, ache for Cole, and thank God for Jade. I was invested in these characters’ lives and you will be too.”
~ Stacey Wallace Benefiel, author of the Zellie Wells trilogy
I’m excited about this book because not only does it deal with important social issues, like child abuse and the murky waters surrounding how best to deal with it, it also features a main character who struggles with a learning disability. This is a completely different type of book than any of my others. It came about after an agent told me he couldn’t sell Driven because it wasn’t edgy enough. I took my favorite type of story—one about the relationship between a kid and his mentor—and cranked the heat up a few dozen degrees. What if a boy who needed his mentor even more than Cody needed Race suddenly lost him?
I really hope you’ll enjoy it, even though it’s considerably darker than my Full Throttle books. For those of you who prefer paperbacks, I should have that out sometime in November.