Monday, March 27, 2017

Aletheia: A Supernatural Thriller by J.S. Breukelaar

Release date: March 24, 2017
Subgenre: Horror, supernatural thriller

About Aletheia


Deep below the island, something monstrous lies waiting for Thettie, and it knows her name.

“Family and small town desires and secrets simmer in J. S. Breukelaar's melancholy and affecting mix of literary, noir, and horror by the lake. ALETHEIA is a compelling 21st century ghost story. Don't lose your Gila monster!”—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock.

The remote lake town of Little Ridge has a memory problem. There is an island out on the lake somewhere, but no one can remember exactly where it is—and what it has to do with the disappearance of the eccentric Frankie Harpur or the seven-year-old son of a local artist, Lee Montour.
When Thettie Harpur brings her family home to find Frankie, she faces opposition from all sides—including from the clan leader himself, the psychotic Doc Murphy.
Lee, her one true ally in grief and love, might not be enough to help take on her worst nightmare. The lake itself.
A tale of that most human of monsters—memory—Aletheia is part ghost story, part love story, a novel about the damage done, and the damage yet to come. About terror itself. Not only for what lies ahead, but also for what we think we have left behind.



1. Arrival

When old man Zabriskie got sick and privately offered his manor house, including its very own island, to the first man who would shoot him in the head, it was Frankie Harpur who stepped up to the plate. Frankie Harpur—shell-shocked war veteran one minute, Lord of the Manor the next.
It would be five years before Thettie Harpur would hear about Frankie’s change of fortune. They’d moved away by then, of course, and how she heard about cousin Frankie was through a one-eyed girl called Bryce, whose inflatable took a bullet a mile upriver, and who Doc found drifting face-up in the current, her good eye open and blinking. Back at The Landing, an abandoned hamlet along the Susquehanna, where they’d been in exile for almost a decade, Doc told Thettie that there was something familiar about the girl. As far as Thettie could see, she was just some no-account water-rat, but Doc was right, as usual. It turned out the foundling knew Frankie, or said she did, and had even claimed to have been to the island—so Doc decided to keep her. By then, the Harpur boys were falling all over her, but it was Archy who won her in the end, fair and square—even if his brother, Grif chose not to see it that way.
‘We ain’t taking her back with us,’ Grif said. ‘What kind of a name for a girl is Bryce, anyway?’
‘Bryce with a ‘y,’’ said Archy.
‘I don’t give a god damn what it’s with. You don’t know where she’s been.’
‘She’s from Little Ridge, same as us.’
‘How comes we never seen her before when we was there?’ Grif bit down on his cigar and spat out the tip in the direction of where Bryce was sitting alone on the dock fixing her lines. Nothing but a dark blur against the white Pennsylvania sky.
‘She’s younger than us,’ Archy said.
‘Too young.’
Maybe it was that. Or maybe it was her narrow waist and uncomely boy-hair, not to mention the fact of the missing eye. Or maybe it was that Bryce-with-a-‘y’ did have news of Frankie and some new mix he was cooking up alone on Nose Island—a rock whose very existence had been in contention for as long as Thettie remembered. Maybe it was her uncanny knowledge of all the hidden currents and inlets that would get them there—but whatever it was, Thettie, like Grif hated the girl on sight.
‘She’s been there her own self,’ Doc claimed. He described to Thettie what the girl had told him about the deep narrow harbor that spilled out beneath a high nostril-shaped outcrop, and Frankie’s new lab supposedly in one of the old engineer huts.
So, after ten years away from Little Ridge, they were going back, and if Thettie had her doubts as to where or what ‘back’ was, she kept them to herself.
‘Let bygones be bygones,’ Doc said. ‘Forgive and forget.’
‘Harpurs don’t do either,’ Grif said, under his breath. ‘And if he was one of us, he’d know that.’



About J.S. Breukelaar:

J.S. Breukelaar is the author of the novel, American Monster (Lazy Fascist Press). Her work has appeared or been anthologised in numerous publications including Lamplight, Lightspeed, Gamut, Juked, Prick of the Spindle, Opium, Go (b)et Magazined,Women Writing the Weird, Vols I and II, and States of Terror Vol. II. She is a StorySouth nominee, a Wonderland Award Finalist, and a John W Campbell Award finalist. An ex-pat New Yorker, she lives in Sydney, Australia, with her family and online at

Author Website | Crystal Lake Publishing

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