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St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780312274450288 Pages
In the aftermath of his father's death, Will Keats's life finally seems to be settling down to some semblance of normalcy again in his new home with Adrienne and her daughter Olivia. Olivia is a bright, lively eight-year old who loves nothing more than The Wizard of Oz, except maybe her pony, Roogy Batoon. Until Will looks out during a sudden autumn thunderstorm to see Roogy running free. Leaving Olivia in front of her favorite video, Will goes to retrieve the pony. But when he returns to the house, Olivia is gone, and a trail of muddy bootprints indicates she didn't leave on her own.
The trail leads to the door of Adrienne's disreputable ex-husband, Byron, Olivia's father. Byron has an alibi and an unlimited reserve of jealousy and hatred for Will. Olivia's kidnapping only fuels the simmering fire between them. But as the police and FBI investigations grow colder with the oncoming winter, it appears to Will that his only hope of ever seeing Olivia again lies in cooperating with Byron and his shady underworld connections. Will must follow Byron on a harrowing journey into the darkest swamps of the Okeefenokee, where he'll find out just how much courage this muskrat can muster.
A compelling mix of colorful characters, vividly drawn locales, and edge-of-the-seat action, Muskrat Courage builds on the promise of Philip Lawson's first novel and establishes him as a writer to treasure.
Early in the day of the storm that stole Olivia, I watched in horror as she barely avoided being trampled by the pony I had given her as an indulgent consolation gift. At the moment of her rescue, with her small body shaking in my arms, I...