by Jacqueline Seewald
Cover Artist: Emory Au
Review by Mel Jacob
Intrigue Publishing Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781940758503
Date: 01 December 2016
Inheriting a mansion and two millions dollars seems like the dream of a lifetime. Then the dream turns into Jennifer Stoddard's worst nightmare when someone appears determined to chase her from her new home and ensure she loses the mansion and the money. When the threats become violent, her estranged old flame steps in, yet Jennifer alone must save herself from a relentless enemy.
When Jennifer Stoddard learns her grandmother has died and left her home and assets to Jennifer, she is saddened by the death, but happy for the house and the money. However, when she learns she must first live in the decrepit mansion for two years, she begins to have second thoughts. Once she accepts the will, her real problems begin.
The mansion needs work, a lot of work. Fortunately, her grandmother anticipated that and provided a fund for the repairs. Jennifer accepts the offer and works with a local contractor to begin the renovations. She is also visited by the head of a local charity who demands she continue her grandmother's contributions to his foundation. Jennifer's explanation that she doesn't have access to the money yet only angers him.
Once the contractor completes some of the renovations, Jennifer moves in and asks her best friend to bring her son to her. The boy is not thrilled. He's unhappy at leaving his friends in New York. After some coaxing and making the acquaintance of a neighbor boy, he agrees to stay for the summer.
Jennifer also encounters the Chief of Police, her teen age crush, but they are both haunted by imagined slights from the past. At first he refused to believe anyone is threatening her. Then, after repeated attempts, he begins to investigate.
Jennifer struggles with limited funds, her son's demands to return to New York, the troubling incidents that become dangerous, the animosity of the Chief, and her own doubts. The contractor informs his brother, the Chief, of things that support Jennifer's claims. The problem becomes who wants the money enough to kill for it.
Seewald provides an interesting mystery with enough suspects and action to keep the reader turning pages. The characters are interesting and two romances provide additional challenges for them. The relationship between Jennifer and the Chief may seem trivial at first, but is deeply rooted in the nature of these two people and their troubled backgrounds.
Seewald has a number of short stories and novels to her credit.