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The Edge of Lost

The Edge of Lost, December 2015
by Kristina McMorris

Featuring: Shanley Keagan; Tommy Capello
ISBN: 0758281188
EAN: 9780758281180
Kindle: B00U7LG76I
Paperback / e-Book
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"An Irish lad faces hardships in a long journey"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Edge of Lost
Kristina McMorris

Reviewed by Tanzey Cutter
Posted November 16, 2015


In 1919 Dublin, 12-year-old Shanley Keagan is left with his uncle after his mother dies. At her death, she told Shan that his real father was a U.S. sailor. With nothing for them in Ireland, Shan's uncle accepts an offer to sail to the United States, where Shan has dreams of locating his father in New York.

Befriended by young Nick Capello while on board the ship, Shan is welcomed into the Capello's home and made to feel like a part of their family. Shan and Nick are close until after high school when Shan goes to work in the Capella plumbing business, while Nick pursues another line of work. This shift in their relationship leads to circumstances that irreparably change the bond between them and test Shan to the extreme.

THE EDGE OF LOST by Kristina McMorris is the compelling tale of a smart, educated and talented Irish lad who uses all these attributes to survive as he traverses a rocky journey through life. Shanley Keagan is an unlikely hero, but his inherent decency and resolute perseverance through dreadful adversity mold him into a unique protagonist. Shan's tale grabs readers from the very start and doesn't let up until the dynamic conclusion. Historical details give THE EDGE OF LOST even more dimension and a vivid imagery of the time and locales. THE EDGE OF LOST is another work of genius by the talented Kristina McMorris.

Learn more about The Edge of Lost


From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes an ambitious and heartrending story of immigrants, deception, and second chances.

On a cold night in October 1937, searchlights cut through the darkness around Alcatraz. A prison guard's only daughter--one of the youngest civilians who lives on the island--has gone missing. Tending the warden's greenhouse, convicted bank robber Tommy Capello waits anxiously. Only he knows the truth about the little girl's whereabouts, and that both of their lives depend on the search's outcome.

Almost two decades earlier and thousands of miles away, a young boy named Shanley Keagan ekes out a living as an aspiring vaudevillian in Dublin pubs. Talented and shrewd, Shan dreams of shedding his dingy existence and finding his real father in America. The chance finally comes to cross the Atlantic, but when tragedy strikes, Shan must summon all his ingenuity to forge a new life in a volatile and foreign world.

Skillfully weaving these two stories, Kristina McMorris delivers a compelling novel that moves from Ireland to New York to San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell-- and believe--in order to survive.


Alcatraz Island

October 1937

Fog encircled the island, a strangling grip, as search efforts mounted. In the moonless sky, dark clouds forged a dome over the icy currents of San Francisco Bay.

“You two check the docks,” shouted Warden Johnston, his voice muffled by rain and howling wind. “We’ll take the lighthouse. The rest of you spread out.”

More people traded directives, divvying up territory. They were off-duty guards and teenage sons who called Alcatraz their home, an odd place where a maze of fencing and concrete kept families of the prison staff safe from the country’s most notorious criminals.

At least in theory.

From inside the warden’s greenhouse, inmate 257 strained to listen—that was his number. Even his coveralls bore a stamp of his designation, branded like cattle. The beam of a searchlight brushed past the glass-lined walls.

Over and over in the dankness of his cell he had envisioned this very scene. Had seen it as clear as the picture shows he grew up watching in Brooklyn. The Mark of Zorro, he recalled. It was the first swashbuckler he’d ever viewed on the silver screen. The film was silent, long before talkies became all the rage, but the action and suspense had quickened his pulse, gripped his lungs. Same as now.

He drew a breath, let it out. Raindrops grew insistent. They tapped the ceiling like fifty anxious fingers. Seventy. A hundred.

“Eh! Capello!”

His heart jolted. Normally he stayed keenly aware of sounds behind him, a survival tool in the pen, but somehow he’d missed the creak of the door.

He tightened his hold on the garden trowel before turning around. It was Finley, a guard with the look and nose twitch of an oversize ferret.

“Yeah, boss?”

“You seen a little girl pass by? Ten years old, light brown hair. About so high?”

The answer needed to sound natural, eased out like fishing line. “No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.”

Atop the single entry step, Finley surveyed the room with an air of discomfort. He wasn’t a proponent of the rare freedoms afforded to passmen, the few trusted inmates assigned to work at the warden’s house.

“Aren’t you about done here?” Finley asked.

“Sure am. Then I’ll be heading to the lower greenhouse to finish up.”

Finley hesitated, an endless moment—of gauging? Of suspicion? At last he gave a partial nod and turned to exit.

The door swung closed.

Adrenaline rushed with the force of the pounding rain. The risks and consequences gained new clarity. Doubt invaded his thoughts.

It wasn’t too late to turn back. He could serve out his time by sticking to the grind, sleeping and eating and pissing when told, and one day walk out a free man . . .

But, no. No, it wasn’t that simple. Not anymore. He recalled just how much lay at stake, and any chance of reneging crumbled.

Through the fog, lightning cracked the sky. The air brightened with an eerie blue glow, and from it came a boost of certainty.

He could do this.

The plan could work.

So long as they didn’t find the girl.


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