Nothing about this story made any sense to me at all. The inane heroine behaves in totally irrational ways, the inane hero is even worse, the grandmother gives new meaning to the word gullible, inane Villain #1 is too-stupid-to-live, really inane Villain #2 is even dumber, and Villain #3 is just plain weird. Also, if you haven’t read The Carriage House, I’m not sure you’re going to understand who half the characters are in this book or what in the world they’re talking about. Or why Susanna confides in them but not in her husband.
Successful financial analyst Susanna Galway is married to Texas Ranger Jack Galway. After twenty years of marriage and twin teenage daughters, their happy marriage seems to be on the skids. Why? No good reason I could see (except a complete lack of communication).
Beau McGarrity, a man accused of murdering his wife, shows up one day in Susanna’s kitchen to beg her to convince her husband that he’s innocent. Why? No good reason I could see (like she’s going to say, “Oh, you know what, hon? I think McGarrity’s innocent,” and her husband is going to say, “Well if you think so, hon, he must be. I’ll drop all charges.”). Susanna just happens to press the record button on her daughters’ conveniently handy tape recorder, and gets the whole conversation on tape.
Alice Parker, the police officer who found the late Mrs. McGarrity’s body and who was a personal friend of the deceased, shows up a few minutes later on Susanna’s doorstep. Susanna give the lady cop the tape, packs her bags, rounds up her daughters and flees to Boston to visit her grandmother for a few weeks. Why? What, you’re asking me?
Over a year later, Officer Parker, who has just been released from prison after having been convicted of tampering with the McGarrity crime scene evidence, decides the best way to make enough money to relocate to Australia is to blackmail Beau McGarrity. She tells him she knows there is a tape and that Susanna has it in Boston (which is a lie, since Alice still has it in her own possession since she never gave it to the authorities either!).
To make all this seem authentic to McGarrity, Alice goes all the way to Boston where she befriends Susanna’s grandmother so she can pretend to break into her house so she can pretend to steal the tape so she can pretend she never had it so she can collect from McGarrity. Why? Apparently to prolong the plot and show just how stupid Alice really is. She also magically meets an acquaintance/enemy of Susanna’s, with whom she forms some kind of ditzy alliance.
About a hundred pages into the book, Jack finally shows up in Boston (complete with cowboy hat and boots). When Jack tries to talk to his wife about all this, she refuses, then packs up and sneaks off with her daughters and grandmother to her new cabin in the mountains near Blackwater Lake. Why? Because she’s an idiot!
It took me literally weeks to get through this book. I picked it up and put it down hundreds of times. It was like some sort of punishment that I had to endure. Susanna is being stalked, but does she tell her Texas Ranger husband? No. Susanna gave an incriminating tape to a woman who was eventually convicted of a crime while the murderer got off, but does Susanna tell her Texas Ranger husband? No. Susanna goes to Boston for a few weeks, which turn into fourteen months, but does she ever sit down with her husband and tell him why? No. Susanna’s business has been booming and she is now worth ten million dollars (10 million dollars). Does she ever tell her Texas Ranger husband about their impressive bank account? No. No, you say? No!
Jack finally shows up in Boston to make his wife come home, but she runs off to the mountains. He is hit over the head when he interrupts Alice faking her little breaking-and-entering-in-search-of-the-tape-she-already-has event, after which, he jumps into his car and drives all the way to the cabin during a snowstorm. He arrives, has it’s-been-so-long sex with his wife, throws up, then goes to sleep on the couch. Pretty hot, hm? Wow, anymore at home like you, cowboy?
Since he is Jack Galway, Texas Ranger, he wears that stupid hat and those stupid boots wherever he goes, even though he has no jurisdiction outside of Texas. And … and … and … Well, I could go on, but … why?