The 47th Room



The 47th Room
By: Leonard Palmer

The fifth book in the Johnny Jump series...

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Halloween, 1977

Mayhem always seems to find Johnny Jump, and always when he least expects it.
        It found him the night he is pushing his hack with the vivacious Catherine Dupree sitting next to him, when he's flagged down by a fare.
        Mayhem’s name was Rose MacMillan. She's young, no more than twenty, and she looks haggard in her torn shirt and scuffed jeans. She is bruised and bleeding. Somebody has obviously roughed her up. Catherine Dupree suggests they take her to the hospital to get her wounds treated. The girl reacts violently, demanding she instead be taken to Covington East, a sprawling complex of pre-Civil War buildings that once housed an exclusive girls' school but now stands abandoned.
       Tonight though, is the Saturday before Halloween, and Johnny knows that a huge party is being held on the school grounds, condoned by the city's political elites, who willbe in attendance, costumed, drunk, and high. There will also be police; some as revelers, others as keepers of the peace. There is nothing in the world Johnny Jump wants to avoid more than politicians and police, but the girl says she is on the run from three sadistic jailers known as ''The Stooges,'' who had put the beat down on her in the local lock up. He agrees to take her to Covington East, hoping she can disappear in the crowd.
         He drops her off and just as he is about to pull away a sheriff's department squad cuts him off, pulling into the curb at a crazy angle, where three men disgorge from the vehicle and bolt into the milling crowd on the school grounds. Johnny recognizes them: the Stooges, and there is blood in their eyes. He sighs, knowing that he now must follow them and reach the girl before they do.
        Then begins a frantic race to find the girl, a night long sprint through the maze- like complex, where Johnny and Catherine search it room by room, bumping up against assorted drunks, junks and punks, acid trippers, arteests, a Catholic nun who seems to dog their every move, a drunken newsman, a psychotic sheriff, a Polynesian fortune teller and a nocturnal recluse named ''The Owl'' who tells them that the girl may be found in the complex's fabled forty-seventh room.
        What they do discover along the way is that the secret the girl professes may relate to an unsolved murder that happened ten years earlier.
         The roller coaster ride culminates in a wild dance party in the school's former chapel, with a chord happy local rock band going wild at the altar and gun happy law enforcement shooting it out on the dance floor, sheriff's versus police.
         Woven into the non stop narrative is the story of the unsolved murder, and one local policeman's quest to find, and punish, the man who so savagely and cavalierly murdered a young girl. Will his path cross Johnny's and Cat's, and will they both find what they're looking for in . . .
         . . .The 47th Room . . .




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