Author Name: Neil Douglas Newton
Book Title: “The Railroad”
Genre and Sub-Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Content Rating: Adult (18+) Based on language, violence, sexual content.
Born and raised in Bayside, NY Neil was telling stories almost as soon as he could talk. Along with his love of music, he developed a talent for writing prose and song lyrics.
His first book, “The Railroad”, contains scenes that parallel his own experiences on 9/11 in the subway in New York.
On Sept. 11, 2001 Mike Dobbs’ life was forever changed. Reeling from his nightmare experience in New York’s subway as the twin towers collapsed he retreats from his high power Wall Street life to his run down country house. Soon he is embroiled in the life of Eileen Benoit and her 7-year old daughter Megan as they flee Eileen’s abusive ex-husband. Suddenly Mike is thrown into a world he knows nothing about and he is forced to answer the question, how far would you go for someone you love?
“I stole some more glances around me. Who was thinking the same thing I was? I wondered. Was someone else going to suggest it? Should we leave now? I glanced at Peter who simply gave me a confused look. No one moved and there was little conversation.
That was until the smoke started drifting in. That was the best way I could describe it, like being a block or so away from a fire and having some of the smoke drift into your house. As things began to go slightly hazy, I lost my sense of security. Other people had seen it too and were looking around, starting to shuffle like cows in a pen, whispering to each other.
It is possible that I might die. There was the thought that I’d been avoiding and it came into my mind without any preamble. It was just there. Yes, people die in situations like this. Like on the news. I had the stark realization that I could be a statistic, just like one of those people in earthquakes in South America or in auto accidents. That those people who never had been real to me before actually were real, was a horrifying thought. I imagined someone reading about me in a newspaper or hearing about me from someone who knew me after I was gone.
I looked at my fellow passengers once more and wondered if a group so ordinary could be a group that could die. And it occurred to me that groups that die in tragedies always seem ordinary to themselves. Oh shit.”
“That night I watched the news; a bad idea considering I was doing my best to put everything out of my mind. I’d managed to gain a certain sense of stability with the help of some single malt scotch.
As I watched I began to get annoyed. I had already gotten tired of seeing still another shot of the towers falling, the interviews with the families hoping to hear from their loved ones. As time went by it had come to seem like someone had to cover the story until it played itself out. The coverage was repetitive, the analysis vague and speculative.
There was one story that was conspicuous for its lack of connection to the towers. A car had been found on a side road in Rockland County, empty of passengers. It had been registered to a Sally Brodman who recently had been involved in a custody battle with her husband. Skid marks seemed to indicate that the car had been forced to a stop. There was no evidence of what happened to Sally and her daughter Taylor, except that the numbers 4, 5, and 1, separated by dashes, had been written in what looked like blood on the left rear door of the car. Her husband was being questioned though no suspects had been officially named.
It had just the right eerie ring to bring my hard won sense of calm crashing down on me. It seemed like the perfect post 9/11 creepiness. More than I wanted to think about just then. I went and made myself another drink.”
A Courageous Book Steeped with Gravitas. Well Worth the Reading Journey!
By Mark Fine on August 31, 2015
A well written, intriguing story.
By Glen Barrera on September 3, 2015
Good book that kept me coming back.
ByJeffrey A. Burton on October 3, 2013
Buy The Railroad on CreateSpace
Neil is currently working on his next novel “Unraveling the Coil”
Paul Stanworth is a science genius, something that makes him stand out on the small tropical island that he calls home. To his immense delight, his high school teacher manages to arrange for a full scholarship at Columbia University in the physics department. There he meets Tomas Tesla, a rising star in physics. Tommy takes Paul under his wing, turning him into an “A” student. Tommy is a brash New Yorker, confident and fearless.
That is until Tommy, who grew up in a family where he was ignored and criticized, loses his girlfriend of ten years. Now Tommy is alone and the depression that has lurked beneath the surface emerges full bore. Watching his friend deteriorate, failing in school, and withdrawing from his friends, Paul is desperate. Grasping at straws, Paul decides to “lend” his close and loving family to Tommy. In a period of six months, staying on the small island that is Paul’s home, Tommy is adopted fully by Paul’s family and makes a partial recovery; returning to Columbia and his study of physics.
But that’s not the end of Tommy’s troubles. His fierce loyalty to his adopted family is tested when an American Developer takes ownership of the one power plant on the island, raising the rates for power astronomically, creating a financial hardship for most of the people on the island. For Tommy, any threat to his family is a threat to him.
Tommy returns to Paul’s island, this time with a mysterious group of his cousins, for reasons that Paul can’t begin to understand. It is no coincidence that Tommy has the last name of Nikola Tesla. He and his cousins are the inventor’s great grand nephews. Unbeknownst to Paul, Tommy and his cousins have come to Paul’s home to bring the ethics and science of Nikola Tesla to Paul’s family and his island.
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