Heaven’s Prey: the frantic husband

Tony Warner is married to Ruth from Heaven’s Prey. I don’t have a picture of him to share, but he’s average height, a bit on the cuddly side weight-wise, with sandy hair and beard, and he wears glasses.

Tony quirks an eyebrow, shrugs at you and starts talking:

“Cuddly side”? I suppose that beats “chunky.” Hey, is it my fault my wife’s an amazing cook? Not that she did a lot of it after we lost Susan, our niece. We lived on takeout for months.

I thought I was going to lose Ruth, too. She was drowning in grief—and hate. And she’s the Christian. She wouldn’t see the counsellor I found for her, so when it got bad enough I made an appointment for us to see her pastor.

cover art: Heaven's Prey by Janet SketchleyThe look on her face when we pulled into the church lot! You have to understand: I refused to even be married in a church. No offense, but I don’t believe in God, and I’m not going to pretend. If God were real, wouldn’t He have protected Susan and all the other innocent victims of this world?

Ruth’s pastor, John Linton, is an okay guy despite the theology. Since that night, he’s come to the house for supper off and on. He’s single, and I already mentioned that Ruth likes to cook. He never pushes his faith, and doesn’t overstay his welcome.

His advice has helped Ruth. Prayer’s a crutch, but my wife needed it for a while. It’s time to throw it away now. She’s gotten … obsessed … with Harry Silver. This is the filth that murdered our niece, and she’s praying for him, calling him by his first name. It’s ridiculous.

And sometimes when she looks at me I can tell: she prays for me, too. What am I, a reno project? She used to love me the way I am. When she got into faith I figured it was a phase, but it’s not passing. Sometimes I don’t know how much more I can take.

Silver escaped from prison a couple days ago. They’ll catch him. There’s nowhere he can go. I just hope he doesn’t take another victim first.

I was afraid this would start Ruth brooding again, but she seems okay. I bet she’ll insist on going to her prayer meeting tonight even though it’s pouring out. Going—and praying for Silver. I wonder how the others feel about that.

This has to stop. How do I make her understand?


[Author’s note: If you’ve read Heaven’s Prey, Tony has more to say, in response to a reader who asked, “Have you been able to forgive your wife’s abductor?” Since this takes place after the story’s end, I don’t suggest reading it before the novel. Link: After Heaven’s Prey]

Link: Heaven’s Prey page.

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