Book Title: Entropy
Book Genre: Crime, drama
Author: Robert Raker
Publisher: Wattle Publishing
When a series of child abductions and murders disrupt the life of
an economically blighted community, the consequences have far-reaching
implications. The brutal crimes take a different toll on a disparate group of
individuals; the scuba diver who retrieves the children’s bodies; the
disfigured cellist who thinks he knows who’s responsible; the undercover
federal agent; and the mother of one of the victim’s. United in a situation not
of their choosing, they are forced to take a deep, introspective look into
their intersected, yet isolated lives.
Entropy, an elegiac crime novel whose climax reveals its bleakly beautiful
The bloated, distended corpses of the people whose shortened lives I had retrieved
from the water were clearly visible in the immature patterns of condensation
that evaporated gradually on the mirror.
I just sat there. Looking closely at the gun, I cocked the trigger back and forth
repeatedly, like a curious child studying the physics of a toy, wanting to
grasp the technical aspects of it, what made certain parts of it function and
react the way that it did when it was used.
I glanced up at the cracked face of the clock above her dresser. She would be leaving for
the lawyer’s office soon. After that I would need to catch the next bus to the
How did we get here?
The three children that were still there were being interviewed by the detectives. Two were boys and one was a girl. I passed by at the moment when their respective parents arrived, who after embracing their children, placed their hands tightly on the sides of their faces, and looked anxiously into their eyes. That was what genuine fear looked like if you had to describe it as a concrete image: the colorless uncertainty in those few moments between a parent and a child, when something like that happened. I opened the trunk of my car and started to put on the dry suit that I had removed from a long canvas bag. I wore the dry suit when the water was dangerously cold, like it was that afternoon. A large sheet of ice covered the surface of the water. I noticed the nose clip that I used to wear when I swam competitively in a small plastic bag underneath some clothing in the canvas bag. It probably still smelled like chlorine.
“Some kids who were fishing with long sticks and twine spotted the heel of a black sneaker propped up against the side of the drainage pipe, over there on the other side. One of the kids reached in and tried to pull it out. That’s when he saw the tips of fingers. All I can think is, when the ice cracked or shifted as the temperatures changed, the body must have started creeping towards the surface,” Mull remarked, as he tapped his pen against the broken facing of a wristwatch, then used it to point towards the pond. “It wasn’t completely frozen over until roughly a week ago, so we’re assuming the body was placed there then. One of the kids we interviewed said he was out here with some friends last weekend, and the pond didn’t have any ice on it.”
Entropy by Robert Raker
Entropy has been around eight years in the making. I never believed that it would end up where it has. I was reading The Canterbury Tales, and was taken with the concept of several characters, isolated yet connected. The various characters, the scuba instructor, the disfigured cellist, the nude model and the undercover agent came from various portions of who I am as a person and how I see myself, as well as drawing some inspiration from people close to me. Each story doesn’t necessarily go on a physical journey but an emotional one. Some nights I was able to write several pages and others nothing because I write in dense imagery at times, always searching for the proper word corresponding with what I see, what I believe the character would feel. I began writing it based on nothing more than photographs I had taken and a few unrealized and isolated ideas. Much of the time, I use photography as inspiration for scenery and tone. I’m proud that I feel I was able to convey depth, structure and emotion.
Robert Raker graduated with
a degree in Journalism from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently resides
in Philadelphia where he enjoys art, music, literature and live theater. He is
currently working on his next novel.
Wattle Publishing is an independent publisher. We publish fiction,
non-fiction and poetry. www.wattlepublishing.com