Kathryn Ascher's novel On The Line is the second book in The Rocky Creek series and it begins where the first book, What it Takes ended. It's a well-written story of two sisters, their choices and relationships.
"Ladies and gentlemen, by the time you see this, I will be dead. But first, let me introduce myself. My name is Richard Wagoner. While I may be a nobody to most of you, I am a husband, father, son and brother, and to one special woman that you all know and love, I am a brother-in-law."
Richard outlines his plot to kill himself and his son while his wounded sister-in-law, Kelsey watches. He ends his video with the following statement:
"Ladies and gentlemen, Officer Nathan Harris, one of our trusted boys in blue has been taking his job description a little too seriously. It seems he thought he needed to protect and serve my wife, and he did it quite thoroughly. if I were a betting man, I would put money on him being little Zoe's father."
Janelle Wagoner is shocked to watch her late husband's video on television. As she listens to his words, she realizes that her entire life is unraveling in front of millions of people. Richard's words drive this story and his presence is felt during the novel.
Kathryn Ascher presents an intriguing, well-written story of two women, Janelle and her sister actress Kelsey Morgan. Kelsey and Janelle are very close. In fact, Janelle and Richard are raising Kelsey's son as their own. The sisters share many secrets with each other and keep a few secrets to themselves. Ms Ascher portrayal of the sister's relationship with their mother, Mary Morgan, and the impact of two generation of domestic and verbal abuse are well documented and expertly researched. Loved the scenes at Richard's funeral services when Mary and Richard's sister verbally attack Janelle.
Richard's video alters Nathan Harris' life as well. Nathan has loved Janelle for years and was deeply hurt when she married Richard. Now, he is dealing with several important issues; he's been suspended from his job and he may be a father. Nathan is under a lot of stress. His role in Richard's death is being investigated and he needs to decide if he should he forgive Janelle and become a father to his daughter.
I liked the continuity between What it Takes (book one in the series) and On The Line. Characters appeared in book books and the crossover plot lines which began in book one were resolved in On The Line. I feel that readers should read What It Takes first to understand background information provided. The characters are multi -faceted and realistic -- the author writes a great villain and a nasty mother--and the plot had enough intrigue and twists to keep me invested in the story.
Looking forward to the next book in the series which is due out next year!
Reviewed by Susan Gorman.
Copy of book provided by NetGalley
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