Brake Failure


Why is Ruby's name on Sheriff Hank Gephart’s lips as he lies in front of Shady Acres Retirement Home, shot? Ruby, newly married to Edward and looking forward to living in Paris, is sorely disappointed when Edward is transferred to Kansas City. Her thought is that if her husband can win a certain account for the advertising agency he works for, they will end up in Paris. Meanwhile, the shy hypochondriac that she is, Ruby Mortimer-Smyth decides that she must try to make friends to survive in the foreign town.

This story captures the reader’s interest with characters possessing strong, believable backgrounds; unique voices and personal quirks that highlight the diversity of human nature. Drug use is depicted. While most of the conflict is believable, Ruby’s reaction to Roxanne breaks the spell, because the reader knows more about the situation than Ruby does at the time. While the most interesting parts of the book are told in flashback – creating a solid timeline – the reader is periodically brought back to the present, which may create confusion at first. Suspension of disbelief is helpful as one gets further into the book, and the epilogue should not be missed for a “happily ever after”.

One half of a recently married, fictive British couple, Ruby’s story is a page-turner. Set in the months before Y2K, this character-driven story is delightfully unpredictable 

Heather R. Nielsen