Mini-series of young adult novels by Ann Brashares
Author: Aaron Paul Lazar
One man would find something so powerful yet small that it will change his whole life, take him back in time and allow him to find the answers to a fifty- year old mystery. Sam Moore is a retired family doctor is about to enter a whole new realm. Retirement can bring financial security, time to enjoy your hobbies and allow you to do all the things you want to do and never got around to. But, Sam is haunted by the disappearance of his younger brother Billy and will not rest until he finds out the truth behind his disappearance. Cleaning out the weeds in his garden and knowing their was mowing to be done, his wife Rachel, concerned about his retiring, not wanting him to cuddle and pamper her even though she is ill, sends Sam out to tackle those weeds. But, what he finds in the earth in his garden will change his life forever. Hidden in the dirt is a green cat’s eye marble that glows. Take the trip back in time, get your own green marble and enter the past with Sam Moore as he flashes back to his childhood, scenes reliving them as if they are in the present and hopes to learn the truth behind his disappearance. Some connections are hard to severe. The loss of his brother was devastating coupled with his mysterious disappearance the gnawing feeling in his heart and soul lingered until the present time not able to find any closure until he gets the answers he needs to move on. Sam Moore would get those answers but not in the usual way. This simple discovery of a green marble would transport his body, mind and soul back in time to where it all began hopefully soldering the connections that were severed in the past and bring the solutions into the present.
An instant green flash, a green marble with powers so strong would pull him back and now his journey begins. Take the trip back in time as author Aaron Lazar, Sam, this reviewer and you the reader enter the world of Healey’s Cave.
Floating in the air and rising above the clouds looking down Sam observed something that would pry on his mind until the truth or the reality of what he was clarified. Reliving an experience from his childhood he not only felt his brother’s presence but experienced it too. Joined by his friends Harvey, Bruce and his first real crush Renee, the author introduces the reader to his life before Billy went missing and allows us to get a brief glimpse of Mr. Healey. Mr. Healey was a mean, awful and hateful man who disliked kids. Waking from his dream he remembers and recounts the events to Rachel as they both remember that Billy’s birthday was this same day. Knowing or thinking that the man responsible was moving back to their town gave both Rachel and Sam an uneasy feeling. Learning that his friend Bruce just might be the next President exciting. But, the green marble once again takes Sam back in time to an incident that would burn within his mind as much as it did the tent that he and his friends were sleeping in. Just who caused the fire and why you will have to learn for yourself as the pieces are starting to slowly come back to Sam and maybe the answers too.
As all of his old friends and Healy arrive back in time for various reasons just where will this take Sam and traveling back to the past will it finally illuminate more than the glow of the green marble but the answers that Billy might be trying to communicate to him from wherever he is. His grandsons visiting and closeness and love shines through as you learn more about the circumstances surrounding Billy’s disappearance and the impending danger to any other young boys and even his own grandson. Imagine what Evan, his grandson felt as Healey confronted him and the evil stare would make anyone shudder.
Grab that green marble again and let’s go back along with Sam and find out what happens next. In the back of an old Oldsmobile Bruce and Billy were sitting together with their baseball gloves and bats. Remembering the game did not make Sam happy and the hot tears that scalded his face and the shame he felt would not subside. But, his brother was there and his love for him and his friend Bruce’s support would endear you to both. But, when Sam awakens from his dream the reality that he sees in the barn will shake him to the core. Finding a body in his barn and having to deal with who it might be would definitely lead him to believe it might be his brother. Linking the body to that of unsolved cold case, Sam is relieved in one respect to know the body does not belong to Billy but the grief he feels and the sadness he feels would reopen the hidden anger and fear that lingers within him. But, there are other victims of this serial killer and Billy just might be one of them.
Sam’s house is broken into and Billy’s toys ransacked and some stolen. The memories flood back as the serial killer’s voice is heard and the threats are made. Killing young boys at age 11 and stopping them before they reach 12 leaving a medal of honor with the body to taunt the families. Just why the medals and who is next will not surprise you as Sam’s dreams become a reality and the fear that Evan might be next comes to his mind. One last kill the killer states while Sam and his friends are at a retreat the killer plans his next attack. But, Sam is disturbed by what he learns and even more by the clues left by the killer in plain sight. We are then given a first hand look inside Healey’s Cave as the author shares Sam’s childhood experiences with the reader and the present being hit in the head. Luring Sam into the cave, taunting him and stealing Billy’s toys and then leaving his truck for Sam to find, just who is behind the murders and if not Healey could it be someone close to him? A startling dream that Evan and Sam shares brings the murderer even closer as Sam thinks it might be one of his childhood friends. Listening and hearing the voice of the killer who tries to rationalize his thinking and convince you the reader as he has done himself that this murder is justified. Sam on an overnight campout with his friends alludes to the fact that they are suspects in his mind as they share more memories of the past.
But, another dream changes things and this time Sam is shot. But, what happens next and the startling revelation of who the killer is and what really happened to Billy will make the reader and Sam question the meanings of loyalty, trust, friendship and revenge. A hidden secret among friends reveals a truth that would shock Sam’s world and question not only his sanity but his friendships too. An ending that is explosive and a killer so insane you begin to wonder how he hid in plain sight and almost got away with more. Just what happens and will the marble finally reveal the truth about Billy, the killer and his death to Sam? What happens when he realizes that killer is really after Evan?
Characters so well defined and a family torn apart with grief and a killer who seeks revenge and leaves no clues behind. The ending was so tense, gripping, electrifying and well orchestrated that until the very end you won’t know who did it, why and the end result for all those involved. Just what happens inside Healey’s Cave and how will it link the past and the present you won’t know unless you read this outstanding novel, ask Sam to borrow the green marble and take the trip back in time to where it all began and why. Sam Moore is one character that you can fall in love with. Honest, understanding, fearful at times, frightened about dealing with his own retirement and caring for Rachel and dealing with her illness Sam has to deal with his past, his childhood friendships and his own hope for the future. Let’s see where the green marble takes Sam next.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
I give this book: FIVE GLOWING GREEN MARBLES AND ONE EXTRA FOR ME!
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