David Brookover is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Mortal Eclipse and The Ancient Breed. He lives with his wife, Mary, and border collie outside Orlando, Florida.
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by David Brookover
by David Brookover
Published Feb 06, 2008
Genre: FICTION / Horror
An ancient evil has awakened . . .
Police Chief Dexter Lowe enjoys his humdrum job in the sleepy little town of Gator Creek, Florida, until a kidnapper begins terrorizing the local women. FBI Special Agent Teddi McCoy arrives to help him hunt down the mysterious kidnapper. After failing to secure any leads, they are forced to recruit the FBI’s ace-in-the-hole psychic from the Louisiana Bayou, Jackson “Swamp Jack” LaFevre.
Aided by the eccentric LaFevre’s remarkable visions, they track the kidnapper to an isolated island on the eastern edge of the Florida Everglades. A key with an eerie and violent past. Demon Key. A place where the kidnapper’s victims have mysteriously vanished. Forever.
As they finally discover, the kidnapper is the least of their problems when the key reveals its greatest horror . . . a sinister creature so powerful and vile that Gator Creek’s only hope of survival . . . must come from the past.
about Demon Key . . .
"Things are different in Florida and David Brookover shows why. What is found on the island is . . . sinister. The style of writing is much like James Patterson with its short chapters and pacing. The characters are realistic with dialogue that crackles." - Midwest Book Review
about David Brookover . . .
“His stories race along with characters that are believable, while the writing is tense, like reading a Stephen King or Dean Koontz.” – Midwest Book Review
“Brookover excels at writing tense scenes that pull the reader through – and his rich, fast-moving intricate plots only help this.” – Writer’s Digest
They cautiously waded into the silent shadows to their left, the bobbing beams skimming the limestone walls and ceiling like darting specters. Dex noticed weatherworn paintings on both sides of the tunnel that depicted deformed and evil-looking creatures. He shivered and hurried after John.
The water deepened, and it felt like they were descending at a slight angle. The water level reached his waist, then his chest. How much further?
Finally they came upon a large circular chamber. Dex guessed its diameter to be close to fifty or sixty feet. The dome roof was broken by a myriad of gnarled tree roots, and water dripped into the pond covering the chamber floor. John’s flashlight beam roamed the decorated walls until he located what he was searching for.
“Over here,” he called out.
They moved closer to the paintings, and John nodded toward a series of faded pictures that were barely visible.
“If you look closely, you can make out the history of the first Florida inhabitants. They hunted small animals like the squirrels drawn here, gathered berries and nuts, and lived in small huts. This was long before my tribe appeared.”
Dex admired the artistry of such a primitive culture. The human figures, animals, and objects were remarkably well drawn. Slowly, John guided him around the chamber. Each set of drawings was successively brighter and more colorful, and the historical representations more recent, until they came to a section where the drawing style changed drastically. The depictions were more realistic.
“Seminole,” John pointed out proudly. “Now, many centuries passed from the previous pictures to this one. Notice that the Seminole landscape is marshy and watery, while the older ones displayed solid ground, thickets, and scrub.” He waded to a spot twenty feet away.
“Here’s what you’re looking for,” he told Dex.
“What we’re looking for,” he corrected his friend.
“Right.” John ran his large hand over the pictures. “More Seminole. See that creature?”
Dex peered at the strange looking monster. It appeared to be a giant alligator of some sort, with an eel tail and legs and feet that resembled flat paddles.
“That it?” he asked.
“Yeah.” John pulled a camera from his duffle and snapped several digital pictures, until he was satisfied with the results.
Dex tapped his finger on the final drawings of the set. “It appears as if the monster destroyed the whole damn village.”
John smiled. “Pretty good for an amateur paleontologist. In fact, the rest of the sets tell the story of your creature and destruction it wrought, including the annihilation of entire village populations.”
Dex gestured at a blackened section of the wall between the old drawing and those by the Seminole tribe. “What happened there?”
John frowned. “I was wondering the same thing. Looks as if the drawings there were burned away.”
Dex shook his head. “Strange. I wonder who’d do something like that?”
“Vandals, and it looks recent.”
John rubbed his fingertips over the area and inspected them. They were blackened with soot. “Real recent.”
“You remember what was there before?”
“Nah. The last time I saw these drawings was when I was a snot-nosed kid.”
“Well, at least we have these drawings of the monster,” Dex sighed.
“Yeah, I suppose. On the bright side, we got what we came for. Now we can take these photos to Florida Atlantic University’s library and try to identify the creature. Unfortunately, I didn’t save many of my college books. I sold them for beer money.”
“Well, a guy’s gotta drink. So, where do we start? It’s a big library.”
“When do we start is more like it. I have a sneaking suspicion that if this monster really existed, and I’m not saying that it did, it was a refugee from the Jurassic or Cretaceous periods. Hell, maybe both.”
“The age of the dinosaurs. They died out about 65 million years ago.”
“So how could it be hanging around here if it’s extinct?”
“That’s a damn good question, Dex. Maybe we’ll get lucky and find out.”