by Cynthia Chow
Details on how to win a copy of Lost Legacy at the end of this review along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.
In the rural Vance Township of Pennsylvania, farm accidents are neither unexpected nor unusual. Less predictable though, is paramedic Zoe Chambers’ encounter with a hanging body in a barn and an infuriated Carl Loomis demanding the body be removed so he can finish storing his hay. His callousness can be somewhat excused, since the barn’s owner, Jim Engle, recently diagnosed with lung cancer, had told his friends he planned to kill himself.
There’s a problem though, as the autopsy reveals Engle had healthy lungs. This was only the latest death by hanging within his barn. Nearly forty years ago the presumed murder-suicide of brothers left Zoe Chambers’ great-uncles dead and Zoe’s mother blamed Jim.
Self-absorbed, needy, and narcissistic, Kimberly Chambers Jackson has descended on Zoe for a visit, along with Zoe’s stepfather Tom. As much as Tom has been a loving parent, Zoe has never recovered from the death of her father twenty-seven years ago. She’s shocked at the discovery of an unmailed letter found beneath Engle’s sofa. In it, he apologizes to Kimberly and declares that Gary Chambers did not die in the car accident.
A Monongahela County paramedic and deputy coroner, Zoe’s determined to use her qualifications to investigate the death of her father as she clings to the hope he is still alive. Her good friend, Police Chief Pete Adams, interprets the note differently and fears Zoe will again be forced to endure the loss. Tom Jackson’s close relationship to Engle could mean that she could lose the father she has now, as Tom becomes further implicated in the deaths.
Viewpoints shift between Zoe and Pete to reveal a friendship both would like to develop into more, but are fearful of losing what they have now. Pete has his own parental issues, as his sister left their Alzheimer’s afflicted father with him. Henry Adams’ tendency to wander off proves to be both frustrating and heartbreaking.
The dichotomy of this small community is that everyone seems to know everyone else’s business, yet secrets manage to remain hidden for generations. Zoe is professional, skilled and dedicated. She has a vulnerability that makes her pursuit to know the truth about her father understandable even as the reader fears that the results could be even more tragic. As Zoe and Pete conduct their investigations into the current and past deaths and the possible connections, there’s an underlying sense that these secrets could explode the community.
The inevitable change of relationships between children and their parents is deftly explored as the adult children assume responsibility and redefine their own identities. Strong writing, likable protagonists and enough humor to counteract the serious themes make this an enjoyable second in a series and promises even better installments for the future.
To enter to win a copy of Lost Legacy, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Legacy,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 27, 2014. U.S. residents only.
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Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL!