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T. J. MacGregor / Author, MacGregor Tj / Author Pinnacle Books

Through succinct prose and sharp dialogue, MacGregor (The Seventh Sense) spins a haunting tale of classified technologies that warp the delicate fabric of space-time. Drawn outside by a mysterious convergence of birds on his upstate New York property, veterinarian Max Thorn watches as Ellen, his live-in girlfriend of seven years, literally vanishes before his eyes. Max suspects that Ellen's disappearance is connected to the bird gathering, but he has nothing but a handful of mutilated birds and a patch of dead grass to prove his claim. On the lam with a half-million-dollar price tag on his head and his cop neighbor pursuing him relentlessly, Max settles in Piper Key, Fla., where Internet tales of bizarre animal behavior have led him in search of answers. Although MacGregor's ""scientific"" explanations are rather dense at times, her accounts of island-sized pods of dolphins, instantaneous concentrations of insects and unexplainable energy points are chilling nevertheless. Readers will also appreciate the quirky characters--a dolphin center owner, a teenager who possesses the uncanny ability to communicate with animals, an anonymous wildlife columnist and a rich computer whiz kid--who unite to explain these provocative incidents. (Feb.)