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The Lost by Jack Ketchum
Its 1969, and the Vietnam War is raging. A rough time for most kids. You either work like hell to stay in school or hightail it to Canada or else Uncle Sam comes knocking at your door and the next thing you know youre slogging through the rice paddies and trying not to think about all those body bags shipping back to the World every day.
Not so for Ray and Tim. Theyve slipped through the cracks. Theyre neither college kids nor grunts. Theyre undraftable.
But Ray and Tim have their own problems.
Murder, for one.
A murder Ray committed four years ago because he felt like it. A murder to which Tim, along with Rays sometime-girlfriend Jennifer, are accomplices. A murder which -- for at least one world-weary cop -- simply wont go away. He knows Ray did it but cant prove it. Now, on the verge of quitting his job, with nothing much to lose, he decides to have one last shot at goading Ray into blowing his arrogant cool, into doing something really stupid.
Which Rays already doing, just by being who he is.
Hes a possessive, egotistical, compulsive liar. Hes dealing drugs. But mostly hes chasing skirts. Hes all but dumped Jennifer and is courting not one new girl but two, doing anything and everything he can to impress them. One girl finds his weird posturing repulsive, but Ray refuses to hear that. The others playing with him -- and might be just as dangerous as he is, moving him further and further into waters way over his head. It doesnt help that both girls are college-bound and Ray isnt, or that one of thems the cops best friends secret lover. It doesnt help that Jennifers turning into a drugged-out booze-hound in front of his very eyes. It doesnt help that Tim sees this as a pretty good time to make his move on Jennifer. And it sure doesnt help that Rays got a rage inside him that could make a cyclone look like a breezy summer day.
Things are converging. Somethings going to crack. Somethings going to break loose into a world of pain.
And who will be The Lost?