Secrets of the Tunnels
by L.C. Hayden
Review by Mel Jacob
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781518814167
Date: 20 November 2015 List Price $13.75 Amazon US / Amazon UK
A complicated story of abuse, murder, valuable artifacts, and love highlights Connie Weaver, a woman determined to regain custody of her young son from her abusive ex-husband, and stay alive. However, it's sometimes difficult to tell friends and allies from enemies in this family saga.
Married to her childhood sweetheart, the scion of a rich family, Maria Consuelo de la Fuente suddenly discovers her husband is a lying, womanizing, abusive criminal. Determined to escape, she takes their son and heads out in her car. Capture soon follows and her son is taken away. Eventually, despite attempts to blacken her character, she obtains a divorce, but not custody of her son. She is allowed visits under strict supervision.
Meanwhile, her father-in-law has hidden valuable Chinese artifacts at the request of a friend. Only he and his son know where the items are hidden and how to reach them. The men who built the tunnel traps are all dead. His son arranged the killings. A rival Chinese tong also wants the treasures. While the elderly heads of both groups want the artifacts preserved, the younger members want to sell them for money.
Connie gains the cooperation of a reporter looking for a big story. Convinced her ex and his father are involved in the death of a workmen, she struggles to find clues to what happened to men. She soon learns the young man was one of a crew who worked for her father-in-law and all of them have disappeared. One of them was a father-to-be and looking forward to the birth of his child.
Not for the squeamish, the novel is complex and filled with unpleasant people with abusive sex, greed, and murder on their minds. It combines crooks, killers, police corruption, and mysterious ancient artifacts, a treasure hunt in booby-trapped tunnels, a woman finding herself, and a reporter after a big news story. It's almost too much for one novel.
L.C. Hayden has a number mysteries published by Five Star Books and others. She has also written a paranormal novel, several children's books, and advice to writers. She is adept at building suspense and holding the readerís interest.