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More Deaths Than One

More Deaths Than One
Pat Bertram
302 pages


Bob Stark returns to Denver after 18 years in SE Asia to discover that the mother he buried before he left is dead again. At her new funeral, he sees…himself. Is his other self a hoaxer? A doppelganger? Or is something more sinister going on? Even worse, two men who appear to be government agents are hunting him for no reason that he can fathom. With the help of Kerry Casillas, a baffling young woman Bob meets in a coffee shop, he uncovers the unimaginable truth.


"I love the story of More Deaths Than One. Pat Bertram blends mystery/suspense with history very well. Her characters are strong, and I love the slow reveal of who Bob really was/is. The hints and clues Bertram drops come together for me with the jungle nightmares. The descriptions of the places Bob and Kerry visit are exquisitely done; the places sound real. I enjoyed this story very much."Rachael Wollet, freelance editor

"In More Deaths Than One, Bertram created two characters I'm ready to watch take off. The combination of Bob and the waitress is great--she's obviously the one person he's letting pull him out of whatever shell he's been in. Bertram raises so many interesting questions in her initial chapter that it definitely compels me to want to read more. Why is Bob in Denver, and where has he been? Is this a story of time-shifting madness, or what? Why are the police at the funeral? And on and on! Bertram's writing is also well-crafted and flows so well. The dialog is a strong suit."Ann Barks, fellow FCC contestant.


      When Bob came out of the bathroom, face tingling from his after-shave lotion, he found Kerry sorting through the paintings he had stashed behind the chair.
     “What are you doing?”
     She glanced up with a saucy smile, apparently not at all put off by his curt tone. “Looking at these paintings. They’re very good. Why aren’t they hanging on the walls where you can enjoy them?” She pulled out a two-by-three-foot canvas and propped it on the chair where last night the jungle scene had lurked.
     Bob peeked at the canvas. The painting depicted a pond with no ripples, surrounded by forest.
     “This is lovely.” Kerry swayed as she focused on the picture. “Very serene.”
     All of a sudden, she stiffened and stepped back. She blinked rapidly, then bent forward and peered at the painting. A visible shudder went through her.
     “Whoever painted this is either an artistic genius or a very disturbed individual.” She reached out as if to touch the painting, but jerked her hand away before it made contact. “You can almost see the monstrous thing that lives in the slime deep at the bottom of the pool.”
     Bob studied the forest scene. Feeling disquiet creep over him, he averted his gaze.
     “Who painted it?” Kerry asked.
     He hesitated. “I did.”
     She whipped her head around and stared at him. “Jeez, Bob. What the hell were you thinking?”
     Stealing a look at his creation, Bob shivered.
     “I tried to paint what’s in here,” he said, tapping his chest with a fist. He gestured to the picture. “I don’t know how that happened.”



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