The Lost Highway
David Adams Richards
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A highly suspenseful story of greed, betrayal and murder, 'The Lost Highway' signals a thrilling new direction for one of Canada s greatest authors. For twenty years, Alex Chapman has been at war with his great-uncle James, popularly known as The Tyrant. Disillusioned and ill-tempered, Alex believes James has destroyed his chances in life when things do not turn out for him. He especially resents his great-uncle for ruining his chance at happiness with his one true love, Minnie, who married another. Alex seems destined never to amount to anything more than an embittered dreamer, until the night he runs into the simple mechanic Burton Tucker. When Burton says he has just sold James Chapman a winning lottery ticket worth thirteen million dollars, Alex immediately knows that his uncle must never see the money. That moment is the beginning of an enthralling mystery and an emotionally shattering tale of a family s passions and betrayals. 'The Lost Highway' is a chilling study of what happens to men and women when moral questions become matters of life and death. A page-turner with great spiritual force, 'The Lost Highway' is the work of a brilliant novelist at the peak of his powers.
longer was. A knife would be taken from her, she realized. There were a hundred things she might or might not have done, but now they had been whittled down to one. She had to hide Fanny, and leave the house in the dark, and go, by one path or the other, through the rain, with one thought in mind, to get to a phone, and call 911 before they caught her. She realized with the giant clarity of a winged angel near her shoulder that if they caught her she would be killed. She knew, in fact, that they
they never themselves partook in but could bring up in a second as their own. And thinking this, he realized he had done it too. On Chapman’s Island with the Micmac, and many times in trying to control Minnie. “No,” he said, “I was never like that!” Was this the reason he wanted Minnie not to have the child—to keep her from some disgrace he felt he had once caused his own mother? But would he have stopped his own existence to prevent such a disgrace? In some ways Alex thought of all men as Mr.
was sin was to conjure up forgiveness—which he refused to do. Approval or disapproval was better. One might say the priests themselves instigated this with their demonic irrelevance in the modern world, and how everything to some of them was a sin. He did not know that Amy now lived her life in constant worry about Fanny Groat who was dying, about Burton who was teased, and that the money he had promised her was to be given all away, to help get Fanny Groat a bed at the senior citizens’ home.
ever done? Did one of them win thirteen million? Over the last few months, since the business went under, he had been waiting for the other shoe to drop. For in a way he was the one who had caused the business to fail, and left Old Jim and his employees broke. So now the shoe had dropped. If there was a lost highway where souls traveled, this was it. It was a lost highway because those going downriver met the French communities that didn’t belong to them. Those French who came upriver met the
under, there was no requisite lien on the property, and Alex was now solvent. If this “thing” had not happened he could have been the gentleman farmer Mr. Roach had wanted to become, while still teaching his ethics course. My God, what a beautiful life he might have had! Perhaps one more little act would still allow it. Not a thing had stopped him but himself. But if his “crime” was discovered, it would all go to Sam. This in its own way was calculated to scald him. — LATER THAT AFTERNOON