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The homecoming / Carsten Stroud.

By: Stroud, Carsten, 1946- [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Niceville trilogy ; 2.Stroud, Carsten, Niceville trilogy: 02.; Stroud, Carsten, Niceville trilogy: 2.; Stroud, Carsten, Niceville trilogy: book II.; Stroud, Carsten, Niveville trilogy: 02.; Niceville: book 2.Publisher: North Sydney, N.S.W. : Random House Australia, 2013; Sydney Bantam, 2013Description: 413 pages, 1 unnumbered pages : 1 map ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781742752112 (pbk.).Subject(s): Missing children -- Fiction | Shapeshifting -- Fiction | Married people -- Fiction | Southern States -- FictionGenre/Form: Thrillers (Fiction) | Paranormal fiction. | Horror fiction.DDC classification: 813.54
Contents:
Young Rainey is turning out to be someone or something downright scary: a shape-shifting time-bending little boy. When Niceville once more becomes plagued by strange disappearances, no one can explain what is happening, but everyone knows that their sleepy, peaceful town is turning out to be anything but nice. Haunted by the ancient malice that holds their town in its grip, will Kate and Nick be able to save Rainey from the blackness that lies within?
Summary: Kate and Nick Kavanaugh (lawyer and cop respectively) take in young Rainey Teague, whose parents have died under mysterious circumstances. Rainey is a handful. Well, actually, Rainey is turning out to be someone--or something--downright scary: a shape-shifting time-bending little boy who will have to resist being taken over by "Nothing." Will Kate and Nick be able to save him? Will the mirror they have kept up in the attic ultimately be their downfall? When more disappearances start to happen, where do they turn? No one can explain what is happening, but everyone knows that their sleepy, peaceful town, Niceville, is turning out to be anything but nice."-- Provided by publisher.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

" For fans of Stephen King and John Connolly, The Homecoming is a darkly menacing horror thriller, and Book 2 in the Niceville trilogy. Somewhere in the American South, there is a town where something is very, very wrong.... When Kate and Nick Kavanaugh take in young Rainey Teague they know his parents died under mysterious circumstances. What they don t know is that Rainey is turning out to be someone or something very scary. What happened to the innocent ten-year-old child who last year disappeared without a trace, only to be found in an ancient crypt? Haunted by the malice that holds their town in its grip, will Kate and Nick be able to save Rainey from the blackness that lies within? For the malevolent presence that lives in Crater Sink and now perhaps in Rainey has plans for the town of Niceville "

Young Rainey is turning out to be someone or something downright scary: a shape-shifting time-bending little boy. When Niceville once more becomes plagued by strange disappearances, no one can explain what is happening, but everyone knows that their sleepy, peaceful town is turning out to be anything but nice. Haunted by the ancient malice that holds their town in its grip, will Kate and Nick be able to save Rainey from the blackness that lies within?

Kate and Nick Kavanaugh (lawyer and cop respectively) take in young Rainey Teague, whose parents have died under mysterious circumstances. Rainey is a handful. Well, actually, Rainey is turning out to be someone--or something--downright scary: a shape-shifting time-bending little boy who will have to resist being taken over by "Nothing." Will Kate and Nick be able to save him? Will the mirror they have kept up in the attic ultimately be their downfall? When more disappearances start to happen, where do they turn? No one can explain what is happening, but everyone knows that their sleepy, peaceful town, Niceville, is turning out to be anything but nice."-- Provided by publisher.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

A House by the Side of the Road A sunlit fall afternoon in the Garrison Hills section of Niceville. Kate was waiting for Rainey Teague and Axel Deitz to come home from Regiopolis Prep. She did this whenever she could, waited on the stairway like this, so Rainey and Axel would see her standing there when they turned the corner. Both boys needed to see someone waiting for them. Axel's mother was working from Mondays to Fridays down in Cap City, as a civilian employee of the FBI, a job engineered for her by Boonie Hackendorff, the Special Agent in Charge and a family friend. -Beth's daughter, Hannah, just turned five, spent the week in Cap City with her mother, at a day care facility maintained for FBI staff. Beth and Hannah made it home on weekends. Their father was still in Twin Counties Correctional, awaiting the outcome of a long and complicated federal appeal demanding that he be remanded to Washington, D.C., to face a charge that he had conspired to sell national defense information to a foreign nation, specifically China. Apparently the Chinese government had taken the view that the death of their people was an act of aggression on the part of the U.S. intelligence agencies. The matter was being fought out in various jurisdictions, from the State Department and Justice all the way down to the screamers on talk radio. Kate had followed the ins and outs of the case. She felt it could go either way. Byron might get sent to Cap City for a trial, or he could end up on a plane to Beijing, wrapped in heavy chains. As for Rainey, his father, Miles, was lying stiff, cold, and dead in the white Greek Revival temple that was the Teague family crypt in the New Hill section of Niceville's Confederate Cemetery. Miles was on the second shelf from the top, just below an ancestor named Jubal Teague, and across the way from Jubal's brother, Tyree Teague. Miles had a small mahogany box tucked under his right hand that contained what little they could find of his head. Jubal and Tyree were the sons of the infamous London Teague. He -wasn't there. No one knew where London Teague's body was. No one cared. He was rumored to have died of syphilis in a brothel in Baton Rouge, or possibly it was Biloxi, a bitter old man given to gin and violence. London's son Jubal seemed to have lived an honorable life, serving with distinction as a Confederate cavalry officer during the Civil War, the same war that saw his brother, Tyree, cut down by Union grapeshot at Front Royal. Jubal Teague went on to become the father of a deeply unpleasant man named Abel Teague. Deeply unpleasant men seemed to reappear in the Teague line fairly often. Like his grandfather London's, Abel Teague's body was not in the family crypt either, for roughly the same reasons. Kate had undertaken an informal study of the Teague line, keeping her interest a secret from Nick, whose instinctive unease around Rainey had, over time, receded, or had appeared to recede. She had no desire to have that unease flare up again. So here she was, standing on the landing, waiting for the last of the Teagues to come down Beauregard Lane. And there they were. Her heartbeat jumped a groove, like a needle in an old vinyl record, but she calmed herself. Lately she had been doing a lot of that. Two weeks ago, she'd gotten a -heads‑up call from Alice Bayer, Delia Cotton's -ex--housekeeper. Nick had gotten Alice a job as attendance secretary at Regiopolis. Alice had called to say that Rainey and Axel had been skipping a lot of classes lately, and she wanted to know if there was anything she could do to help, because "she -really felt for those young men, for what they'd both been through." This was very much on -Kate's mind as she watched the boys coming up the sidewalk. They were wearing baggy gray slacks and white shirts, each with a sky-blue-and-gold-striped tie and a navy blue blazer with a gold pocket crest, a crucifix bound up in roses and thorns, the insignia of Regiopolis Prep. This was the Regiopolis school uniform, a uniform Rainey had worn since he was four, but Axel had only recently acquired. About Rainey, the Jesuits at Regiopolis Prep and the therapists from the Belfair and Cullen County Child Protection Agency and the doctors and the various law enforcement agencies involved in the Rainey Teague -Case---it was one of those cases that seemed to demand -capitals---had all agreed that, after the emotional trauma he had been through, what Rainey Teague needed most was continuity and predictability. Rainey had grown two inches in the last months, and his physiotherapy had ended weeks ago. Now he was a strong, fit young boy. Axel adored him, as younger brothers sometimes worship older brothers. Axel felt that Rainey could do no wrong. Kate hoped he was right. Rainey and Axel reached the foot of the steps, heads down, immersed in a low and, from the sound of it, intense conversation, neither of them seeing Kate standing there. Kate was about to speak when she caught a flash of green over in the square, in a patch of slanting sunlight, by the sparkling fountain. A woman was standing there, in a white dress, or perhaps a nightgown, looking back at her. By some trick of the afternoon light through the trees, the air around her had a greenish glow, as if she were standing inside a swirling cloud of emerald sparks. The woman was thin, and looked as if she had been ill for a long time, but she had glossy black hair. Her face looked familiar, as if Kate had seen her once, in a dream, or perhaps an old movie. The woman was very still and seemed to be staring intently at the house. Kate was overcome with a strong sense of déjà vu. A name floated up into her consciousness. Anora Mercer A tremor ran through her body. Not fear. Painful regret? Vertigo? Was she losing her mind? Kate lifted a hand to her, and the -woman---if she was there at -all---raised her hand in response. Kate almost called out to her. A wind stirred the trees around her and the sunlight shimmered into a translucent green shadow and when it steadied again the image was gone. Kate heard Axel call her name, and when she looked back down at him, he was staring up at her. Her smile faltered and died away. "Axel, you look terrible. What happened?" Axel tilted his head and looked at her through his long brown hair, his eyes dark with anger. His shirttail was hanging out and the knees of his slacks were stained with mud. Kate came down the stairs and took him by the shoulders. He was vibrating like a plucked string. When he opened his mouth to speak, Kate saw blood on his teeth. She looked over at Rainey, who was standing over Axel with a protective arm laid across the smaller boy's shoulders. "He had a fight with Coleman Mauldar," said Rainey. Kate felt her heart sink. Coleman Mauldar was the only child of the mayor of Niceville, a jovial and ruthless man whom everybody called Little Rock. Coleman was barely fourteen, but thanks to the roulette wheel of genetics, sixty pounds heavier and a foot taller than either Rainey or Axel, strong and quick, a gifted athlete, full of charm and mischief. He and his followers, Jay Dials and Owen Coors, had been making Rainey's school days a misery ever since he had been abducted a year and a half ago. Now that Axel was living with him, Axel was getting his share of the abuse. "What happened, Rainey?" Axel wiped his face, straightened his back, cut in before Rainey could speak. "They were calling him Crypt Boy again. So this time I smacked him one." "We got into a fight with them," said Rainey. "But it -didn't last long." "What happened?" "Father Casey broke it up. He said it -wasn't fair, because they were bigger than us." Axel wiped his nose on his sleeve. "They're never gonna stop," Rainey said. "I'm Crypt Boy and Axel is Cop Killer's Kid. They followed us home today, calling us names, until we got to the corner there. I wish my dad were here. He would have taken care of them." This of course cracked her heart, but she kept it hidden from the boys. Kate had resolved to talk to the boys about Alice Bayer's call, about skipping -classes---this was her main reason for being here today to greet -them---though what they had just said made it difficult to bring it up right now. But her sense of injustice was on fire. Working as a family practice lawyer had brought her in contact with a lot of childish stupidity and meanness, not all of it committed by children. But when it was . . . Rousseau thought that all children were innocent until corrupted by the adult world. Rousseau was dead wrong. There was a bit of grave evil in every child, but in a few children, grave evil was all there was and all there ever would be. People -didn't like to think this, but in family law, and in -Nick's world, it was a fact of life. On his own, Jay Dials was a decent kid, from a good -family---his father owned Billy Dials Town and Country, a building supply store on South -Gwinnett---and Owen Coors was the son of a state police captain, Marty Coors, a close friend of -Nick's. Jay and Owen knew right from wrong well enough. But in -Kate's opinion, when they got with Coleman, things changed. Behind his good looks and his cheerful manner, Kate believed, Coleman Mauldar was a sadistic monster, and right at this moment she felt she could do almost anything to him, hurt him badly, just to make him stop. Axel and Rainey were looking at her and what she was feeling must have been written on her face. "So if Coleman is bad," Axel asked, "is it okay to hurt him back?" I'd love to, Kate was thinking. "We're going to have to do something about this. Axel, your mom and I will go have a talk with Father Casey about all of this. In the meantime, both of you come in. We'll get you cleaned up." Axel nodded, seemed to shake off his bad mood. Axel was a resilient kid, in some ways tougher than Rainey. He came up the stairs in a lighter mood. Rainey stayed down on the street, looking across at the park with the fountain. Kate, coming up behind him, caught the hunted look in his large brown eyes. She turned to follow his look, thinking about Coleman Mauldar and his . . . his minions. If they had the nerve to follow him here, if they were loitering in the park over there, they were going to bitterly regret it. They were going to bitterly regret a lot from now on. Kate was going to make a project out of Coleman Mauldar. "Are you looking for Coleman?" Rainey looked up at her, his expression blank, and then back out at the square. "No. I was looking for somebody else." "Somebody else? Who?" "Nobody," he said, turning away. "Just a person I saw once." "In the park over there? Just now? Because I thought I saw a lady in white standing in--" "No," said Rainey, slipping away. "It was nobody. Nobody at all." Excerpted from The Homecoming by Carsten Stroud All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Picking up where he left off in Niceville, the first volume in the "Niceville" trilogy, Stroud brings readers closer to the source of the darkness seeking to subsume his otherwise average Southern town. Here, detective Nick Kavanaugh and his wife, Kate, discover stranger things about Rainey Teague, the boy they took in after he vanished from the street and was found inside a long-unopened tomb. The unsolved robbery of the First Third Bank in nearby Gracie, which spurred much of the action in Niceville, grows more deadly with the arrival of a Mafia hit man. Meanwhile, the discovery of a car belonging to a school attendance officer at the bottom of the Tulip River just off Patton's Hard provides a window into an even older mystery. Verdict Combining elements of literary suspense and action thriller novels, this sequel answers many of the questions left unresolved at the end of Niceville, with enough unsolved to leave the reader looking forward to the next installment of this ominously action-packed saga. [See Prepub Alert, 1/25/13.]-Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, Andover, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

A focused story makes for a smoother route to the small Southern town of Niceville in Stroud's superior sequel to 2012's convoluted Niceville. Nick Kavanaugh, a former Special Forces soldier now a tough county cop, and his lawyer wife, Kate, have become the guardians of 10-year-old Rainey Teague, a key player in the previous book. On a good day, Rainey is a handful, but he appears to be changing into the epitome of his evil ancestors. The answer to why this is so may lie in the gilt mirror hidden in the Kavanaughs' closet. Meanwhile, the investigation of an armored-car heist during which four officers were murdered brings more violence to Niceville, including the accidental killing of a mobster and his grandson during a police shootout with an escaped prisoner. Elements such as an ancient ghost story, a nearby sinkhole that Native Americans consider a bad place, homicidal criminals, and the soul of one little boy meld into a rich, realistic supernatural thriller. Agent: Barney Karpfinger, Karpfinger Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Attorney Kate Kavanaugh and her husband, Nick, a cop, decide to take in Rainey Teague. Rainey had been missing for over a year, until he was found in a crypt. His parents committed suicide shortly thereafter, and the troubled young man needs a home. All of this relates somehow to a magic mirror that harkens back to some nightmarish history. Kate's brother-in-law is terrorizing his family, and her sister, Beth, finally leaves him, taking their kids and moving in with Kate and Nick, too. Meanwhile, Beth's husband has been implicated in a bank robbery during which several police officers have been killed, but while being transported, he escapes. Then there's the group of Chinese spies who have died in a plane crash. All these complications are nothing, though, compared to the paranormal, creepy things going on in this small, southern town. All the characters are quirky and well developed, and the violence is integral to the story. The second book in the Niceville trilogy is a genre-bending, page-turning, suspenseful read that is impossible to put down or to forget.--Alesi, Stacy Copyright 2010 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Thriller author Stroud returns to the eerie Southern town of Niceville, where plantation-era ghosts abound, gunplay is routine, and genres tend to morph and merge. For the sprawling second book in his trilogy, Stroud (Niceville, 2012) again strives to find the place where noir, thriller and paranormal fiction intersect. Detective Nick Kavanaugh is investigating a bank robbery that appears to have involved his brother-in-law Byron Dietz, a wife-beating horror who's implicated in some shady activity with Chinese businessmen. Meanwhile, Nick's wife, Kate, is caring for Deitz's shellshocked wife and kids, as well as 10-year-old Rainey Teague, who (as detailed in the first book) has a mystical connection to a family of slavery-era reprobates. Stroud can write knockout violent set pieces: A high-speed police chase gone terribly awry; Dietz's wild escape from custody thanks to a deer crashing into a transport bus; and a standoff in a Bass Pro Shop stocked with guns and outdoor gear. In these scenes, Stroud masters stark imagery, tough talk and street smarts, even if the cops other than Nick are relatively faceless. Where the book stumbles is in its ungainly effort to weave in plodding bits of horror and Southern history amid the crime story. Scenes involving Rainey Teague largely involve him and extended members of the Kavanaugh clan exploring an old plantation house, where Teague is possessed by "nothing," a nefarious demon trying to extract him from adult support. As a vision of evil, a boldfaced voice in a preteen's head isn't especially terrifying, and, tucked as this all is in a busy plot thick with characters and historical references, its impact is weakened further still. The most clearly drawn character, in fact, is Deitz, but he's a hard guy to root for. A third book may resolve the tangled plot, but this one is messy and overwritten.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.