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Author: C.L. Kraemer
Secrets and lies have a way of working themselves to the forefront even though you would prefer they stay hidden. Lucy Daniels has a deep secret she would like to stay dormant and never erupt like an active volcano. But, walking into the law office on of her best friend’s attorney on the top floor of the Equitable Building would bring the past front in center like the footlights on a Broadway stage. As Lucy joins her friend Cassie in dealing with Cassie’s ex-husband memories of the past flashback in her mind as the lawyer tries to temper Cassie’s tension and anger. An office with plush carpeting, a man in a black Baroni suit, a Rolex watch hidden beneath the sleeve of his silk shirt and an office that exudes wealth and quite austere. Even his desk and its position exude power. Lucy did not did not want to be there and made to feel like an extra appendage on Cassie’s hand made it worse. As Cassie’s demeanor changes to a quivering and helpless woman the lawyer decides to use her feminine wiles to get what she wants from him. Pretending to be a shattered and shriveling flower was not Cassie. But to calm her down the lawyer creates a tranquil scene with the stroke of a key on his remote control. Clouds fill the window, raindrops pelting away calming Cassie down. As Cassie refocuses and explains her complaints against her ex-husband and her demands something overpowers Lucy. Triggered by the lawyer revealing the floor to ceiling windows, something within her snapped. A darkness, a memory a scene so different from where she was flashed back in her mind as the sweet smells of the office were replaced with the stale odor of beer, cigarettes and a full course prime rib mean. Lucy was in another world and when she finally comes back to the present she would never be the same. As she leaves the office with her friend to get lunch she shares her secrete with the reader. Four people died. Lucy blames herself for their deaths. Let’s find out whose tomorrows are about to be shattered and if she will share the hard and fast truth with her best friend.
Cassie is independently wealthy thanks to great investments and a huge divorce settlement. Lucy works two jobs and goes to school. Lucy works in a landscaping business and on the weekends she bartends besides trying to get her teaching degree. When she finally finishes lunch, her best friend if drunk and she learns that she has managed to get her some time off, the memories that she shares while alone in her home allow the reader to know that ten years in the past someone held a special place in her heart as he opens an old photo album and recalls the one person she truly loved. But, as Lucy continues to tell the story in her own voice, as Cassie needs her help to come and stay with her after getting food poisoning from the celery in her Bloody Mary at lunch. But, there is much more to Cassie wanting Lucy to come to stay with her. Cassie wanted to hear the story from the beginning and now let’s find out what happened 1979. What deep dark secret is buried within her for over 30 years? As the demons from her past came front in center in her present her entire demeanor, world and body turned upside down within the short time she was in this man’s office.
Flashback to a bar called Heaven and the scene changes drastically. As we hear Lucy tell the story of one man named Gregg, his hold on her and the many customers she met each night. Then, she refers to one man who seems to be homeless as the Strange One who collects cans in order to be able to get a beer and who often takes open cans from Lucy. But, Richard as this man’s name really was felt he needed to protect Lucy and when she accepts a date with Gregg she finds Richard standing next to her car when she is leaving the bar. But, once home things would change even more as someone left one rose and an envelope outside of her door. Gregg enters with the envelope and when she opens it the note would definitely give her pause for alarm, the sender too and the end result a thorn that cuts her finger.
As Gregg and Lucy got to know each other the author and Lucy let the reader know that Richard is dangerous, delusional and has feelings for Lucy as her protector. Not only that she shares with Cassie and the reader that he is germ phobic and burns not only his clothing one night but his parents die too. Sometimes people become so fixed on someone they develop fantasies and create their own conclusions. As Richard feels that he needs to protect Lucy what will happen will definitely make you wonder why Lucy did not see what Richard was trying to do, why she did not see the signs of his wanting to control her life and become part of it. Why did he feel that everyone was a demon or dangerous? But, Richard had a plan for Lucy and the author let’s you know that something is going to happen and what remains to be revealed as the author returns to the present.
Haunting memories flood back as Lucy tells the story as if it is happening in the present. A weekend at the coast with Gregg, their feelings revealed but hidden from the public and one man who wanted to capture her freedom and her heart in order to protect her from others. Sensing his presence and the fact that she was being followed she confided in Willow another bartender and admitted she was scared but did nothing about it. Added in is Gregg’s sister Audrey who seems to find trouble on her own and wants to find action in any bar she can. But, as Lucy continues on you can hear the pain in her heart and the sadness telling about the one man she truly loved. Learning why Lucy reacted to Donald’s office the way she did is because that is the exact spot of the bar where she worked. Things from the past will come full circle in the present but how after thirty years and what is this deep secret that she is about to reveal to her best friend. Will it change anything?
Warnings happen for a reason and all too often some people ignore them. The ranting of a man who was thought to be harmless turned out to be one that should not have been ignored. One man thought he was going to protect Lucy from getting hurt and from harm. One would change the dynamics of her life forever. One misunderstanding would separate two people who cared for each other. One mistaken incident brought tears to Lucy’s eyes and the vindication of her sadness by another. Thirty years is a long time to feel guilt and remorse. Thirty years is a long time to harbor the grief and anger that she kept within her for so long. When Lucy finishes telling the story you won’t believe the powerful and explosive ending. When one lone gunman walks into the Lucky’s what happens will create more than just fear in Lucy’s heart as she arrives to meet Gregg and is met by as scene that will leave scars within her soul and mind forever. One lone gunman enters the bar and the rest you need to read for yourself. Within fifteen minutes the end result was more than just tragic. Some warnings must be heeded. What is right in front of us we often do not see. Sometimes we wait too long before he tell someone we care. One author who presents a story in a way that is so compelling, heartbreaking and keeps you glued to the printed page until you learn Lucy’s deep dark secret. What that is and what finally happens you need to read for youself.
Although this is a fictional story the events that happened on May 7, 1981 are real and would ring out in this author’s mind and heart forever. A lone gunman walked into the Oregon Town Museum and the end result was many Shattered Tomorrows. Told in the first person in Lucy’s own voice and with the help of her friend Cassie the author shares an event with everyone that the people in this town will never forget. The town of Salem would never be the same. This is one book that everyone should read and let’s dedicate the review to those who lost their lives that day.
Fran Lewis: reviewer