The Reapers by John Connolly

By John Connolly

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Only once had the security of his postservice existence been threatened. That was during the divorce, when his wife had sought half of all that he owned, and he was faced with the possibility of being forced to sell his beloved auto shop in order to meet her demands. While he might have been kept busy with a steady stream of repairs, there wasn’t a whole lot of money in the bank and much of Queens hadn’t been like it was now. Then there was no gentrification, no single men and women driving expensive automobiles that they didn’t know how to service for themselves.

Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Copyright © 2008 by John Connolly All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Atria Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. ATRIA BOOKS and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc. “Vision and Prayer” (excerpt) by Dylan Thomas, from The Poems of Dylan Thomas, copyright © 1946 by New Directions Publishing Corp.

Mr. Errol would always give Louis a quarter when their paths crossed. He would comment upon how tall Louis had grown, how well he looked, how proud his momma must be of him. And Louis thought, although he could not say why, that Mr. Errol was proud of him, too. On the night that Errol Rich died, Louis’s Grandma Lucy, the matriarch of the house of women in which Louis grew up, fed Louis’s mother bourbon and a dose of morphine to help her sleep. Louis’s momma had been weeping all week, ever since she heard of what had passed between Errol and Little Tom.

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