Death by the River
Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: October 2nd 2018
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
A high school “American Psycho.”SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.He is also a psychopath.A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.And that someone will pay with their life.
barnesandnoble.com/w/death-by- the-river-alexandrea-weis/ 1128751264?ean=2940155702658
Leslie clung to him, wishing they were outside. “What is this place?”
“The cells.” Derek kept his voice low.
She squeezed his bicep. “I’ve never been inside The Abbey.” Leslie peered into the dim, cavernous corridor ahead, with only patches of light coming through the thick stone walls. “I wish we hadn’t come.”
“It will be fine, I promise.” He patted her hand. “Nothing will hurt you. I won’t let it.”
They crept along, their feet hitting sticks and fallen pieces of plaster from the crumbling walls around them. Puddles of water dotted the uneven stone floor and dampened Leslie’s tennis shoes. Mounds of dead leaves lay swept to the side. The low ceiling had roots coming through it, and the walls were cold and slimy to the touch. Derek shined his flashlight into the first room on the left. It was a depressingly small space composed of four walls and no windows.
It reminded Leslie of a jail cell rather than a place where a person would choose to live.
Scraps of paper littered the ground of the next cell they came across; another had a rusty metal frame of a bed. Several of the rooms had cracks in their plaster ceilings along with patches of mold. When they stumbled on a few rat skeletons, Leslie turned her head into Derek’s shoulder.
At the end of the passageway, sunlight snuck through a break in the wall. The intrusion of light was a welcome sight and Leslie’s fear abated. The jagged opening allowed green leaves from the plants outside to reach in, and a few creeping vines jutted up toward the ceiling. Along the floor, a thick pile of dead leaves hid the lower part of the opening.
“There was a cave-in along the wall here.” Derek brushed the leaves aside, revealing a fairly large breach able to accommodate one person at a time. “The other cells past this point are too dangerous to explore. We can get out here and avoid going back through The Abbey.”
Derek turned off his flashlight and handed it to her. He pushed the leaves back, pulled the vines down, and kicked the debris at the bottom away, trying to clear the opening.
While he worked, a glimmering light from inside one of the cells farther down the corridor distracted her. She flipped on the flashlight and angled it into the tight quarters beyond the cave-in.
The walls in this portion of the cells had deeper cracks than the rest of the structure. The fissures ran along the entire ceiling and down to the floors. Patches of black mold were everywhere. What struck her as odd was the lack of debris. It appeared as if it had been freshly swept without any leaves or rat skeletons littering the ground.
Derek came up behind her. “What are you doing?”
Leslie headed toward the room where she’d spotted the strange light. “I saw something.”
The smell of rot and mold filled her nose. Her skin brushed against the slimy walls, and she cringed. But something compelled her to keep going into the section Derek had deemed too dangerous to explore.
Naturally, she ignored him and pressed on, testing the floor with the toe of her shoe as she carefully progressed. Her heartbeat kicked up a notch, but this time a tingling sensation of excitement went with it. She felt like Indiana Jones exploring a lost tomb and waiting for a booby trap to jump out at her.
Her beam of light filtered into the room, and her heart crept higher in her throat. She rounded the edge of the wall and halted.
The cell was small without any windows, but this room appeared lived in. Along the far wall, below a pair of rusted pipes where a sink had once been, a green cot—army issue—had a pillow and green blanket neatly stacked on top. At the foot of the cot was a blue ice chest; on top of it, an assortment of red and white candles.
Leslie went up to the cot and caressed the blanket and pillows. Her foot tapped something beneath. She bent down and discovered an old CD player.
Footfalls came from behind her. She swerved the flashlight around to Derek, fuming.
“Did you do this?”
“Do what?” He shielded his eyes from the light and stepped inside.
She wanted to believe he had no idea any of this was here, but her suspicions couldn’t be silenced. The whole scenario seemed so well-planned.
“What the hell?” Derek came up to the cot and lifted the pillow.
She stood back, studying his reaction as he browsed the contents of the room. “I thought you said this portion was dangerous.”
Review by Barbara
OMG OMG OMG… what an amazing read! I have absolutely no idea where to start with all the things I Loved about this book!!! Let me start by saying Huge Kudos to the authors. They have teamed up and brought us an intriguing storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat and all but shock the heck out of you at many twist.
Beau is a very spoiled rich kid with serious problems. issues that his parents have done everything in their power to cover up because to Beau’s father, image is power. Out of feared for what his father would do to him if people saw his true self, Beau has perfected the perfect young man routine when he’s in public, at school and on the football field. But Beau is anything but a “good young man”. Due to his manipulative ways, Beau rules everything around him. He Lords over everyone and is determined to let nothing stop him from getting what he wants. The only person in his way of having it all is his domineering father, at least for now.
Most kids all seem to have their special hangout spot and for Beau and the kids in his school it the River and the remains of the Abbey. This is one place Beau feels free to be himself, especially in the Abbey cells, where Beau has a special room he likes to bring his dates. A place he secretly longs to bring Leslie, his girlfriend Dawn’s twin sister who he secretly longs for. But Leslie is one of the few people that hates Beau and sees him for the monster he really is.
As events start happening around him, Beaus paranoia builds and he starts to lose control. What happens when the world starts getting glimpses of the real Beau? Is anyone safe from the real Beau? What about his friends and fellow students of St. Benedict High? They may look like normal kids but are they really or do they all have secrets? Have the myths about the Abbey come to pass or are they simply ole wives tales?
I Highly Highly Highly Recommend this gripping story. In my humble opinion it is beyond amazing, a definite Must Read and easily a 20 Star Read (something I don’t think I’ve felt about a book in ages if ever at all). Grab this one up ASAP fellow readers, you will be so glad you did!!!!
Review by Kathy
What an OUTSTANDING! An absolutely captivating story line, filled with mystery and intrigue, this story will have you spell bound and will not release you from it's clutches until you reach the end...which I must say I was not expecting that ending at all. Spectacular!
This story about high school seniors waiting to finish their senior year, doing what all seniors do, study, go to football games on Friday nights, hang out and party with their friends, has one central character that is a narcissistic psychopath. Never have I read such a character before in YA story, but my lord..this boy was totally warped and terrifying. The story revolves around the lead characters, Leslie and Dawn Moore(twin sisters) and Beau Devereaux, closely supported by Leslie's boyfriend Derek Foster. Beau is the boyfriend of Dawn, and he is a piece of work. The boy is the quarterback of the football team - she is the head cheerleader. His family owns almost everything in town, but is know for the brewery and their wealth, as well as their donations to different things in the small town. Beau's father is a hard man and expects his troubled son to walk a fine line, never let the people see his true self, always remember the reputation of himself and the family. Never do anything to tarnish the name of his family. Always charming, Beau has another side of him that is truly dark and sinister, one that no one knows about, until he begins to show a couple of girls a good time in "his" cell at the Abby. He gets high off of their fear, off of the pain he inflicts, off of their struggles. The one he really wants is Leslie. In his head, she is to be his to do what he wants, to show her that she is his.
Soon, Beau finds it hard to maintain his control over everything as his paranoia begins to get the better of him and he begins to implode. His life begins to spiral out of control but his father steps in and punishes him, takes away his freedom. Beau is almost sure two of his victims have talked to each other and he is almost sure they have talked to Leslie, and this infuriates him even more. He needs to amp up his game and get the girl he has dreamed of having for so long. He can hardly wait to sense her fear, to smell her blood.
These characters are quite impeccably written with so much detail into their personalities and their backgrounds. These are normal teenagers, but then again, no they aren't.
A well written dynamic read that will have you telling all of your friends about it. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!
Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.
He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.
Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.
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