Title: THE LONGEST WAR (first seven chapters)
Author: carl charest
Lucas Crowne is a seriously bullied 9th grader, smart but poor, a target for a group who punch and push him around at will. When he meets a girl who has the locker next to his, who is also an outcast, they bond, but bullied together after school a few days later, she backs into traffic and is killed. Lucas is heartbroken but burns with anger.
An astronomy buff, Lucas is using his telescope when he sees a light at the house of a grandfatherly-appearing neighbor. He watches the old man open a gun safe and, over many days, finally gets the combination. When the old man is away, Lucas takes a rifle and one bullet from the safe and shoots at his tormentors. He has no idea of the years of savagery that his impulsive act is about to uncover. He is soon discovered by the old man, a psychopath who has been quietly killing for years.
The old man must get that bullet back before Lucas tells the authorities and connects him to his many murders. He threatens to torture Lucas' mother, a widow, to keep Lucas quiet and discover where Lucas shot that bullet, but Lucas runs away and eventually tells his mother's companion, a local detective, where he got the rifle.
The old man barely escapes and the chase begins. The detective, a New York City attorney and his assistant, a beautiful but deadly Israeli agent, and a retired New London, Connecticut detective trace the old man to the geographical center of the United States, where Lucas lives, and where they eventually discover the old man's plan, a horrifying final act of insanity.
Filled with twists and turns, the old man's persuers believe that a spectacular crash on a darkened, isolated Kansas interstate means that the case is finally over.