WHERE SERPENTS LIE (1998)
Terry Naughton, head of Orange County's Crimes Against Youth unit, is the champion of children. Someone calling themselves the Horridus has been abducting children from their beds, dressing them like little angels, and releasing them the next day, the only clue he leaves is a piece of snakeskin tucked into the folds of their gowns. So far he hasn't physically harmed any of them, but as Naughton well knows, it's only a matter of time. As he races to find the madman before his crimes escalate, Naughton learns that the Horridus may not be the only enemy. When shocking (and seemingly irrefutable) accusations put his career on the line, he is forced to confront his dark and violent past in his search for the truth. Who is behind the setup? And even if he can clear his name, can he do the same for his conscience?
Read an excerpt.
Jeff Parker on WHERE SERPENTS LIE
I got the feeling for this book from a nightmare. I woke up sweating bad at 4am one morning and I just had this horrible feeling inside, like I'd done something so bad that the world was going to find out about it. Thus, Terry, the hero and narrator was born. My purpose in this book was to frighten and unsettle. I wanted a horror story. So I pulled out all the stops and created a monster doing monstrous things, then set poor bedraggled Terry after him. It's full of reversals, surprises, betrayals. The whole thing takes place in a kind of super-charged paranoid never-land where nobodynot even the childrenare safe. Not for the faint of heart. I made the serpent the motif of the book at first because I thought serpents would scare peoplethey often do. But the more I wrote, the more the snakes took over the story. It's very serpentine. I think the emotional charge is undeniable, though.
Hyperion US hardcover Feb 1998 ISBN 0786862874
Hyperion US mass-market paperback May 1999 ISBN 0786889446
Headline UK hardcover Jan 1998 ISBN 0747218617
Hyperion UK paperback Sept 1998 ISBN 0786889446
Thorndike hardcover (largeprint) Sept 1998 ISBN 0786215267
Random House audio cassette (abridged) Jan 1998 ISBN 0553479369
Books on Tape audio cassette (unabridged) June 1998 ISBN 0736641572
A harrowing mix of angst and suspense.
Washington Post Book World
Lock the doors and turn up the lights...In Where Serpents Lie, T. Jefferson Parker creates one of the biggest sickos since Hannibal Lector.
Pulse pounding...Parker expertly lures readers into his gruesome tale ...and once caught, they'll stay trapped until the last page.
Even jaded, can't-scare-me horror readers will shiver at the often poetic Parker's latest offering...This cerebral thriller scares the hell out of us.