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DARK CISTERN, Thriller- Jennifer Locke

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Author: Jennifer Locke

DARK CISTERN is a thriller just like ICE HUNT by James Rollins only it’s inspired by Alice in Wonderland and set in Rio de Janeiro.

Hook Line:

The 25-year rains are bearing down on the city of Rio de Janeiro, when martial arts trainee, Olivia, witnesses a kidnapping. Haunted by her past failure to save the ones she loves, her rush to save the boy plunges her down the rabbit hole, and into a desperate war, where every turn puts her more squarely in the cross-hairs of a woman who will stop at nothing to help mother nature win, when the rain starts pouring down.

Short Pitch:

When troubled martial arts student, Olivia, is the only one to see a young boy kidnapped, she makes the reckless decision to follow him. Olivia doesn’t have a lot of time, the 25-year rains are bearing down on the city of Rio de Janeiro, where war rages on all sides, between man and mother nature, and within the city itself, where leaders seek to violently control the favelas.

Attempting to save the boy thrusts her down the rabbit hole and into the middle of a deadly plot. Racing through flooding reservoir tunnels, dodging stray gun fire on battle torn favela streets, and bouncing over rough jungle roads, Olivia is pulled into the clutches of a group who will do everything they can to help mother nature win, when the rain starts pouring down.

Olivia’s race to save the boy becomes a fight for survival that will force her to trust others, as she must outsmart a territorial jungle threat, and find her way back to a city that desperately needs her. The coming storm will push the city to the brink of survival, but the strategically placed bombs would create a maelstrom from which it could never survive.

Prose Sample:

Maybe she shouldn’t have shown herself to the children. She tried to think how else they could have found her, how they had even known to look.

Arms pushed her into the hut. Kneeling inside, was Carlos, face sheened with sweat and fear, he winked at her. In the corner, a square cover leaned against the wall, from the darkness wafted cool air and a smell that raised the hair on the back of her neck. Samara stood, arms crossed, flanked by Rafael and Davi, “your friend’s very helpful.”

Forced to her knees, Olivia didn’t even spare him a glance, “He’s not my friend.”

“Ah, well, perhaps not anymore.” smoothly, Samara drew and pressed a knife to her throat.

“Your plan isn’t going to work,” not moving her head she met dark eyes. Rafael had shifted his body weight forward onto the balls of his feet. She’d overheard them arguing the day before, maybe there was something here she could use.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I know enough, it won’t work, they’ll figure it out.” The knife pressed in sharply, she could feel blood slide down her neck.

Rafael shifted as the knife disappeared, maybe she’d read him wrong. “Why are you doing it?”

Eyes clashed, “Have you ever lost someone you loved? Watched them murdered?”

Mikey. Mama. “Yes.”

“Did you avenge their death?”

“Yes,” it felt like she dragged it from somewhere deep and dark inside her, “but, it was only because there was no other way, he would have killed me too.” With it came an acceptance of herself, unexpected, the weight of the moment pressed down on her.

“We never got ours, and they sit down there as though it never happened, smiling, breathing the same air as us.” Her voice shook with fury, “you should understand.”

“No. I don’t understand. You’re talking about a whole city.”

“That city,” pacing, knife gripped tight, “it doesn’t deserve to live. They killed our people to build it, filled in the water, cut the trees, killed the animals. But it wasn’t enough, they wanted more, they built and built, and dredged the earth.” Her voice rose vibrated, “the jungle wants it back, it doesn’t belong to them, it pushes at them, flooding, sending great slides of mud and trees down upon it, but they ignore it, digging reservoirs, building ocean barriers as though it’s their right. Their right to live in a great pile of humanity, fighting each other for food, drugs, money, they’re not worthy. The jungle chose me, spared me, so that I could return the land to it.”

“I’m not sure whether I feel bad for you, losing someone sucks, or whether you guys are just another batshit crazy bunch of ecoterrorist’s grabbing whatever excuses are handy.”

Davi’s punch split her lip, “puta, they killed our whole village.”

“That doesn’t give you the right to murder a whole city.”

“No, the jungle gave me that.”

Rafael shifted again, “you don’t have to do this.”



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