Deadly Return by Daniel Bjork

Deadly Return by Daniel Bjork

The Evil One, Henry Chase, the man who drowned his daughter, slit his wife’s throat, and murdered a half dozen more was in an unmarked grave, killed by his own son.  But wait!  His daughter and wife have disappeared from their coffins in Sleepy Hollow cemetery Concord, Massachusetts.  Doubtless some drunk boys stole them as a village prank, or so thought the local sheriff.  But retired doctor Josiah Bartlett smelled a rat.  Henry Chase’s body was not in an unmarked Concord grave and then the skulls of his daughter and wife were found hanging from village porches.  Could it be that Chase was still alive?  Impossible.  The doctor, the sheriff, and Chases’ son had identified the body.  The curse of Henry Chase was over.  Yet once before, after drowning his daughter and shooting himself in Boston in 1852, the sheriff had mistakenly identified Chase’s body.  Could it be that The Evil One still roamed the streets of Concord?

The fifth of the Dr Josiah Bartlett series not only explores the mystery of the missing corpses, but also embarks upon a seemingly far-fetched search for Chase himself in Manhattan.  The killer, who is living in a posh New York City neighbourhood has taken up a new hobby: he has become a multiple killer, urged to murder randomly mostly woman in mid-town Manhattan.  But even that does not satisfy his lust to kill.  There is one person who he must eliminate, the one man who has foiled all his attempts to erase him—the old fat doctor Josiah Bartlett himself.

There is a sure thing plan to get Bartlett in Concord and this time Chase has a partner, a young man with phenomenal marksmanship skills, and a man who worships Chase.

The climax will shock the reader—and it will shock the Evil One, Henry Chase, as well.  Deadly Return is a tale of deception, a story of the danger in taking what you see at face value, and a scary look at the length some people will go to have revenge.  The context is America in May 1865 just after the end of the American Civil War and the assassination of the great emancipator Abraham Lincoln.  But now circumstances have led Bartlett to forget his horrible experience at the Battle of Antietam in 1862 depicted in Deadly Comrades, and become enmeshed in a frightful local past that he believed was gone forever. His adopted son, Timothy Chase Bartlett, his daughter, Hannah and Sheriff Keyes are all at risk from a man who has risen from the dead, assumed a new identity and come back to Concord to rid himself forever of his nemesis Josiah Bartlett.

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