Save Yourself: A Novel
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A gripping novel full of suspense and pathos that Dennis Lehane calls an "electrifying, tomahawk missile of a thriller."
Patrick Cusimano’s father killed a boy while driving drunk. Now Patrick is working at a grubby convenience store, and he and his brother, Mike, are the town pariahs. Caro, Mike’s girlfriend, is running from her own painful past, with no idea what she’s running toward. Layla Elshere is a goth teenager who befriends Patrick for reasons he doesn’t understand and doesn’t trust. And Layla’s little sister, Verna, tortured by her classmates, finds unlikely solace with Layla’s dark tribe of outcasts.
As their fates become entwined, everyone is set down a terrifying and twisted path—leading them all toward a collision where loyalties will be betrayed, fears exposed, and lives shattered.
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were less than nothing. The bad skin, the stupid hair, the cold eyes: how empty you would have to be, how desperate, to take this guy’s act seriously, to let him do the things he’d done. “You don’t understand,” the girl said, in a voice Patrick could barely hear. But the gun barrel wavered. The psycho moved closer to her. “Verna. Consider our discussion.” Her mouth was quivering, her eyes full of tears. She hesitated a moment more. Then she raised the gun again. If Patrick was going to die
that’s easier.” She couldn’t see his face. “Maybe see a movie. No big deal.” “Why would it be?” she said, and then she understood. He was asking her out. One hand flew involuntarily to her mouth. It was the hand wearing Justinian’s bracelet, the smell of which was still strong in her nose. “I—I don’t know.” “That’s cool.” Jared sounded casual but his tone rang false. “No,” she said, helplessly. She had never even considered dating, her father didn’t approve of it. “That’s not what I meant. I
act at all because he’d seen the trailer on the Internet and it didn’t look like it. And since when was Kai-One a redhead, anyway. “Boys will be geeks, huh?” Call-Me-Carmen said with a smile. Her teeth were coffee-stained. Mother and Dad kept theirs perfectly white, they paid a lot of money at the dentist’s to do it. “I guess so,” Verna said. “Jared tells me you’re a Christian. It’s such an interesting story, the life of Christ, and such an interesting thing to be in this day and age. Religion
was supposed to arrive, the phone rang. “Dude,” he said, sounding at least as hungover as Patrick had been the night before. “Cover for me for a few hours.” And extra money was extra money, so Patrick did. By the time he got home, it was close to noon. Caro was at work and the house was empty. He took off his candy-striped Zoney’s shirt, dropped it on the floor next to the armchair, and dropped himself onto the couch. ESPN Classic was showing an old Pirates game; it was the playoffs, and the
lot of those belonged to the old man but a handful of them were Mike’s. Mike was bigger and stronger than Patrick, and he’d fought more and harder, but Patrick was unafraid. “So do it,” he said. There was a long pause and Patrick saw, with some incredulity, that there were tears in his brother’s eyes. If Mike was turning into a weepy drunk, that was another way in which he was like the old man. “Everything’s just so shitty right now,” Mike said. “I know it is,” Patrick said, but then Mike said,