|"I shot this about twenty yards from where the bodywas found," Norah explained. "There were four|
impressions in all but this one was the best preserved.
Notice the overall round shape and the widespread toes.
And I think this indentation is a claw mark," she said,
indicating a spot on the grainy image.
"Jason sensed a catch in his chest as he shifted the
photograph on the bar's dull wood surface. She was
correct. There was a claw mark. A huge claw mark!...
Smilodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Alan Nayes
OMG, I was panting as I finished this adventure thriller! Ok, maybe horror is the better genre, but the way it is written doesn't seem to fit the normal slasher tale...
Most of my readers know I love cats--but this one! Let's just say I wouldn't even want to meet up with him in a nightmare! Nayes does an excellent job of opening this story with teasers. The history behind his main character is presented--one nobody sees until near the end of the book! Since the title and blurb told potential readers that it was about a cat, I just had to include a picture. And, although this species no longer exists, I loved the way that Nayes ended the story!
But we all witness his victims--a horse, a goat, a man! This cat needed at least 100 pounds of meat to satisfy his hunger; he never bothered hunting rabbit or other small game. Anything large enough to provide a meal was easily vanquished.
But the plane upon which he was carried had gone down and everybody had been killed, except the cub, who had walked away unhurt...
That cub was now grown, having hunted in the vast forest, unharmed, unknown by anybody that he was even there.
Until Richard Phelps, a real estate developer, bought the property and had big dreams to not only have hunting, fished and other similar activities, but to build a large golf course and elaborate facilities that would bring the rich and famous to vacation there.
He had hired his daughter, Norah, a wildlife biologist, to create a report which would be the basis for his seeking needed financial support. Unfortunately, he had one goal in mind for that report--that it reflect exactly what he wanted it to say...
Norah was a professional who was quite unaware of her father's desire. She was busy exploring the lands, making tentative estimates of available game, etc., when the first incident occurred. A man's body had been found, severely damaged, with parts missing, including the brain, and those parts around the stomach... The man was identified as a local prospector. And Jason had been his good friend. A man, who himself, had almost been killed when a grizzly had attacked him and also killed his son. Now, he stood over his friend, hardly able to identify him, and knew he had to be involved in this hunt... But Norah wanted to catch the beast alive! If she could figure out the right dosage for bringing him down alive, she would do it with a tranq gun. But at least she agreed that if she didn't get him down, Jason would take the next shot, and his would be fully loaded--with bullets!
This is almost an epic novel--fully developed in a manner that keeps the reader moving forward, knowing that some major event is going to occur, yet allowing the richness of the outdoors, the land itself to be enjoyed, and the wildlife--wolves, cougars--natural, though horrible to be considered, deaths as animals kill to survive. I knew it was coming, I expected it. But I had no idea "what" would happen!
Really great characters developed for readers to hate, while others will immediately pull you in to "their" position of what should be done... The ending, for me, was perfect--but only in a novel... I'm not sure what I'd say in reality... Wow! The whole book was just fantastic!
I live in Southern California but still consider myself part Texan by birthright. I was born in Houston and grew up in Dallas. I've resided in California since the mid 1980's but get back to Texas as much as possible. My first two published novels--GARGOYLES and THE UNNATURAL are biomedical thrillers. Actually THE UNNATURAL could also fall into the horror genre as it is a pretty bizarre tale. BARBARY POINT is a love story about a successful young woman who falls in love with a fishing guide. It was written on a suggestion from a former agent.
I have several other projects in the works. HEMLOCK POND is a horror story about a young woman and her son who move into a farmhouse with a haunted pond.
GIRL BLUE, another pretty bizarre story, is about a world renowned sculptor who becomes haunted by his last work. Oh did I mention the sculptor is terminally ill?
SMILODON is the story of a huge cat that terrorizes a small town in the majestic Pacific Northwest. This one will grab you and not let go--yeah, that sounds like a cat.
PLAGUE is the riveting sequel to GARGOYLES. Fasten your seat belts, close your eyes and pray like hell because the world as we know it is coming to an end.
My favorite football team is the Superbowl champs GREEN BAY PACKERS. Sorry Cowboys. But when GB is not on the gridiron--Go Dallas! Great Cheerleaders, too!
I enjoy the outdoors and as a side note I'm one of only a few individuals to ever swim across Wisconsin's chilly Lake Winnebago. Does this make me a better writer--probably not.
When I'm not working on my next project, I enjoy relaxing and fishing at our family vacation home in