- David Beers is proving himself to be a most excellent writer of suspense and horror all in the same story. Once again both the characters and plot are well defined, complicated and scary as heck.
- Why David Beers isn't a more well known author baffles me. He is insanely talented. And I say insanely talented because I think there's a little bit of insanity in someone that can write thriller books as well as he does. He truly immerses himself in the mind of the killers he creates.
- Once again David Beers electrifies with thrilling, captivating prose.
- The cast is set, the lines are drawn, and in true David Beers fashion, you are swept away with the Tide, never retuning until that last page is turned, then wanting more. Unable to let go you start reading again while wishing the next book would hurry up and get here.
- As I lay in the hospital recovering from a stroke, I could not have had any better entertainment than reading David's The Surgeon.
From the Inside Flap
Charles Ranger had lost the ability to speak three years earlier, and every day since had been a special kind of hell. He wouldn't have wished this on his worst enemy, or at least that's what he thought when his ability to speak first left him. It took him three years, but he finally found someone that he wished could also carry this affliction.
Charles Ranger was eighty-two years old, half-blind, mute, and living in a nursing home. The only thing he really had going for him was his hearing, but since meeting Bradley, he'd begun thinking he could go without that sense.
Bradley was one of the orderlies assigned to Charles's corridor. His kids threw him in here at seventy-five, and while they visited often, he hated the damn place. Or at least he thought he had; but once again, when he met Bradley, Charles came to a different understanding of things.
Bradley stood behind his wheelchair, pushing him toward his room. It was time for Charles's afternoon nap, and although he rarely fell asleep, he would do anything to get away from the people in this place. Since he couldn't talk, the other old farts all decided they would talk to him. Just babbling endlessly while Charles stared at the television screen. He didn't even bother nodding anymore, didn't care one bit whether the other 'inmates' thought he was rude.
"Well, Charlie," Bradley said, "here we are."
Charles hated that about Bradley Brown, too--the bastard kept calling him Charlie.
The orderly opened the bedroom door and pushed him inside. He closed the door and then began helping Charles into his bed.
"I think it's about time for me to start what we've been discussing."
God, no. Please don't talk about it anymore, Charles thought. It had been two weeks since the last time Bradley brought it up, and Charles simply couldn't handle it anymore. He had to tell someone.
Who's going to believe you, old man? And if they do, and they investigate the bastard, what happens if they don't find anything? Bradley will know who told them. What do you think will happen to you then?
Charles had talked to himself about this multiple times already. It always ended with visions of him lying in bed, and Bradley's tall body standing over him, both hands holding a pillow.
"Should have kept it our little secret, Charlie," Bradley would say before pressing the pillow over Charles's face.
He couldn't tell anyone, not if he wanted to keep living.
"I've found the perfect girl. Finally. Her eyes, Charlie ... if you could see them, you'd fall in love. Bright blue, like the sky on steroids. I hope I can show them to you." He pulled the blankets up to Charles's chin. "I'm thinking some time this week I'll do it. I can probably show you them the week after. You'll love 'em. I'm sure of it."
Charles looked up, Bradley standing over him--the only thing missing was the white pillow that he'd use to suffocate Charles.
"I know you're not going to tell anyone about this, right? I mean, you won't be writing any notes?"
Charles shook his head from side to side, wondering if the fear he felt in his gut had bled through to his face.
"I didn't think so. I imagine you like it a little bit, don't you? Given what your profession used to be? I imagine cutting all those people up, even as a surgeon ... well, you had to enjoy a bit of the blood and guts, right?"
Charles nodded, knowing that he didn't even see the blood when he'd been a surgeon--only focusing on the job of keeping patients alive.
"That's why I came to you, Charlie, because once I saw your patient file I knew you were someone I could confide in ... I can't wait to show you what I get."
Bradley turned and walked out of the room, leaving Charles Ranger feeling certain that his closest caretaker was a serial killer.
* * *
Bradley Brown understood that sooner or later he would kill Charlie Ranger. Not for his eyes, though. He had no desire for a man's eyes--no, he'd kill the old man because rules must be followed. Bradley was a big lover of rules, had been since his earliest memories.
He needed them.
Rules were the only reason he had made it this far in life (first his father's, then his own), and if he was going to continue doing as he pleased, then he would need even more of them.
Because Bradley definitely was going to continue doing as he pleased ... doing what pleased him.
Rule #1: No witnesses. Charlie wasn't exactly a witness, per se, but close enough, and sooner or later he'd have to go. Hopefully later, because Bradley did enjoy talking to the old man. He bounced a lot of ideas off the bald guy's dome, and even though Charlie couldn't speak back, it clarified Bradley's thinking.
Clarity was important for what came next.
And goodness, Charlie served that purpose well.
At first, Bradley thought he would take women that he knew. They would be the easiest. He would understand where they lived, their patterns, etc. Talking with Charlie, though, rid him of that notion. Well, talking and reading.
Bradley read a lot, though a very specific type of genre: true crime with a focus on serial killers. He was easily, as far as he was concerned, the most knowledgeable person in the United States on the subject. If they gave out PhDs on the subject, Bradley would certainly have one.
Reading about the killer Ed Kemper helped show Bradley how foolish it would be to abduct people he knew. Ed only killed hitchhikers--until he got to his mother.
Bradley would read and then he'd talk to Charlie, and in the end, his plan developed into something nearing perfection. He wouldn't be caught, not like Ed or Jeffrey or Ted.
Ed was caught because he turned himself in.
Jeffrey was caught because he was a fucking idiot. Same with Ted.
The cops, in every single case, were about as clueless as anyone could possibly be. In Jeffrey Dahmer's case, they actually sent an underage boy, who had a hole in his head (filled with acid), back to Dahmer. Old Jeffrey just told them they were boyfriends and the underage boy was drunk. Believable enough.
Ted Bundy escaped from jail.
Escaped. From. Jail.
When Bradley first realized that, it took a few minutes to fully sink in. The police, the FBI, they were all so incompetent that Bradley could do whatever he wanted, as long as he followed his rules. Truthfully, the fear of incarceration or the death penalty had been the only thing that kept Bradley from doing it sooner.
That was over, now, though.
Bradley's parents had his IQ tested as a boy, putting him at 145 and in the upper echelon of humans.
He was far too smart to be caught by people who would send someone with a goddamn hole in his head back to a cannibalistic serial killer.
No, it was time to start.