Sometimes good things come in small packages. This is true of Karen J. Mossman’s thriller Down by The River: An Electric Eclectic Book. From the first paragraph when Shelby steps off the bus, the feeling of impending doom is palpable. She has returned to the small North Louisiana town where she had grown up to reconnect with her childhood friend Mary-Jo.
It is apparent the girls relied on one another for support during difficult times. Mary-Jo had been writing letters to Shelby telling her about Ricky, her boyfriend. Much like Shelby and Mary-Jo, he was an outcast, an outsider from the town. Now Mary-Jo is missing and Ricky is suspected of killing her. He had already been a suspect in the deaths of his mother and her lover when their trailer caught on fire and they perished.
When she arrives at the trailer shared by Ricky and Mary-Jo, the young man is less than welcoming. He wastes no time in letting Shelby know her friend felt abandoned when the young woman left town. Their conversation is interrupted when the police burst in to arrest Ricky. In spite of his coolness toward her, Shelby speaks up in his defense.
Shelby is shocked to discover another person from her past was now Sheriff of the town. Rawden Hughes is arrogant and Shelby is uneasy around him because she “owed him a favor”. Once Ricky has been taken away in a police car, Shelby sets out walking to her father’s house.
Her father is an alcoholic who has let his appearance go over the years. It seems he has stopped drinking. Like Ricky, he upbraids Shelby for abandoning Mary-Jo. However, he also tells her she was foolish to return to the town. In spite of her father’s lukewarm welcome, Shelby spends the night in her old room.
The next day Mary-Jo’s body is found in the river. When she discusses this with her father he expresses his belief that Ricky killed Mary-Jo. Despite Ricky’s less than warm greeting, Shelby believes he is innocent. She goes to the river where her friend’s body had been discovered and runs into Rawden Hughes. While he admits he hasn’t charged Ricky with the murder, he fully expects him to confess. They speak briefly about the debt she owes him although neither clarifies what he has done for her.
Next Shelby visits Mary-Jo’s family. Like everyone else, they believe Ricky is guilty of murder. Shelby makes it clear she feels Ricky is innocent. Avoiding an argument, she makes polite conversation before returning to her father’s house. She is stunned to find her father is drunk when she gets there. As they argue, her father grows more hostile until he tells her to leave.
Distraught she leaves the house and begins walking toward town. Soon Rawden sees her as he is driving past and offers her a ride. Shelby hesitates and the debt she owes Rawden along with what happened between them comes to the surface. Just as she resigns herself to getting into Rawden’s car Ricky shows up.
As the story progresses secrets from the past are revealed and Mary-Jo’s killer is revealed. This is a riveting story and I couldn’t set it down until I finished. It moves quickly, and the tension builds rapidly. It is a well written and well-paced short story.
Hello, I am Paul White the founder of Electric Eclectic.
I created Electric Eclectic to share the wonderful tale-spinning abilities of our brilliant authors with you, the passionate and enthusiastic reader.
I too love reading great stories, but found searching for my next ‘favourite read’ could be a rather daunting and confusing prospect.
You can look through thousands of free books on offer. But much of the time there are reasons why these books are offered for free, or heavily discounted, by their authors… and not all those reasons are good.
Many reviews tend to be biased or bought, so hold little true integrity.
I knew there must be a better way to find ‘New to You’ authors and ways to sample various genres, without spending a fortune in money or time.
So, I created Electric Eclectic books.
Electric Eclectic books are written by some of the best indie authors around. Electric Eclectic branded books are introductory sample works of each author’s writing style and narrative forms.
Offering these short works also lets you read examples of genres you may not have previously considered but have always wanted to try.
When you read an Electric Eclectic Novelette you will be immersing yourself in some wonderful fictional escapism and truly be on your way to finding your next favourite read.
Once you have read our author’s fantastic tales we are sure you shall want to read their full-length books too.
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