by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Killer Characters, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Upon seeing her friend Laurel Hobbs, Oyster Bay’s five-star restaurant owner Olivia Limoges can’t help but be shocked. The normally perfectly put-together Laurel is completely fraught, disheveled, and jittery. She is being pulled apart from all sides, as Laurel is attempting to raise twin sons, work full time, care for the house and yard, and visit her ailing mother-in-law. Apparently Laurel’s husband Steve is too busy battling with his father over Rachel Hobbs’s hospice care to spare a moment for Laurel, yet his neglectful behavior is nothing new. Olivia and her fellow Bayside Book Writers have never looked fondly upon Steve, and that is a sentiment completely reinforced when she and Laurel discover him in flagrante delicto with his mother’s nurse.
Laurel has an understandably explosive reaction to seeing the couple, but it is Laurel’s threat to burn Stacy Balena like a witch that makes Laurel a suspect when that act horrifically comes true. Far more incriminating is Laurel’s drunken confrontation that not only resulted in her being seen at Stacy’s apartment, but the following blackout that left Laurel with holes in her memory. Olivia’s recent marriage to Police Chief Sawyer Rawlings means that he has to remove himself from the case, but that doesn’t infuriate her any less when Laurel is arrested. The Bayside Book Writers become divided between the men who work with law enforcement and the women who prefer to go rogue, and their friendships is tested and feelings hurt. Olivia is all too aware that her past of being abandoned by fathers has made her distrustful of men, so with the support of her poodle Captain Havilland and Sawyer’s loving patience, it’s not long before the Writers are united in a cause to investigate the life of the hospice nurse, one who may not have had her patients best interests at heart.
As the series seems to end, the thread of melancholy is inescapable. The conclusion delivers the same sentiment, yet it also provides an uplifting mix of joy and hope for the future. Life comes with tragedy, and it is the support of loved ones that keeps people moving on. This is explored first with the nuances involved in hospice care, and continues as it revisits the familiar sites of North Carolina’s Oyster Bay.
This is ultimately very moving novel that will have readers satisfied and secure in the future of all of the characters, which will assuredly have both tragedy and bliss. As Bayside Book Writer Millay Hollowell states “How many contented, well-balanced, highly functioning people write novels? Let alone get published? Writers are damaged. We have haunted pasts. We either drink or eat too much. Our sleep is constantly interrupted by wacko imagery and snippets of dialogue.” Hopefully that is not true for all authors, but here readers are free to rejoice in the chaotic lives of these fictional aspiring writers.
To enter to win a copy of Killer Characters, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “killer,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 20, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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