When Nothing Else Was Right – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds
The door to the back office was suddenly flung open and all three hundred pounds of Vinnie, the accountant, filled the doorway. “Marko, Jake, come in here.” Jake rose from his chair. He didn’t like the sound of Vinnie’s voice and his fat face was all flushed like he was upset over something. “What’s wrong?” Jake asked, trying to sound casual. “Just get in here,” Vinnie said. Marko stood at the door and motioned for Jake to enter Vinnie’s office in front of him. Jake shrugged and walked through the door ignoring the prickles of fear that were racing down his spine. Marko closed the door quietly behind them and looked at Vinnie who had moved back behind his massive metal desk. “Is this some kind of a joke?” Vinnie asked, directing his question to Jake. “What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “You don’t, huh? Well, The Silver Moon took in a hundred grand and change Saturday. Barney’s had some high rollers that stayed all night Friday and half the day Saturday, so their take was twice that much and Maury booked ten g’s on Saturday night. “Yeah,” Jake said, feeling the sweat beginning to drip down into his shoes. “How much is missing?” Marko asked before Jake could say anything else. “All of it.” “That’s impossible. It was all there when I put it in the safe yesterday.” Vinnie took the duffle bag and turned it upside down on the desk. Scraps of newspaper fell out. “Beth.” Jake spat out her name like it was a morsel of spoiled food. “Beth took it.”
Jake Carlson is a money runner for Marko Senese. The day before Jake was to turn in the weekend collections, his wife Beth disappeared. He had watched as she went into the convenience store but never saw her come out. How could a woman 6 months into her pregnancy walk out of a store and not be seen. Even his search of the store turned up nothing. All he could assume was that she either slipped past him and had gone home or she had left him again and was with her mother. He didn’t feel that she had any reason to leave him. He hadn’t abused her since she became pregnant. But again, the search of their home and a call to her mother had turned up nothing. Now Jake finds himself in real trouble. Marko’s money is missing and the only thing that could have happened to it was that Beth had taken it.
Dana Sloan is an investigative reporter. She and her boyfriend Al Bruno, a detective with the Crescent Hills PD, had stopped by the convenience store while Jake was searching for Beth. They both assumed she would make it home when she was ready. But when Beth’s mother asked that Dana look into her daughter’s disappearance, concern for Beth’s well being prompted Dana to do a little research on her own. And when Jake admitted to the police officers that came to interview him that he had killed Beth, Bruno decided he too needed to do a bit of researching.
Two murders and an attempt on Dana’s life seem to be connected to this case and send Dana all the way to Los Angeles as she follows her theories that Beth is alive and well, at least for now. She even voices her opinion to Marko himself after he pays her a visit and asks that she find Beth. It wasn’t until Dana heard a song being sung by an actress in one of her mother’s soap operas that she knew she was right. And the real clincher was when the credits rolled after the show and Dana recognized the name of an attorney’s daughter who had been missing for 19 years. Now Dana must get to Beth before anyone else does and bring her back to Crescent Hills.
Dana and Bruno actually work on this case together. In the past, Bruno has tried his best to keep Dana from becoming involved in cases that caused him to fear for her safety. Dana, on the other hand. stayed irritated with Bruno for withholding information in cases that she felt could be solved with a little help from him. He still wants to get married and settle her down. She wants to continue her career and hold off a bit. Who will win this battle?
When Nothing Else Was Right is, as usual, another Costa book that kept me guessing. I did come up with the right murderer about ¾ through the book but the situation with the missing daughter was a surprise to me. This was a real page turner.
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com