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September 11 & September 12
“On Sept. 11, 2001, Mike Dobbs’ life was forever changed. Reeling from his nightmare experience in New York’s subway as the twin towers collapsed, he retreats from his high-power Wall Street life to his run-down country house. Coping with PTSD he resorts to single malt Scotch to dull the memories of death and destruction. Soon he is embroiled in the life of Eileen Benoit and her 7-year old daughter Megan as they flee Eileen’s abusive ex-husband. Suddenly Mike is thrown into a world he knows nothing about, and he is forced to answer the question, how far would you go for someone you love?”
Author Neil Douglas Newton was trapped in the subway beneath the streets of New York City when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. He’d been evacuated with others from his office in lower Manhattan and was persuaded by a nervous co-worker to board the northbound subway. In retrospect, this was a life-changing decision. Had he opted to follow his instincts and walk uptown to his apartment he might have been on the streets when that ominous cloud of dust ad debris spread across the landscape, joining the other New Yorkers who tried to flee what appeared as a storm of death.
Whether his experience in that subway car with terrified commuters who prayed and cried was more nightmarish than what he might have seen above ground is debatable. It is unlikely he could even answer that question.
Taking that experience and incorporating it into a thriller that chastises the legal system for its lack of responsibility in returning children to abusive parents, Newton has penned a book that examines such touchy subjects as PTSD, alcoholism, and of course, child sexual abuse.
On the anniversary of the attacks, Newton recalls the day it happened. It is not a day he will ever forget. His health was negatively impacted by the debris he inhaled that day as he hurried through darkened streets in a cloud of death. But more damaging was the memory imprinted in his mind.
When you read his book, “The Railroad”, keep in mind that the descriptions of Mike Dobbs’ experience in the subway are based on Newton’s reality. It has been re-released with a new cover by designer Rachel Bostwick who has captured the soul of the tale.
Ask yourself, what would you do if were in Mike Dobbs’ place in that subway car? How do you think your life would be changed? And lastly, how was your life changed on that clear and beautiful September day in New York City?