Reviewed by Molly Martin
by Charles B Neff
Bennett & Hastings
Paperback: 276 pages, May 30, 2014, ISBN-13: 978-1934733868
As Bebe Sorensen, local historical archivist, is getting ready to mount the outside flight of stairs of History House, she hears an unexpected noise followed by the advent of a murky figure, mask covering much of his face, and holding a lengthy cylindrical object. That accidental meeting with Herb, custodian, wholly intimidated Bebe, Executive Director of the Swiftwater and Portal Historical Society so critically that she began her predictable check of the museum stunned and apprehensive. All seemed satisfactory. Nonetheless something nagged at her. At the foot of the staircase leading to the third story, Bebe noted a piece of paper on the floor. She supposed it might have been torn from a computer print-out, odd. Tomson family records was typed on the fragment. Opening the door to the storage room, Bebe soon observed the usually tidy files were now in some disorder. Whenever possible Bebe shied from interaction with others concerning most matters; under the circumstances, with her being the director and all, Bebe did feel obliged to request that a police officer be sent over to help evaluate the situation. From that commencement; the chronicle moves rapidly onward wherein a chary death filled with jeopardy for those committed to learning the solution to what may be a homicide.
In the Pacific Northwest Cascades Mountains misfortune is developing in the midst of acrimony centered on an old family legacy. A troubled marriage in addition to contesting regarding ancestral land rights, compounded with a suspicious death, which looms over the lives of those endeavoring to decide the cause only adds to the problem.
A homegrown business having problem keeping afloat financially, siblings who are more than simply disagreeing with one another, tribal connections, a surreptitious cabin deep in the woods, a blank envelope jam-packed with vital official papers, and even the potential for a new and unanticipated liaison; all of this and more are profoundly involved in the anecdote.
I found characters to be well fleshed, credible, some are not completely likeable, on the other hand. that is what we find in life in general. Situations and locales are dynamic, discourse is realistic, convincing and set down in satisfactory manner. Movement of the narrative grips the reader at the inception, clenches reader attentiveness with a powerful grasp from opening lines to the last paragraphs and leaves the reader with a sentiment of a saga full of twists and turns.
Fractured Legacy is Neff’s 6th in a succession of works set in the Cascades; a milieu he knows well.
I like a multifaceted story line in which a red herring or two hovers to perhaps move the reader awry, and demands the reader pay close attention, dig deep and remain involved with the narrative. Tension swiftly begins, builds and is decided in satisfactory custom in this well-constructed thriller.