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Lone Wolf
Cover of Lone Wolf
Lone Wolf
Zack Walker Series, Book 3
"A talented writer with a gift for the absurd and a wicked take on life."—January Magazine
"Barclay is the master."—The Wall Street Journal
Newspaper writer, family man, and reluctant hero Zack Walker has stumbled onto some dicey stories before, but nothing like what he's about to uncover when a mutilated corpse is found at his father's lakeside fishing camp. As always, Zack fears the worst. And this time, his paranoid worldview is dead-on.
While the locals attribute the death to a bear attack, Zack suspects something far more ominous—a predator whose weapons include arson, assault, and enough wacko beliefs to fuel a dozen hate groups. Then another body is discovered and a large supply of fertilizer goes missing, evoking memories of the Oklahoma City bombing. But it's when he learns that his neighbor is a classic Lone Wolf—FBI parlance for a solo fanatic hell-bent on using high body counts to make political statements—that Zack realizes the idyllic town of his childhood is under siege. The fuse is lit to a catastrophe of unimaginable terror. And with time running out, Zack must face off with a madman.
"Barclay is a very funny—and insightful—writer with huge potential for the long run."—Flint Journal Review
"A talented writer with a gift for the absurd and a wicked take on life."—January Magazine
"Barclay is the master."—The Wall Street Journal
Newspaper writer, family man, and reluctant hero Zack Walker has stumbled onto some dicey stories before, but nothing like what he's about to uncover when a mutilated corpse is found at his father's lakeside fishing camp. As always, Zack fears the worst. And this time, his paranoid worldview is dead-on.
While the locals attribute the death to a bear attack, Zack suspects something far more ominous—a predator whose weapons include arson, assault, and enough wacko beliefs to fuel a dozen hate groups. Then another body is discovered and a large supply of fertilizer goes missing, evoking memories of the Oklahoma City bombing. But it's when he learns that his neighbor is a classic Lone Wolf—FBI parlance for a solo fanatic hell-bent on using high body counts to make political statements—that Zack realizes the idyllic town of his childhood is under siege. The fuse is lit to a catastrophe of unimaginable terror. And with time running out, Zack must face off with a madman.
"Barclay is a very funny—and insightful—writer with huge potential for the long run."—Flint Journal Review
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  • Chapter One Chapter One


    Trixie Snelling seemed to be working up to something over lunch this particular Tuesday, and really just killing time talking about scouring costume stores to find forehead ridges to please a client who liked to be dominated by a Klingon, but she never got to it because I had to take a call on my cell that my father had been eaten by a bear.

    "There were those two Klingon chicks in the series where the bald guy was the captain, right?" Trixie asked me, because she knew that I was something of an authority when it came to matters related to science fiction.

    "Yeah," I said. "Lursa and B'Etor Duras. They were sisters. They tried to overthrow the Gowron leadership of the Klingon High Council." I paused, then added, "Lots of leather and cleavage."

    "I'm okay there," Trixie said, shaking her head at the useless information I had stored in my head. I wondered sometimes what important stuff gets crowded out when your brain is filled with trivia.

    "My closet's so full of leather," Trixie continued, "I'm afraid it's all going to congeal back into a cow. I should show you sometime." Even though Trixie was dressed, at the moment, in a dark blue pullover sweater and fashionable jeans over high-heeled boots, it wasn't difficult to imagine her in full dominatrix regalia. I had seen her that way once—and not as a client—back in the days when we were neighbors. We'd kept in touch after Sarah and I and the kids had moved away, and even though we were just friends, and met regularly for lunch or a coffee, I never quite got over the novelty of what she did for a living.

    She continued, "But getting these ridges onto my forehead, making them blend in with the rest of my head, then there's the makeup that makes me look like I've fallen asleep at the tanning salon, I mean, getting ready for this guy is a major production. Where are the guys who just want to be whipped by the girl next door? Plus, he wants me to torment him without wrinkling his Starfleet uniform."

    "He wears a Starfleet uniform," I said. "What rank is he?"

    "Captain," Trixie said. "There's these little gold dots on his collar that supposedly denote rank, but he just tells me to call him Captain, so that's fine. He's paying for it. I'm just glad he doesn't want me to call him Rear Admiral. Imagine what that might entail."

    "I imagine that you are well compensated for your efforts."

    Trixie gave me a half smile. "Absolutely." The smile disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. Trixie picked at her spinach salad as I twirled some fettuccine carbonara onto my fork.

    "What's on your mind?" I asked.

    She shook her head. "Nothing." She picked at her salad some more. "What's going on with you? Things working out with Sarah as your boss?"

    I shrugged, then nodded. I'd been working as a feature writer at The Metropolitan for more than a year now, having accepted the fact that I could not make a go of it staying home and writing science fiction novels. I'd been assigned to Sarah, whose responsibilities at the city desk included overseeing a number of feature writers, some neurotic, some egotistical, some neurotically egotistical, and then there was me, her obsessive, often pain-in-the-ass, husband.

    "Oh sure," I said. "I mean, she wants to kill me, but other than that, the relationship is working well." I had a bite of pasta. "I'm on the newsroom safety committee."

    "There's a surprise," Trixie said.

    "It's no joke. We've got air quality issues, radiation off the computer screens, there's—"

    "Let me see if I understand this. You work for a major daily newspaper, where they send reporters off...

About the Author-
  • Linwood Barclay is a former columnist for the Toronto Star. He is the #1 internationally bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels, including The Accident, Never Look Away, Fear the Worst, Too Close to Home, and No Time for Goodbye. Multiple titles have been optioned for film.
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    Random House Publishing Group
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Zack Walker Series, Book 3
Linwood Barclay
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