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Quicksilver

Quicksilver By Dean Koontz Summary

Quinn Quicksilver was born a mystery―abandoned at three days old on a desert highway in Arizona. Raised in an orphanage, never knowing his parents, Quinn had a happy if unexceptional life. Until the day of “strange magnetism.” It compelled him to drive out to the middle of nowhere. It helped him find a coin worth a lot of money. And it practically saved his life when two government agents showed up in the diner in pursuit of him. Now Quinn is on the run from those agents and who knows what else, fleeing for his life.

During a shoot-out at a forlorn dude ranch, he finally meets his destined companions: Bridget Rainking, a beauty as gifted in foresight as she is with firearms, and her grandpa Sparky, a romance novelist with an unusual past. Bridget knows what it’s like to be Quinn. She’s hunted, too. The only way to stay alive is to keep moving.

Barreling through the Sonoran Desert, the formidable trio is impelled by that same inexplicable magnetism toward the inevitable. With every deeply disturbing mile, something sinister is in the rearview―an enemy that is more than a match for Quinn. Even as he discovers within himself resources that are every bit as scary.

About the Author

Internationally bestselling author Dean Koontz was only a senior in college when he won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition. He has never stopped writing since.

Koontz is the author of seventy-nine New York Times bestsellers, fourteen of which rose to #1, including One Door Away from HeavenFrom the Corner of His EyeMidnightCold FireThe Bad PlaceHideawayDragon TearsIntensitySole SurvivorThe HusbandOdd HoursRelentlessWhat the Night Knows, and 77 Shadow Street.

He’s been hailed by Rolling Stone as “America’s most popular suspense novelist,” and his books have been published in thirty-eight languages and have sold over five hundred million copies worldwide. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he now lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens Trixie and Anna.

Quicksilver By Dean Koontz Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

My name is Quinn Quicksilver—or “Cue-Cue” to the mean kids when I was growing up—but I can’t blame my parents because I don’t know who they are. Soon after birth, I was abandoned on a lonely highway, seven miles outside of Peptoe, Arizona, where 906 people pretended that the place where they lived was actually a town. Swaddled in a blue blanket, nestled in a white bassinet made of plastic thatching, I had been placed on the centermost of three lanes of blacktop, where I was found shortly after dawn.

Although you might think that this was about as bad a start in life as one could have, I assure you it could have been worse. For one thing, this was coyote country. Had one of those creatures found me, it wouldn’t have suckled me as did the wolf that saved abandoned Romulus, the founder of Rome, but instead would have regarded me as a Grubhub delivery. I could also have been run over by an eighteen-wheeler and turned into pâté for vultures.

Fortunately, I was found by three men on their way to work. The first, Hakeem Kaspar, was a lineman for the county, as in that Glen Campbell song I’ve always found lovely but weird, though at the time I was discovered on the highway, I hadn’t yet heard it. The second, Bailie Belshazzer, worked as head mechanic at one of the country’s first wind farms. The third, Caesar Melchizadek, was a blackjack pit boss in an Indian casino.

According to a newspaper story at the time, Hakeem tucked me snugly in the passenger-side footwell of his electric-company truck and drove me to the county sheriff’s office, with Bailie and Caesar following in their vehicles. Why they felt it necessary that all three should turn me in to the law, the newspaper didn’t say. This was all I knew of those men until, years later and running for my life, I visited one of them with the hope of learning some small detail that might be a clue as to who and what I am.

With a safety pin, a small envelope was fixed to the blanket in which I was wrapped. Neither Hakeem nor Bailie nor Caesar had dared to open it, evidently because they had watched too many years of CSI shows and feared that they would smear the kidnapper’s fingerprints. Either they thought I had been snatched by some fiend who lost his nerve and left me to the mercy of fate on that hot morning, or they figured someone had nabbed my parents and were demanding a ransom from me. When the sheriff tore open the envelope, he found only a card on which was printed QUINN QUICKSILVER and my date of birth.

In those days, no one in the state of Arizona had the surname Quicksilver. Nevertheless, everyone at once assumed that was my name. I have been saddled with it ever since. Of course, quicksilver is another name for the liquid metal mercury, which was named after the Roman god Mercury.

He was the messenger of other gods, valued for his tremendous speed; the guy could accelerate like crazy. And though Quinn is a variant of Quentin, it also derives from the Latin quintus, which means “fifth” or in certain contexts “five times.” So perhaps it wasn’t my name, but a cryptic message meaning “accelerate five times,” though you will not find this advice in any book about caring for a newborn any more than you will find the instruction “marinate in olive oil with basil leaves.”

I then became a ward of the county, the youngest ever dropped on that childcare agency. No foster family was willing to take in a three-day-old whose only possession was a soiled swaddling blanket and who had, in the words of Sheriff Garvey Monkton, “strange blue eyes and an eerily direct stare for such a tiny little cocker.” Consequently, I was sent out of county to Mater Misericordiæ, an orphanage run by Catholic nuns in Phoenix.

By the time I was six, it became clear that I was not adoptable. Among adoptees, infants are the most desirable age-group, and they are usually placed in stable homes faster than you can say coochy coochy coo. This is because babies are generally cuter than older kids, with the possible exception of Rosemary’s famous baby, but also because not enough time has passed for them to be screwed up by their birth parents; each grinning infant is a personality waiting to happen and therefore amenable to being sculpted into a reflection of those who adopt him. Although I was cute enough and willing to be shaped like clay, there were no takers for Quinn Quicksilver.

My failure to find a forever home was not for a lack of trying on the part of the good sisters of Mater Misericordiæ. They are as indefatigable and cunning as any order of nuns on the planet. They designed a marketing plan for me, prepared a fabulous PowerPoint presentation, and sold me to prospective parents as aggressively as Disney sells animated films about princesses or adorable animals, all to no avail. Years after the fact, I learned what explanation some would-be adopters had given for taking a pass on me; but perhaps I’ll share their comments later.

The orphanage was also a school, because kids six and up often had to live there until they were eighteen. The sisters who served as teachers were superb imparters of knowledge, and the kids knew better than to resist being educated. If you didn’t live up to your potential, you would spend a lot of time washing dishes, peeling potatoes, and doing laundry, none of which was a task assigned to you if you were a diligent learner.

The students of Mater Misericordiæ School always won city and state spelling bees, debate club matches, and science fair prizes. As a consequence, many of us were beaten up by some of the state’s most accomplished young intellectuals.

Generous supporters of the sisters provided college and trade school scholarships to those who wanted them, of which I wasn’t one. I aspired to be a writer. Profound intuition told me that the wrong university creative-writing program might hammer out of me anything original about my style and convert me into a litbot.

Sister Agnes Mary managed the placement office for those who weren’t submitting to higher education. When I turned seventeen and a half, she used samples of my writing to snare a job for me with the publisher of Arizona!, a magazine about the wonders of the state and its people. I wasn’t yet trusted to write about contemporary citizens, who were far more easily offended than were dead folks. Instead, I was assigned to research and write about interesting figures and places from the state’s storied past, as long as I avoided brothels and bandits.

On my eighteenth birthday, after just six months of successful employment, I was able to afford a studio apartment and move out of the orphanage. After eighteen months at the magazine, I made a fateful mistake and have been in flight from dark forces ever since.

I find it eerie that, within a day of making that mistake, a full week before the consequences of it became clear, I had my first episode of what, for a while, I came to call “strange magnetism,” as if someone was writing my life—not the story of my life, but my life itself—someone who knew the time was coming when I would need a substantial amount of cash in order to escape capture.

This was a Friday in early May. Having completed my assignments for the week, I took the day off, intending to avoid exercise, load up on wicked carbs, and stream old Alien and Terminator movies until my eyes began to bleed.

Instead, I grew restless before I’d eaten a single chocolate-covered doughnut, and I felt strangely compelled to get in my vintage Toyota and test the bald tires by driving out of the city, into the desert. I distinctly remember saying to myself, “What am I doing? Where am I going?” Then I stopped asking because I realized that if I spoke in a slightly different voice and answered with a destination, I might be a case of multiple personality, something to which I never aspired.

Where I was going turned out to be not a ghost town, but a sort of ghost crossroads, not from the days of cowboys and prospectors in the nineteenth century, but from the 1950s. A section of a state highway had been made superfluous by an interstate. A Texaco service station, a restaurant, and a large Quonset hut of indeterminable purpose were left to be worried into ruins by merciless desert sun, wind, insects, and time. I’d been there once before, six months earlier, getting the flavor of the place to write a little mood piece about it for Arizona! magazine.

The big sign mounted on the roof of the restaurant had been faded by decades of fierce solar rays and had been shot full of holes by good old boys who thought that mixing strong drink and firearms was an entertaining way to pass an evening on little-traveled back roads. Generally speaking, they had no wives to object and no girlfriends to offer more appealing distractions. Research had taught me that the restaurant had been called Santinello’s Roadside Grill.

I parked on the fissured, sun-paled blacktop, took a flashlight from the glove box, got out of my car, and approached Santinello’s. The windows had been broken out long ago, and the front door had rotted off its hinges.

Inside, lances of sunlight slashed through east-facing windows, forcing the shadows to retreat to the west side of the dining room, where they gathered as if conspiring. The booths, tables, and chairs had been sold off in 1956, along with the kitchen equipment. Wind had blown debris and decades of dust inside.

No herpetologist I queried had been able to explain to me why a couple of dozen snakes had slithered here to die, mostly rattlers. When I had come exploring on the previous occasion, I’d freaked out until I realized they were air-dried, fossilized, lifeless.

Nevertheless, on this return visit, I stepped carefully among them and went into what had been the kitchen. Although everything of value had long been stripped away, splintered wooden crates that had once held oranges and other produce were heaped against one wall, along with all manner of empty food tins.

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Quicksilver

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Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ISBN1542019885, 978-1542019880
Posted onJuly 19, 2022
Formatpdf
Page Count366 pages
AuthorDean Koontz

Quicksilver By Dean Koontz PDF Free Downlaod - HUB PDF

Quinn Quicksilver was born a mystery―abandoned at three days old on a desert highway in Arizona. Raised in an orphanage, never knowing his parents, Quinn had a happy if unexceptional life. Until the day of “strange magnetism.” It compelled him to drive out to the middle of nowhere. It helped him find a coin worth a lot of money. And it practically saved his life when two government agents showed up in the diner in pursuit of him. Now Quinn is on the run from those agents and who knows what else, fleeing for his life.

URL: https://amzn.to/3vHXCED

Author: Dean Koontz

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