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The first to disappear is a ski instructor in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Hours later, a pregnant woman is abducted from a crowded hospital and smuggled past security without a hitch. Two places, two incidents, a single motive.
And so it begins….
One by one, in cities across America, people of all ages are taken from their homes, their cars, their lives. But these aren’t random kidnappings. They’re crimes of passion, planned and researched several months in advance, then executed with a singular objective in mind.
Ariane Walker is one of the victims, dragged from her apartment with few signs of a struggle. The police said there's little they can do for her. There isn’t enough evidence to go on. Not enough time has passed. But that isn’t good enough for Jonathon Payne. He loves Ariane and isn’t about to wait while her trail runs cold.
Using the skills that he learned in the MANIACs, a special branch of the U.S. military, Payne and his best friend, David Jones, give chase, hoping that a trip to New Orleans somehow pays off. It does. With the help of several locals, the duo slowly uncovers the mystery of Walker’s abduction and the shocking truth behind Louisiana’s most violent secret: The Plantation.
“Ironically, the image brought a smile to his shrouded face. As a child, he had witnessed a similar scene, a cross being burned in his family’s front yard, and it had evoked a far different reaction. The bright glow of the smoldering wood, the sharp stench of smoke, the dancing specters in white hoods and sheets, the racial taunts, the threats of violence, the fear in his father’s eyes. All of it had left an indelible mark on his young psyche, a scar that had remained with him for years. But things were different now. He was no longer a scared boy, cowering behind his family for strength and protection. No, now the roles were reversed. He built the cross. He controlled the guest list. He was the aggressor. He was the keeper of the flame.”
-- description of Octavian Holmes, one of the masterminds of the Plantation (pp. 19-20)