Alligator River: A Thriller
by Jackson Banks

"Chase looked up and saw the man in all black standing above him in the darkness."

Something inhuman and malicious is at play on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Two college boys on break, out for an afternoon kayaking, catch the stomach-churning scent of what could only be a dead body. When they discover a decomposing woman in the old cabin just off Milltail Creek, they call 911.

Brandon Maddox is a former Marine with plenty of years as an FBI agent. Deciding he had seen enough dead bodies in his career, he left the FBI and joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to escape the violence. But this is his jurisdiction. So when the sheriff’s call comes to attend the investigation, he has no choice but to go. His experience leads to the discovery of a wildlife camera that, as luck will have it, is pointed directly at the old cabin.

Banks has built a thriller in the solitude of a wildlife refuge. His plot moves rapidly as he introduces characters that emphasize the gripping aspects of the story. He ingeniously lures the reader into a belief that the town drunk, as the main suspect, provides for an easy open and shut case. But when the main suspect is found dead, Banks shares other suspects who are just as convincing. The author adds suspense by bringing the killer’s attention to the three people who can bring him to justice: Maddox, the assistant district attorney, and Chase, a young, conscientious public defender. Another murder, an unexpected motive, and the discovery of the “man in all black” lead the reader deeper and deeper into the mystery’s web. Once this attention-grabbing tale is picked up, Banks ensures there is no way it can be put down until the last word is read.

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