Blue Chariot

In this gritty tale of crime and redemption, Pete Como breaks new ground in fiction as a wheelchair-bound protagonist thrust from a placid existence into a harrowing entanglement with a rural gang embroiled in theft, blackmail and murder.  Pete, an individual of indomitable will struggling with intense feelings of loss and self-doubt, is an unlikely yet engaging and fallible hero in this often humorous and sometimes dark novel.

Graced with an intrinsic resolve and sense of adventure, Pete embarks on a twisting, turning 11-day road trip that transforms his life and jeopardizes the lives of his circle of intimates. On a remote stretch of highway in South Carolina, Pete picks up a female hitchhiker named Karen Krouse, a seductive young siren ensnared in her mother's small crime ring. Searching for a new life, Karen uses an unaware Pete as a pawn to break away. Duping Pete through a veritable hell, Karen steals a stash from her mother and boyfriend Nick Trogg. Trogg, a diabolical felon with a passion for inflicting pain on those who get in his way, begins a tormenting multi-state hunt to recapture the money and kill Pete and Karen. As law enforcement officials close in on Trogg, resolution of Pete's terrifying expedition lies in a bone-chilling climax in an abandoned barn in upstate New York.

Como’s gripping excursion takes him from his hometown in Central New York to rustic villages and upscale communities in northwestern South Carolina, and back again to his origins in the historic Mohawk Valley.  A journey marked by reminiscences and warnings ignored, it will call into question his lifetime relationship with his beloved Mary Kathleen Lee, while also causing him to distrust his own motivations and character.   What are the origins of Como’s self-doubt and recriminations?  What prompts him to consider ending his life?  Where do those 11 days in this suspense thriller take him both physically and mentally?

In this compelling story of murder and revenge, love and lust, brotherhood, bloodshed, and broken trusts, the reader is also provided a rare glimpse into the distinct challenges often faced by handicapped individuals—their barriers and their demons, actual and imagined. Rife with laughter as well as tears, it is a story not only of strength and suffering, but also of spirit, survival, and, ultimately, deliverance.