Finding Max by Darren M. Jorgensen
Published: May 22, 2018
Published by: Creators Publishing
Five-year-old Max is abducted from a playground on a hot summer day while his brother, Gary, has his back turned. Seventeen years later, Max returns to Gary’s life in a serendipitous twist with a disturbing tale to tell. As they learn to love and trust each other, they must outwit and outrun the nefarious Quinn, who seeks to re-abduct Max for his own evil purposes. Killing Gary and his new girlfriend, Jean, to get them out of his way is just part of his plan. Will they escape? And when all is said and done, will Max and Gary ever truly be freed from the shackles of guilt and pain from the past?
Amid the gritty, harsh landscape of New York City, Finding Max explores those areas of society we seldom like to look at—homelessness, hunger and sexual abuse—with profound delicacy, brutal honesty and compassion. This thrilling novel with keep you reading long into the night.
What was that sound? It was like a child's muffled, anguished cry. He turned his head this way and that, and then walked slowly around the room. Was he imagining it? Where was it coming from? Across the hall, he was sure of it. But he didn't think there were any children living there. And the apartment beside him was completely empty, since it was up for sale.
Gary stepped gingerly toward the front door, still listening intently. As he neared it, he noticed he'd left the closet door slightly open, and he pushed it closed as he stepped by. The cry immediately got quieter. Gary stopped in his tracks. He placed his hand on the closet door handle, turned it and slowly slid the door open. Inside, crouched on the floor, was Max, wiping tears from his cheeks with the back of one hand. Clutched in the other was a deadly looking switchblade that seemed about five inches long. He was making little stabbing motions at the air in front of him. His eyes looked out and into another world. He saw dark figure after dark figure pass before his eyes, fearing each and trembling before each, but not crying out. With each stab, a puff of air escaped his mouth.
"Max?" Gary said softly. "Max, can you hear me? Max, give me the knife," he said as he reached down toward the blade. Max redoubled his desperate efforts to stab the demons in his mind.
"Max, please. Give me the knife. It's Gary,” he said, sounding desperate. “I won't hurt you. Please hand me the knife. Please, Max."
Max slowly lowered the blade and let it fall on his knees. Gary reached down and gently took the knife, putting it into his robe pocket. He knelt down, pushed some pairs of boots aside and sat beside him in the closet, just like he used to do after their mother beat Max. He put his arm around his little brother, his hand resting on his shoulder. The number of times he had comforted his little brother in this way he didn't know, but he knew one thing for certain: For Max, the closet was a place where his mother didn't follow. For Gary, it was a place where he knew he could keep his brother safe. It was his place, a place where he had power. It was a space where he could hold his brother and be reminded of their order in this world, where Gary was the big brother who helped Max, who held Max, who kept the demons at bay. They would sit crouched together, two brothers cloaking themselves from their cursing mother, who was lying on the sofa exhausted after her expenditure of cruelty. He used to keep a few books in there, to read to Max, to calm him. But those days were long past, and there were no books to be read in this one.
What others are saying:
Darren Jorgensen is unafraid to plumb the darkness of the human heart where most others fear to tread. — Greg M.
Jorgensen captures the tenderest of moments within his characters’ relationships where you feel the struggles amongst them. A thrill ride of a book. — Katie A.
Jorgensen uses human tragedies as a catalyst for looking deeply into the human heart. The book is mesmerizing, captivating and brilliant! He had me at the first page. — Ginette L.
ABSOLUTELY RIVETING!!! Clear your day cause you won't want to put it down. — Karen T.
Meet the Author:
Darren M. Jorgensen grew up among the fields and forests of Alberta, Canada. At seventeen, he left home for greener pastures. He settled in various cities, including Toronto, Montreal, Stratford, Sault Ste. Marie and New York City. While in New York, Jorgensen worked at the United Nations in various capacities, even spending a year in Baghdad to help dismantle Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. After returning to the States, he matriculated at Brown University at 30 years old, one of only six adults older than traditional college age granted admission that year.
While at Brown, Jorgensen garnered several awards, all in the area of video and film production. Later, at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design, he directed, produced and shot the film At the Hands of Another: When Someone You Love Is Murdered, a documentary that incorporated personal interviews with family members of murder victims.
Jorgensen has studied law, society, art, theatre and professional photography. But it became too clear during his years of higher education that his first love was writing. He has always fed his passions through involvement in book clubs and writing groups. Writing has served as the best vehicle for Jorgensen to explore the trauma of homelessness, hunger, extreme poverty and illness, issues he’s faced throughout his adult life. He wrote his debut novel, Finding Max, in just 12 days.
Jorgensen now lives back in his native province, on a farm east of Edmonton, with his wonderful wife, Ginette, and two extraordinary dogs, Dobby and Molly, who march to the beat of their own drum. He loves to walk with his dogs through the fields while watching the sun rise on the eastern horizon.
Connect with Darren:
Anyone who would like to interview Darren or find out more information about Creators Publishing can contact Alissa Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 424-217-1434.