Imaginary Lines, a novel by Douglas Grant
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Kyle Conway is about to make a breakthrough for Conway Brothers Construction Co. - a long sought opportunity for a major real estate score. His wife and two boys will prosper, his brother-partner will do the same. And the Conways are delighted that friend and business colleague, Mauricio Solares, will have the chance to rise higher in society than other Mexican immigrants trying to realize the American Dream.

Yes, Kyle, a bit rough around the edges but a good guy at heart, is happy for Mauricio; but his proclivity for careless, insensitive remarks about or in front of his Mexican friend, causes Cynthia Conway to chastise him repeatedly, a fact that leads to frequent verbal clashes between them. He bristles at suggestions of mistreatment. She wants to enlighten her husband and to preserve the warm friendship that the Conways have enjoyed with the Solares family. 

Is there a legitimate cause - perhaps beneath the surface - for tension, or is it a result of imaginations being overwrought? That question becomes critical when a vacation visit to Mexico intended to offer the Conways an opportunity for celebration and a strengthening of their marriage turns into a horror show, one that compounds suspicions and tension. Their journey south of the border turns relaxation and optimism into terror and the possibility for tragedy.
A jaunt south of the border turns 
into terror, suspicion and looming tragedy.
Douglas Grant is an author whose first novel, Preemptive, was published in 2010. Preemptive is an examination of the lives intertwined by the cause and effect relationship the U.S. had with Afghanistan in the 1980s. His short story, "Escalation", addresses lives affected by America's economic downturn in the last ten years. His works are usually narratives in which he comments on the human condition or on social inequity, narratives that often pay tribute to some of the most banal of literature and film genres. 

"The youth are the most vulnerable," Eddie continued. "Find a boy and get sway over him, often with the promise of cash, and you can mold him into whatever you want him to be. Those with very little to lose who see opportunity are easy to manipulate. Men like you and me will never know what horrible acts we're truly capable of. But the boys poised to become men in Mexico are discovering these things about themselves every day."  

Eddie paused, and Kyle wondered if he was finished. When the pause lingered, Kyle spoke up. "But we're talking about Mauricio. He's not in Mexico. He's here in California trying to earn an honest day's pay."  

Eddie smiled a little bit wider, as if Kyle had set him up for the point he'd been attempting to arrive at all along. And Kyle saw no mirth behind that smile. Eddie was not at all happy with his present circumstances. "In my experience I've learned that there are two types of people who come here. Those who are running from poverty, and those who are running from something else. Which one is Mauricio?"  

This was something Kyle could comment on with conviction. "I'd say he's the former."  

"Would you bet your family on that?" Eddie had fire in his eyes. He was challenging Kyle, as if he'd hold Kyle personally responsible if something awful befell Lorena and her unborn child.  

Kyle didn't answer right away. It was not an answer to be taken lightly. It was like swearing on the life of your children when you weren't entirely sure of the truth yourself. As it happened, Eddie spared Kyle from having to respond. "This is what's eating away at me, Kyle. You can vouch for the boy's present, but not his past. And although my faith tells me that I should be willing to forgive a man for his sins, we're talking about a man who will be father to my grandchild, a man I know absolutely nothing about."

Imaginary Lines

a novel 
by Douglas Grant

Imaginary Lines asks readers the question, "How well do we really know those closest to us?"

It is a tale of friendship and loyalty turned bitter after external conflicts arouse suspicions and perpetuate paranoia. The reader will ask him or herself whether we should take what we see of human nature at face value and hope for the best, or assume the worst.
-Christopher Rockwell

A great read!
Once again Douglas Grant has provided a provocative tale in which gripping action--and we are treated to a lot of it--reflects contemporary, recognizable conflicts. The attitudes that steer this story are ones that we can readily recognize in our society, possibly in ourselves.

-Thomas Gilroy

Imaginary Lines is the kind of book that I love to have on vacation or a plane trip. It was enjoyable as it held my interest, was easy to read and for me held a surprise ending. Like the author's style of writing. Put it on your list of things to do.

-Charles Douglas
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