Death by the River
Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: October 2nd 2018
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
A high school “American Psycho.”
SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.
SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.
Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.
And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.
The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.
He is also a psychopath.
A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.
As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.
And that someone will pay with their life.
Beau strolled down the elegant curved mahogany staircase of his parents’ plantation home. He stepped onto the hardwood floors and caressed the newel post at the end of the steps. Shaped like the head of a horse, the bit pulled taut in its mouth, he admired the pain carved into the creature’s bulging eyes.
He headed along the hallway, tugging his book bag over his shoulder, the occasional moan of the floor echoing around him. He glanced at a massive gold painting of New Orleans he liked, bought by some dead relative a century ago. Family portraits of other deceased members of the Devereaux clan littered the white wainscoting covered walls. He passed the tall cypress door to his father’s office, not bothering to check inside. His old man was an early riser and probably on his way to the brewery.
At the end of the hall, he turned down a slender corridor to the kitchen and the entrance to the five-car garage. He enjoyed the quiet in the morning after his father went to work and before his mother crawled out of bed. It made him feel like it was all his, for a little while anyway.
In the kitchen, Beau went around the beaten copper-covered breakfast bar to the refrigerator.
His father appeared, holding a coffee mug.
Beau froze, almost afraid to move when he spotted him.
Gage Devereaux rested his hip against the black granite countertop. Tilting his head slightly, he inspected his son. In his usual attire—a long-sleeved shirt and slacks—he came across more like a casual businessman than a ruthless capitalist. Except for their height and physical prowess, Beau felt he had nothing in common with his father.
He attempted to relax by shifting his book bag on his shoulder. “Didn’t expect to find you still home.”
Gage set his mug on the counter. “I wanted to speak to you before you left for school.”
The hint of condescension in his father’s voice tightened his chest—it usually signaled a lecture.
“I got a call from Ms. Greenbriar yesterday afternoon. She said you visited her office after a run-in you had with Carol Foster’s boy.”
Beau’s fingers twitched, the way they did when his aggravation got the better of him. Great. The idiot woman had called his father. The last thing he needed was Gage Devereaux up his ass.
“Derek is dating Dawn’s sister, so I often see him at school.” He tempered the irritation in his voice, not wanting to annoy his father. “I was talking to Leslie when Derek walked up. I accidentally caught him with my elbow when I turned around. I apologized and everything is fine.”
He waited, analyzing every move his father made, searching his hard eyes for an inkling of his mindset.
“I’ve spoken to you before about this.” Gage came around the breakfast bar. “This family is in a precarious position with everyone in town. I don’t want your actions threatening our business or our good name.” He gripped Beau’s shoulder. “What have I always told you? What is our rule?”
Beau cringed as the words he’d spent a lifetime dreading screamed through his head. He faced his father, standing at attention. “Self-control in all things. Never let anyone see who you really are.”
Gage leaned closer. “No matter what anyone says, no matter what they do, you walk away. This includes your girlfriend. Do you understand?”
Beau stiffened at the low, menacing tone in his father’s voice. “Yes, sir.”
Gage lifted the left side of his mouth ever so slightly. “Go to school.”
Beau stood by the breakfast bar, not moving a muscle as his father headed to the garage. The door clicked shut and a trickle of sweat ran down his temple. His jaw muscles cramped from clenching, his heart rate slowed, and he glanced at his fists. His father’s warning spinning in his head, Beau slammed his hand down on the copper bar.
Anger like molten lead ran through him. Beau sucked in deep breaths to calm himself—something he remembered from a long-ago therapy session. Then he relaxed his hand on the bar, checking the indent he’d left in the copper. He wiped the smudge away, stepped back, and raised his head.
I am the master of control.
Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.
He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.
Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.