The Other Oregon: A Thriller
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On the surface, Greg Simmons seems an utterly improbable informant. He’s an idealistic, Cascadia independence proponent from the city of Portland. When the FBI calls on Greg to go undercover to investigate a dangerous militia movement out in rural Oregon, he knows exactly why: his long-estranged friend from the country, Donny Wilkie, could have deep ties to the militia.
Greg doesn’t want the FBI’s help. He needs to pursue the threat all on his own, because his true motives run far deeper—making sure that his former friend will never reveal a damning secret from their past. Greg strikes out for the remote small town of Pineburg, a fish out of water. As he grapples with his and Donny’s relationship and why it soured, as the threats to his worldview and to hiding the grim truth darken and mount, he discovers that no one is really who they seem, least of all himself. The dark misdeeds that both he and Donny covered up for so long threaten to reap their toll in the most deadly way.
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had shared another whiskey and tried to talk up the good times of twenty years ago like when Greg had Donny do his rural Western thing to confuse and lure Portland chicks—working their own brand of Midnight Cowboy scam. They had laughed about it. But now Greg thought: If Donny was playing the bumpkin babe magnet, what had that made him? The wannabe Ratso? Some third-rate pimp and con man? It was near five in the morning. It would be light before long. He needed sleep or at least something to
anyone’s friend. We’ve worked together. Man, you gotta calm down.” “I’m all right,” Greg said. “What’s eating you?” Donny said. “You said Charlie Adler is reclusive. Said you don’t want to be known.” “You’re right, I did. Some folks aren’t even sure where I live. I didn’t say I was crazy. I have to know people, and some of those people look out for me.” “Because other people might be after you.” “That’s it.” “Okay, so why don’t the ones after you just arrest you or whatever they’re going
alone. He glanced over to see Torres scratch at his rear end, but softly, touching only with fingertips, not as if adjusting underwear but more like he had an itch but wasn’t supposed to scratch it. Which was odd. Greg gave Torres a moment to himself, then walked back. “So, just by listening to you, it doesn’t mean I’ve accepted anything, right?” Torres’ eyes shifted inward a bit as if he’d taken an imaginary step backward. “That’s true. Yes. We’re just talking. Like I said, It is up to you.”
them see he was fired up and he sure did love it here with them. Wouldn’t be anywhere else, no sir! Man, just what would he do without that meth? Coffee and drink and pot even just didn’t cut it at times like this, whiskey no way. A small farmer-looking feller shouted, “Let’s get to it now!” A couple other guys hollered something, and then a couple more were shouting, urging him up, “You get to steppin!” and it was like they were all on meth with him, they’d all done it just for him. Wayne was
for majestic buildings in ruins. The floor plan was open, and Greg imagined traders hustling here back in the day. He saw a broad and grand stairway that rose from the far middle of the floor, leading upward. Now he clicked off the flashlight. Gunnar and Leeann had each told him not to use the flashlight if he could help it since it invited trouble and spooked any others holing up here. He headed up the stairs. The second floor had lower ceilings and fewer and smaller windows, the first floor