Annie Hansen, a young (twenty-four) female schizophrenic private eye, must solve a grisly murder in the small island town of Serendipity, Canada. She is a suspect herself, and her boyfriend Samir and his cousin Pepsi may have been on the scene. A not-so-popular doctor, Dr. William Hubert, and the mayor of Serendipity, Rick Spacey, were both murdered, presumably by the same person, and both in a macabre manner. Mark, a handsome detective, teams up with Annie to help solve the murders. Was it drugs or money that prompted the crimes? Who is MASER, a cryptic message left on the doctor’s charts, and what message remains on Doc Hubert’s laptop memory stick and hard drive that would help Annie and Mark to solve the crimes?
A nurse with a brown belt in karate further complicates the crime scene. There is a morning with a meeting of Narcotics Anonymous, and a missing poker, perhaps the weapon of choice in the grisly killing of the doctor.
Can Annie find the murderer or will the villain strike again? If the villain escapes the small island to the mainland, it will leave Annie with an unresolved crime and a criminal record herself.
Annie works for Lorne O’Halloran, a private investigator hired by the government of British Columbia in Victoria to help the local cops and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to solve the crimes. A former criminal, Annie is hampered in her attempts by her own ‘voices’ and hallucinations, and the cleverness of the criminal.
A potential romance entanglement with the blue-eyed Mark entices Annie to make a positive difference in her appearance, and she grows both in attractiveness and mentality throughout the story. Her mother has left her a float house, where she eventually lives on her own, aided by Mark, her First Nations acquaintances Firewall Eddie and Crazy Leroy, and her own innate curiosity and resiliency.
From the group home where Annie and Samir share a room, to the last romantic scene on her float house, when the mystery has been untangled, Red Herrings lives up to its name, replete with red herrings and information about Samir’s medical condition, mental illness as experienced by Annie and her method of coping with delusions and hallucinations, and the cleverness of a network of friends who help solve a nationally-exposed crime in a small island town.
Targeted Age Group:: MG – Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have attempted in Red Herrings to present a very human yet vulnerable young protagonist, Annie Hansen, who finds love after all, and a success perhaps not applauded by the world at large, an understanding of her illness, and a likely ending to her search for meaning and success in a field that is well suited to the vagaries of imagination that schizophrenia presents. We have many opportunities. I have met so many (Phil who travels on trains, and Don, hello!) who make the most of their handicap, but it is not a disability.
I wish you friendship, love and success, no matter how you measure it, in life and any romance that may, with the rest of humanity, make you happy or not. It’s up to you, my friends, enjoy what God has given you, and don’t let anyone tell you that you are less than the best of humanity. Though a cliché, ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’