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Trapped in Whittier (A Trent Walker Supernatural Thriller Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Michael W. Layne
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t mean it can’t kill you.
Trent Walker is a mentalist who makes his living off of people believing in magic and the afterlife, even though he doesn’t believe in anything other than science, logic, and sleight of hand.

The two hundred or so residents of the strange town of Whittier, Alaska, are convinced that vengeful spirits and a horrific curse have doomed them to lives of eternal darkness.

When Trent finds himself trapped in Whittier, with no way to leave until the next morning, he's forced to reassess his own beliefs and to fight for his life against an unnatural force that his logical mind can’t explain.


The man shifted uncomfortably in the fold-up metal chair. He had done this before. They all had. But he had never gotten used to it.

The growling. The snapping of the teeth. The shaking of the cages in the dimly lit room. He knew the bars were strong enough to hold them—that there was no way for them to escape, but it unnerved him to think of what they would do to him and anyone else who got in their way, if they did.

None of them had gotten loose before, but the Elder had made a special point of warning him this time—told him to stay vigilant—that there might be trouble coming their way. Maybe not this month, but soon.

The man turned his head from the cages, calmed his breathing, and tried to will his heart to beat slower. He reached into his pocket, found the little oval pill, and dry swallowed it.

Maybe it would also help if he changed his way of looking at the situation. He wasn’t their warden. He was caring for them and making sure they survived another full moon.

That made him feel a little better. But he still wished this could be done another way. These were his friends. His neighbors. His family.

But until the morning came, they were also dangerous and had to be treated that way.

Tonight, they were no longer humans.

Tonight, they were animals.

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Whittier, Alaska
2012 Population: 220
Land Area: 19.7 Square Miles (Mostly Water)
Population Density: 18 People per Square Mile
Land-Based Entry: Single-Lane One-Way Tunnel
Last Tunnel Opening to Exit Whittier: 11:00 p.m., Daily

The town of Whittier, Alaska, is absolutely a real place and is mostly as I have described in this book.

Whittier can only be reached by car on the half hour every hour, and you can only get out of the town by car every hour on the hour up until 11 p.m. If you don't make the last tunnel out, you have to spend the night in Whittier. 

Yes, there is an airport there, but it is not maintained or staffed, and unless you happen to have your own airplane with you, it is not a viable option if you need to leave the town. And yes, there are boats in Whittier, but once again, this is not a plausible way to leave the town at night, unless in an emergency. It is also true that the majority of Whittier's two hundred or so residents all live in the same apartment building, which also contains the town's barber, its school, and its police department. 

Whittier is a strange place, and I don't get a feeling that any of its residents would argue this point. There are plenty of weird tales about the town on the Internet, and it is known or talked about by Alaskans as being haunted. 

All in all, the town has a rich history, and I was lucky to have spent almost a full day there at the end of the summer of 2013 while visiting my cousin and his family. I enjoyed my time in Whittier, but I also made it out before the last tunnel opening. This book is the fictional account of a mentalist named Trent Walker who was not so lucky. 

I am often asked about whether "Whittier" is a supernatural suspense thriller or a psychological suspense thriller. My answer is that it's probably a little of both...but you'll really just have to read it and see for yourself!

On that note, I really do hope you give Trent a try and that you have as good a time reading his first thriller as I had writing it.


Product Details

  • File Size: 3435 KB
  • Print Length: 126 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,794 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Get Stranded in Whittier Overnight December 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Don't Get Stranded in Whittier Overnight

In Whittier, by Michael W. Layne, Trent is an entertainer. As a Mentalist, his work consists of sleight of hand, misdirection, an acute understanding of human nature, and ensuring people have a great time during his shows. On his well-deserved vacation in Alaska, Trent decides to take a glacier cruise from Whittier, a small town accessible only at certain times via a tunnel though the mountain. With only bears to worry about, Trent feels confident he can navigate on his own. After all, there's only one way in and one way out of Whittier.

Surrounded by mountains on three sides and arctic water on the fourth, Whittier is isolated. Not even large enough to run a 5K course, the town seems smaller than its only claim-to-fame cruise ship. The town is remote, colder than surrounding towns, and has a posted bear warning.

During his cruise, Trent discovers many things as he runs through his impromptu act for the other passengers. First, the town is haunted. Second, his date with a beautiful Whittier woman may not turn out the way he expected. And last, he receives a warning: don't get stranded in Whittier overnight.

With expert foreshadowing and deft descriptions, the author sends anticipatory shivers down your spine. The characters add a nice spicing to the story as it moves along at a brisk pace. I highly recommend the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You MUST Get "Trapped in Whittier" November 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Trapped In Whittier is a fast-paced thriller that has a likeable protagonist in Trent. While the storyline is not unique (are any?) the tempo makes for a quick read. There ARE a few twists and surprises, and while some of the characters could be fleshed out a little more, the piece lends itself to not only intrigue but some frightful moments as well. I think this would make an interesting film in the hands of the right director and with some touches added to characterization. I recommend this book to anyone interested in books along the line of Koontz or King.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining! Didn't want it end! January 1, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. I was hooked from the start and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

It's a well crafted mystery with a supernatural twist. The protagonist, Trent Walker, is quite an interesting, not to mention charming, character. He's a professional mentalist, intelligent and knowledgeable about the intricacies of human perception and he delights in fooling his audiences with his tricks of the trade. The author clearly understands how the art of mentalism works. So if you happen to know anything about the art yourself, you'll find yourself giving a grin and a knowing nod to much of what Trent says and thinks throughout the story.

The story is set in the small, strange town of Whittier, Alaska (an actual town). I love stories that are set in small towns where everything and everyone seems so "normal" to an unsuspecting visitor. As the reader, you just know there's going to be "something" coming that will flip that sense of normalcy on its head. In that regard, "Trapped in Whittier" does not disappoint. Not by a long shot. I was totally unprepared for what that "something" turned out to be.

To the potential reader I want to be clear that this isn't what you might think of as one of those "hardcore" supernatural thrillers in which the author has taken the subject into the realm of "damned serious" stuff. I hope another reviewer, J. Carr, will not be upset if I borrow a paragraph from his/her review. It's just that I couldn't have expressed what he/she said any better. J. Carr wrote:

"I almost giggled at the small mistakes our intrepid hero makes. You know those moments in any horror movie, where you're like, "OMG, don't go in there! Don't do that! Oh, that's a bad idea!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, quick read! August 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having not really read any fiction in quite some time, I purchased this book after it was recommended to me by a friend. I must say that it proved to be a great read. The novel is relatively short but does not skimp on action at all. Layne's protagonist, a somewhat eccentric dude who relies on his guile and wit to survive, is the perfect anti-hero.

I find it hilarious that other reviewers complain about the book's lack of realism. It's called fiction, dummies. If you want to experience the real world, go outside and take a walk.

I will definitely be reading Part 2 of the Trent Walker series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIVE STAR READ July 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good story! This isn't the first M.W. Layne book I've read, but it's the first I've reviewed. Got the prompt, lol. I loved the setting of the story, and the supernatural elements weaved into the thriller genre. My heart was pumping right along with Trent's as he tried to use his honed mentalist skills to determine what was real, and what was not. I've always wanted to go to Alaska, and if I ever do, I will certainly visit this town (yes! It's a real town!). Another good book, Mr. Layne!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun ride! May 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The story follows a mentalist who travels to a small town (that really does exist) that has a unique geographical property that can cause a visitor to actually get stranded in it. As one might easily imagine, this happens, but the twist is what happens in the town during this period. Grounded in science and logical thinking more than the paranormal, Trent experiences what may (or may not?) be a supernatural thriller.

I'm quite pleased to see that much of the mentalism that's used in the story that's part of Trent's character is actually spot on, rather than fiction. It's clear the author has done his research.

At some points the plot breaks my suspension of disbelief, though stylistically that can be considered part of the charm. It's an enjoyable read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!!
This book was well written and the story was told in a captivating way. I would however liked to have heard more about Trent and Christina after their night trapped in Whittier.
Published 1 month ago by c bar
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard read at first
I would rate this book 4 1/2 stars because it was a slow starter. Once it got going it was a good read had held my interest to the end. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars What WAS that?
I bought this one because it sounded like the sort of thing I often enjoy, plus it had a goodly number of positive reviews. This one is not one of those. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sherry Hagenson
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start with a sprint to the finish
The first 1/3 of this book meandered along, filling in the back story, which was used nicely to keep me engaged until the pace dropped me into a car screaming down the fast lane;... Read more
Published 6 months ago by g3amazon
5.0 out of 5 stars I truly loved the story development and how Trent became stuck in ...
Trent is a Mentalist and an astute observer. I truly loved the story development and how Trent became stuck in a series of events that forced his hand. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
absolutely the worst book I ever read. Awful.
Published 8 months ago by Joanne Peterson
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a fun and easy read - if you like super-natural type ...
It was a fun and easy read - if you like super-natural type reading! I actually bought Book 2 - "Under Vegas" - that I'm currently reading. Read more
Published 9 months ago by IM4FROGS
5.0 out of 5 stars so enjoyed the familiar spots mentioned
On an Alaskan cruise, I visited some of these same towns, so enjoyed the familiar spots mentioned, Never visited Whittier, though. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mabel Brest
3.0 out of 5 stars This was a good story, like the Alaska setting
This was a good story, like the Alaska setting, kind of had me guessing, as to what was going on in in town! Easy to get caught up and hard to put down.
Published 9 months ago by Dawn Zdrojewski
3.0 out of 5 stars Whittier - to be or not to be? That is MY question
Whittier starts off with a lot of promise but drags on beyond mid story with too much filler. I eventually made it through to the end but I'm not sure why. Read more
Published 9 months ago by I Tell It Like I See It
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More About the Author

Mike grew up on a steady diet of sword and sorcery novels, comic books, horror movies, fantasy adventure role playing games, and science fiction. Oh, and listening to RUSH. Now he writes both modern epic fantasies and supernatural suspense thrillers and blames it all on how much all of those things twisted his delicate young mind as a child.

To receive updates about his work, please copy and paste the following into your browser: for Mike's Fantasy mail list for Mike's Thriller/Horror mail list (FREE ebook upon confirmation of subscription!)

Your e-mail address will NEVER be shared, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Science of Magic Series (Epic Fantasy) (written for adults, but kids dig these, too):
The Applicant - FREE Prequel Novella
The Conservation of Magic - Book 1
The Equilibrium of Magic - Book 2

Trent Walker Supernatural Thrillers (written for adults):
Becoming Walker - Trent Walker Short Story (available for FREE with sign-up to thriller email list)
Trapped in Whittier - Book 1
Hunted Under Vegas - Book 2


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