Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Red Run by Rob Cornell

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Any father’s worst nightmare.

A knock on the door in the middle of the night.

A police detective tells you your daughter’s been found beaten to death and left in the Red Run Drain.

When you go to tell your son, he’s missing.

Evidence links your son to the killing.

What will you do to prove your son’s innocence? Will you sacrifice your own?

Red Run is a dark crime novel that explores a father’s efforts to protect his family from his own past.

An accidental nomad, Rob Cornell grew up in suburban Detroit, then spent five years living in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago to receive a BA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College. He has traveled full circle, now living in rural southeast Michigan with his wife, two kids, and dog, Kinsey—named after Sue Grafton’s famous detective. In between moving and writing, he’s worked all manner of odd jobs, including lead singer for an acoustic cover band and a three-day stint as assistant to a movie producer, after which he quit because the producer was a nut job.

What will readers like about your book?
When I write, no matter what genre or what kind of story, I always try to find the gut-level human emotion centered in the larger conflict. In the case of Red Run, I wanted to explore that feeling of powerless loss when someone we love makes the wrong choice and we are left to suffer the consequences. No matter how much you love and try to protect someone, eventually they will make their own decisions. Add to that the threat of further loss, and I hope readers struggle along with Ethan Trent as he desperately tries to save whose left of those he loves. Layer in a murder mystery and healthy dollops of suspense, and the reader is in for a heck of a ride.

Why did you self publish?
I had a number of close calls with Red Run when I was seeking out agents and publishers. But the traditional publishing world has grown ever more narrow in its focus when it comes to the type of story they’re willing to take a risk on. In other words, they aren’t really open to risk at all. There’s a lot of overhead in traditional publishing, so they have to make the safe bets when putting money behind a novel. The sad part of all this is that readers get cheated out of stories Big Publishing thinks they don’t want to read. I decided to put the choice in readers’ hands. I’m very glad I did.


In some ways, Ethan Trent had waited years for the knock at his door.

He used the remote to flick the television off, hoping he'd heard wrong. Kids who stayed out past their curfew didn't knock, they tried to sneak back in.

The knocking came a second time.

Damn it Alison, if you've gotten yourself arrested I'm going to ground you until the Lions win the Super Bowl.

Ethan took a couple of deep breaths and forced himself to answer the door.

The man peering in looked more like a CEO than a cop. Instead of the blue uniform Ethan expected, he wore a suit and tie, the tie knotted tightly even at this late hour. The gel in his hair made it look freshly wet.

Ethan cracked open the storm door and caught a whiff of Old Spice. "Can I help you?"

"Mr. Trent?"


The corners of the man's eyes creased, almost a wince.

Whatever had brought this guy to Ethan's doorstep at nearly midnight, the news couldn't be good. Ethan tried to remember how much he had in the checking account. A teacher's salary didn't allow for a lot of emergency spending. That included bail money. "Is it Alison?"

The man drew a leather wallet from his jacket pocket and opened it to show Ethan a badge. "May I come in?"

What have you gotten yourself into? "That's a yes, then?"

"Please," the cop said. "I'd prefer we took this inside."

Ethan led him into the kitchen. On the stove, a digital clock blared the numbers 11:55 in red. The smell of grilled onions still hung in the air from dinner--a dinner Alison had missed as usual.

The cop glanced around as if looking for something. "Your wife at home?"

"I'm divorced."

"I see." He gestured at the kitchen table. "Have a seat?"

"Look, I know Alison's got a troublesome streak, but whatever she's done can't be that bad."


Ethan pulled a chair out and sat at the table. "You're really starting to worry me."

"I'm Detective Anderson," the cop said as he eased into the chair across from Ethan. "If you feel comfortable with it, call me Randy. Detective this and Detective that gets old fast, I think."

"Fine, Randy. Tell me what's happened with my daughter."

Detective Randy Anderson drew the edge of his hand across the table, raking together a pile of crumbs Ethan must have missed after clearing the dinner dishes.

"You were expecting your daughter home earlier?"

"I expected her to be late. I told her to come home earlier, but she likes to test me. Did you catch her doing something?"

"What sort of thing do you mean?"

"I don't know." He threw his hands up. "What's the deal here? Is she under arrest? What?"

"I'm sorry, Mr. Trent. I know I'm not very good at this part of the job." He looked away. "I'm afraid your daughter has . . . passed."

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1 comment:

  1. What a great resource! Thanks for all this hard work... Can't wait to explore more! :)