Sunday, 31 July 2016


The Doll Harvest

Driven Press welcomes suspense novel The Doll Harvest by Ron Savage to our catalogue. It is available in paperback and e-book formats world-wide today.


The twins say I’m perfect and rare. “We had to look very hard to find someone like you.” I am admired.

On the steps of her quiet brownstone, Nettie Harnell smells the sickly sweet scent of chloroform moments before she is abducted.  When she awakens she’s in a dark basement chained to a post with nothing but memories of her mother and Paris to keep her company while she awaits her fate.

There is a shortage of medical donors in Philly, not that Carl and Vern Wachoski consider it a problem--it’s another business opportunity. Taking without permission has turned out to be incredibly lucrative, especially with Carl’s motto being “waste not, want not.” But Carl’s arrogance could cost them everything if they don’t watch out.

Dutch Harnell is no stranger to depression since the tragic and violent death of his wife and son eleven years before. Now it’s time for Dutch to pull himself together to save his one remaining family member, Nettie. With the help of Kapil Talpur, a young graduate student who witnessed the abduction, he finds himself drawn deeper into a world of greed and intrigue, where they can trust no one but themselves.


In less than two weeks it would be the eleventh anniversary of the shooting at John Parmentar Elementary. On April 2, 2005, a thirteen-year-old boy had walked into a West Philly elementary school with his dad’s submachine gun and five 30-round magazines. Dutch’s daughter was a kid then, two years older than what’s-his-face with the semi-automatic.

When Gunboy finished, he’d killed eleven students, two teachers, and himself. Blood was on everything: the polished gray floors, the mint-green walls. Blood flew onto the students and the teachers who were hiding under desks and behind doors. Later the hiders screamed and dug at the blood on their skin that wasn’t their blood. Later, two of the hiders killed themselves. They were ashamed they had hidden and lived. People who saw Gunboy said he was an overweight kid with scrubbed-pink skin and wild hair. He had on those Woody Allen type of glasses. Black-framed, over-sized. He’d worn an old gray sweatshirt and a pressed pair of chinos.

Reverend Harnell had an activist ministry. Even before the Parmentar attack, he would pack the church bus with parishioners and drive to any incidents that had firearms and damaged children. He wanted stronger regulations and a better way to treat mentally ill kids. Dutch wasn’t one to think every gun owner was going to shoot up the local bar or an elementary school. He didn’t want to change the Constitution, or stop people from protecting themselves and their families. He did think America had a lot of people, and buried in all those people were the fearful and the angry, and a lot of them were armed and looking for the great dark reason.

That he believed with all his heart.

. . . Gunboy, the reverend’s thought. That’s the name he deserves—just Gunboy.

Such a quiet, well-behaved kid—the stuff Dutch had heard. Nettie knew him, played a few video games with him, especially the one where you could steal cars and shoot up the town. People on the TV loved to blame video games for violence—that and movies. His daughter didn’t get it. The TV people liked to grab the easiest things, the things that didn’t get too personal. Oh. And drugs, too. Smoking that J, hittin’ that pipe. God, the horror of The Weed. Nettie had said she didn’t get Gunboy, either. She played the same games and saw the same summer movies, too—all the tough guys and comic book violence.

They were just games. They were just movies.

Nettie had told Dutch how she was like Gunboy, how her hair wouldn’t go right, just like him. And like him, kids made fun of her, too. She had a bad leg that was two and a half inches shorter than the other. The official name was LLD, Leg Length Discrepancy. Certain obtuse people in her class liked to tell “gimp” jokes. They found her deformity amusing. So, yeah, she got how fed up a guy could become, the way your average person could develop a “hey, suck on this” attitude. What she didn’t get was the last part, where you took a gun to school.

How did you leap from here to there?

Some adults and kids said Gunboy talked to himself as he shot people. There were children lying in the halls. Long smears of blood where kids had tried to drag themselves to safer places, but no places like that existed. Gunboy kept saying the same words over and over as he switched almost empty magazines for full ones.

“Double points,” he was reported saying. “Pow, got you! Got you! Got you! Double points.”

He was shooting at everything, people told the police—walls, overhead lights, closed glass and wooden doors. He shot kids and teachers who didn’t move. He shot kids and teachers who ran from him.

One of the teachers Gunboy killed was the reverend’s wife, Bess Harnell. One of the students was the reverend’s eight-year-old son, Saul.

The Doll Harvest is available now.

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Goodreads Giveaway

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The Doll Harvest by Ron Savage

The Doll Harvest

by Ron Savage

Giveaway ends August 06, 2016.
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About Ron Savage

Ron Savage was a senior staff psychologist at a state mental health facility in Virginia and also had a private practice. Ron is the author of seven novels and two volumes of short stories, and has published more than 125 stories worldwide. He is the recipient of the Editor’s Circle Award in Best New Writing and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Ron is a member of PEN America and has also been a guest fiction editor for Crazyhorse. Some of his publications can be found in Film Comment, the North American Review, Shenandoah, the Baltimore Review, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

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