The Railroad by Neil Newton

It’s 2001 and Mike Dobbs is a rising star on Wall Street in New York City. Out of the blue an old girlfriend calls him on the phone and his life begins to change. Eileen Benoit and her daughter Megan are in trouble and she turns to her old friend for help. Caught in a marriage with a controlling husband she learned he had been sexually molesting their daughter. In spite of pursuing legal steps to rescue her daughter and herself, Bob Benoit had more money and better connections resulting in his continued access to Megan. Mike provides Eileen and Megan with both a temporary place to stay and funds to live on until they are able to connect with the Railroad. This is not a train, but an underground group that assists abuse victims who get no recourse from the legal system to escape from their situations. Named for the Underground Railroad that aided Civil War slaves to travel from the south to the north, the Railroad maintains its secrecy.
Having helped his old friend and her strangely withdrawn daughter Mike returns to his busy and stress filled life. But September 11, 2001 dawns and before the morning has passed Mike is caught up in the terror attack that brought down the World Trade Center. It isn’t long before he begins to question what is important in his life. Faced with his own mortality and how close he came to losing his life he withdraws from his girlfriend, his job, and eventually his city.
As his relationship with Eileen and Megan grows closer he finds his feelings for her are rekindled and he struggles to understand the strange little girl who has entered his life. Before the romance can blossom Eileen is contacted by the Railroad and suddenly she and Megan are gone leaving Mike with no idea of their destination and no way to contact Eileen.
What follows is more than Mike searching for his almost family. It becomes one man’s journey to find himself and where he fits in the world. No longer overwhelmed by the business of Wall Street he is drawn to look inside himself before setting out to find Eileen and Megan. Along the way he meets danger and threats but applies the diligence he once gave to his career to rejoining the woman and child he now realizes are his destiny.
The Railroad is a mystery within a mystery. With characters you will alternately love and hate, a plot that twists and turns like train tracks up a winding mountain, the reader is drawn along to a startling conclusion. All is not it seems and people hide behind masks.

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