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Warning! A Bonnie Moss Journalistic Adventure!
Author: Anna Shaw
The outer shell of an egg is quite fragile. Place it in your hands and hold it too tightly and it will crack and fall apart. Take a piece of blown glass and gently place it on a glass table. What would happen if the table accidentally tips? What will happen to the beautifully crafted piece of glass? Bonnie Moss and so many others are about to find out just how fragile life can be, the dangers that can cause their lives to fall apart or break at the hand of crooked politicians, contractors and nature.
Bonnie Moss is a news reporter attending the Torrance County Fair. Observant, smart and definitely hardworking she becomes embroiled in some dangerous situations while covering the fair and photographing the events. While speaking with the officer in charge of Dixie’s Animal Control, they observe a dangerous tiger, which is part of one of the exhibits off his leash and able to roam freely. Approaching the trainer and asking him to please take all safety precautions, they are surprised at his unorthodox response or lack of concern for spectators. But, there is much more. Arkansas where this story takes place has been riddled with small yet dangerous earthquakes and tremors that ignite at any time. Hoping that these quakes will distract the locals and those in charge of building codes one politician has enlisted the aid of a corrupt contractor to build a shopping mall using downgraded materials because they are less expensive. Safety does not come into play just profit.
Martin Anders an on air newscaster for one of the local radio groups is working the fair along with Bonnie. While they are discussing the fair and the quakes something happens that distracts them both. As tremors come closer and the rides and exhibits need to be closed down one albino tiger runs lose and what happens next could not only injure many but kill on little girl if no one gets to her first. One judge gave permission for this tiger to be allowed to stay off his leash. What happens you won’t believe as many lives are endangered before the solution comes to pass.
Nathaniel Holmes is rich, greedy and coldblooded. He is behind the development of the Dixie Sunshine Mall. At the age of 32 he has risen to the top of the business world. Working in an investment brokerage firm he hoped to become a full partner. But, not everything turns out the way you want it. What his partners found out cost him more than just his job. The words embezzler and crook are only two of the words that define his character. But, life dealt him a different hand and he was lucky. When his father passed away he left him millions enabling him to open his own investment counseling business and because no one was able to prove what he had done before he was able to return to Dixie unscathed.
Bonnie Moss was not only a news reporter and photographer but she did investigative reports, created special design sections for the paper dealing with events and festivals. Entering the newsroom her editor motions for her to come into her cubicle to discuss the gravity of the quakes. As the author whose research is extensive shares with the reader information concerning these quakes, where Bonnie got her information for her upcoming articles and just how these quakes come about. Reading the prologue you will learn even more and just when and how these quakes affected the area and state where this novel takes place.
Why doesn’t Dixie have a disaster plan and when will Judge Marge Wilson decide to create one? With phone calls about the quakes and the fact that the United States Geological Survey maintained that most of the quakes were over New Madrid, something had to be done in case it got worse and a plan had to be in place.
Something happens at the site of the new mall while at the same time Bonnie is meeting with the Dixie Chamber of Commerce to discuss funding and the quakes. As another reporter is called to the site of the mall we learn about the structural damage, those injured and the possible cause attributed to the quakes. But, is that the real reason and when Holmes shows up and discusses it with the site engineer why does the engineer go with his assessment?
Lies, deceits, corruption not only in the government but in the business world too. Many different players will benefit from the mall but what happens when the specs and the work are under par and the end result just might mean lives? How desperate is one businessman to cut corners at the expense of an entire community?
Suspicions rise and the three close friends begin putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Holmes was hoping that everyone’s focus would be on the quakes and not on the mall project hoping to funnel money from the project into his own bank account. But, can they prove it and what will the end result be for the people of Dixie?
A council meeting is quite revealing as the quakes and the ramifications of them are being swept under the rug in order to highlight the opening of the mall. But, strange events are happening all over including at the Animal Shelter as well as the structural damage at the mall that has yet to be brought to light and will be fixed after the opening. But, events that follow will leave the reader wondering why so many want to ignore the danger of the quakes and are more concerned about the opening of the mall. The lakes are becoming filled with dead fish and one man is found dead. Suspicions rise but will anyone really look deeply into the cause of these unusual events? There are many truths that will come out as one young wife finally learns what kind of business her husband is really into and one young woman would have to ward off a stalker. With the information Marty and Bonnie have gathered about the quakes and their meetings with CERI and other agencies why does the Mayor want to cover it up? The end result just remains to be seen as the big quake might hit but will anyone take heed to the warnings before it is too late?
The end result and what happens you will have to read for yourself. The starling events will definitely make you think twice about the gravity of quakes and what happens when corners are cut and the public needs to have a more watchful eye. Interesting book and definitely researched quite well. If you look up the CERI you will learn see as I did today the startling results as earthquakes are reported daily in so many places in the world. Bonnie, Marty and Ephraim work hard to get the word out but will they succeed and will they survive the big one? Let’s hope they work together to solve more mysteries. Some outer shells can never be repaired. Bonnie is really an interesting character and the newspaper staff is quite good. But, you have to love Ephraim and Marty. Find out why when you read this book.
Fran Lewis: reviewer