Sarah tries to struggle, but the man holds her. The scream never makes it out of her throat. 'Nobody watching,' the man says with hateful calm. 'I made it this way. I can walk where nobody sees.’
Sarah Becker is the fifth girl to be abducted by this maniac. Judging from the state of the bodies that have been found, her long hair will be hacked off and she will be tortured. She has about a week to live.
Former LA homicide detective John Zandt has an inside track on the perpetrator – his own daughter was one of his victims two years ago.
But the key to Sarah's whereabouts lies with Ward Hopkins, a man with a past so secret not even he knows about it. His parents have just died in a car accident, but they leave Ward a bizarre message that leads him to question everything he once believed to be true.
As he begins to investigate his own past Ward finds himself drawn into the shadowy, sinister world of the Straw Men – and into the desperate race to find Sarah, before her time runs out.
For ex-cop Jack Whalen, it all begins with a visit from a childhood friend, a lawyer who needs Jack's help. The family of a noted scientist has been senselessly, brutally murdered, and the scientist is nowhere to be found.
But Jack has more pressing concerns. The past that drove him from the L.A.P.D. continues to haunt him. And his wife has disappeared during a routine business trip to Seattle. She never checked into her hotel. She isn't answering her cell phone. She is gone.
A third missing person, a little girl from Oregon, is found miles away. But it soon becomes obvious that she is not an innocent victim … and far from defenseless.
Something very strange is happening—a perplexing series of troubling events that's leading Jack Whalen into the shadows. And the secrets buried there are unlike anything he, or anyone, could possibly have imagined.
May we introduce you to Stark.
Oh, and by the way — good luck.
Stark is the private investigator who goes to work when Something Happens to you. And when a Something happens it’s no good chanting ‘go away go away go away’ and cowering in a corner, because a Something always comes from your darkest past and won’t be beaten until you face it. And that’s not easy in a city where reality is twisting and broken, a world in which friends can become enemies in a heartbeat — and where your most secret fear can become a soul-shredding reality.
And the worst of it is, for this nightmare you don’t even have to be asleep...
Considered a modern classic, and consistently featured in lists of Books To Read Before Your Head Explodes, ONLY FORWARD is a novel you'll never forget.