On March 26 at 5:30 we'll be hosting two of our favorite Southern authors working today. Skip Horack and Michael Kardos will return to Turnrow for a spring doubleheader, and both writers will sign and speak about their new books out this month. Skip's The Other Joseph (HarperCollins) has been earning rave reviews from loyal customers who have been enthralled with his work ever since The Southern Cross in 2009. Michael's Before He Finds Her (Perseus) is surging in popularity here in Greenwood, where our customers are steeped in the rich background of brilliant Mississippi mystery writers: Grisham and Iles fans have been loving it.
Roy Joseph splits time between an Airstream trailer in Grand Isle, Louisiana and an oil rig in the Gulf. But his inner existence is punctured with unspeakable grief and the consequences of impulsive mistakes. His older brother Tommy jumped off a chopper into the Persian Gulf in 1991 and disappeared. The Navy presumed him dead. Still grappling with the unknown fate of their son, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph are killed in a car accident shortly afterward. Teenaged Roy is left alone in the shadow of these dual tragedies, and he deals with it about as successfully as you'd expect. Now Roy receives an email from a 15-year-old girl in San Francisco claiming to be Tommy's daughter. Attempting to answer the lingering questions of his cursed family and seeking a future in which he can drop anchor, Roy sets out for the West Coast. His encounters and misadventures along the way (which include backyard llama-raising, hunting endangered fowl in the Rockies, and shopping for a Russian bride) reminded us why we fell in love with Skip's writing in the first place.
And when others speak of Louisiana as a backwater or third-world they usually mean places like these, places that are falling, sinking, eroding into the suck of slinking salt waters, and nowhere as badly or as quickly as this fading fifteen crow-fly miles between my island and the harder ground that finally appeared after the Bayou Lafourche lift bridge. All that was behind me would one day be gone. But I was safe now.... Homes and businesses and solid ground, yes, but now that dark bayou to follow as well. Diesel rainbows, eddies of foamed trash. Ahead: Golden Meadow, Galliano, Cut Off, Larose, then another big bridge. The crossing of the Intracoastal. Agriculture, sugarcane. The backwater becoming a banana republic here. Some of the farmers burning their fields preharvest. The land all around me on fire and smoking.
In Before He Finds Her, Kardos crafts a classic Hitchcockian thriller. One beautiful September day on the Jersey Shore, Ramsey Miller throws a massive block party and invites all the neighbors. After the bash he apparently snaps, strangling his wife to death and fleeing into the Atlantic with his 3-year-old daughter. Police and the FBI never find him and the daughter is presumed dead. But everyone's wrong. The daughter was whisked away into witness protection and has been raised for fifteen years with an aunt and uncle in West Virginia. Now new evidence indicates that Ramsey is back -- and he's coming for the daughter he left behind that fateful night. Kardos skillfully weaves between dual narratives: what was Ramsey thinking the night he ended his world? And will his daughter uncover the truth before her father tracks her down? Every customer we've teased with that synopsis hasn't been able to resist this book, and we're sure you'll enjoy it too.
Standing over her -- she was so, so pretty -- he wanted to wake her, to lie wordlessly beside her at the beginning of their last day together. But the curtains were open, and the light would wake her soon enough. How incredible, he thought, moving toward the window and looking out above the rooftops across the way, that this morning look exactly like every other. There was no way to see those eight other planets dragging themselves mindlessly into position. But they were. He could already feel it, the inevitability.
So drop in with us tomorrow night for a reception and book signing with these two greats at 5:30. Afterward we'll ask them to read a bit and speak on their craft. We'll also ask them about the eerie connection between their two new books: characters presumed dead who nevertheless survived. If that's our theme, you never know who might walk through the door. Don't miss it.