Readers will find several support protagonists – some are friends and working associates of Violet and the other support characters come from the paranormal world or as “Doc” calls them – ghosts. All of the support protagonists have well developed back stories. The key support characters are “Doc”, a financial adviser and is Violet’s lover, Old Man Willis Harvey, Violet’s body guard, Violet’s best friend Natalie, Violet’s Aunt Zoe, and detective Cooper. There are all sorts of humorous characters and some antagonists who add to the chaos that Charles weaves throughout this suspense filled mystery.
The plot continues to develop around Violet’s life and how she deals with work, murder, family issues, and ongoing problems with Violet’s estranged family and ex-boyfriends. Violet’s biggest problem are those coming out of the information she finds as she and “Doc” talk with ghosts who live in properties she has listed. They share in the formation on murders past and present. Violet has to find a way to pass her ghost stories on to Detective Cooper and keep him from throwing her into the jail for being involved in the murders.
Violet is working hard to manage her life and raise her children when people from the past keep adding issues and concerns challenging Violet at every turn. Her sister and ex-boyfriend upset Violet’s day-to-day life. Charles’ well-developed story never slows down and she is always helping readers understand to expect the unexpected.Violet’s Aunt Zoe provides her moral support as well as a home to raise her two children. In Charles’ new book we see a new side of Aunt Zoe adding to the plot’s chaos with her strange antics and her connection to the paranormal world.
This murder mystery is filled with action and twist and turns that will appeal to Charles’ readers. I enjoy how Charles adds intrigue and surprises throughout the story, never giving her readers a hint as what is going to happen next.
“An Ex to Grind in Deadwood” takes readers on a ride through Deadwood where they will find visits from ghosts, unpredictable mystery almost around every curve, and well developed characters both good and bad. Charles makes sure readers know who the players are and their roles in this page turning mystery. Before readers arrive at the spine tingling end they will accept all the characters from Deadwood both alive and dead as a gang of unique and interesting people. Without hesitation I recommend “An Ex Grinds in Deadwood” as a must read and Ann Charles earns my 5 star ranking
REVIEW OF C.J.LYONS FAREWELL TO DREAMS: A NOVEL OF FATAL INSOMNIA 4/18/2014
POSTED ON GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/914187085
If you are a fan of C.J. Lyons, you will not be disappointed, nor surprised at the fast pace of FAREWELL TO DREAMS: A novel of FATAL INSOMNIA. From page one all the way to the end. I gave this story a 5 star ranking because C.J. earned it one word at a time. Being an ER doctor turned author, no one can tell a story of what goes on in an ER better than C.J. Lyons. She uses her knowledge of the stress of life and death decisions and helps us understand the life of an ER doctor.
Lyons story of an ER doctor, Angela Rossi and strange happenings in her ER room. She meets Detective Matthew Ryder as a patient. Ryder is the new detective assigned to work with the Advocacy Center.
The ER and the Advocacy Center is dealing with attacks of young women who have all been tortured and seem to have mental issues. That is part of Angela’s stress. The next area of her stress is the strained relationship with her family. Angela feels the center of her stress is all symptom’s loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and strange feelings in her hands arm. Angela is ignoring the symptoms for now.
We find even the best laid plans sometimes take on a life of their own. ER Doc, Angela Rossi, meets Detective Matthew Ryder, and while she is treating him and talking about the advocacy centers work, an emergency patient arrives on the ER drive entrance. She has multiple gunshots and is not doing well. C.J uses the arrival of the gunshot victim to insert the first major twist in the story.
Lyons explains how Angela has to use her skills and knowledge to save a dying patient. Rossi cracks the patient’s chest and reaches into her chest and is holding the patient’s heart in her hand. As she lifts the heart all of Angela’s symptoms take over, everything seems to stop, Rossi hears the patient talking to her. In addition to telling Rossi, she forgives her for not saving her life, but the patient tells Rossi about a girl who is in danger.
The message (you will have to read the book) stuns Rossi. Rossi comes back to action finding the Detective Ryder helping her with what needs to be done to keep her breathing. Ryder tells Rossi the patient is a nun at the neighborhood Catholic church just three blocks away. When the crash crew arrives, Rossi gets to work. Ryder starts interviewing the EMT and guards to gather details of how the patient arrived at the hospital ER.
Now all of this action takes place in the first couple of chapters of FAREWELL TO DREAMS. C.J. has always kept us on pins and needles, but this story is going to be the talk of the genre of romantic/mystery/thrillers, because it has something for all of us. This murdered nun becomes the stimulus of the investigation. Suspense builds something is not right at the church, the area around the church, the owners of the businesses, the politicians, two major crime families, and designer drugs.
Rossi comes in contact with unsavory people; Ryder effort to understand her, and her ex-husband and her estranged family are suddenly being inserted into Rossi’s life. Lyons does an excellent job of weaving each of Rossi’s strained family relationships into an important part of the story. Everyone that matters to Rossi seems to expect her to fix things.
Ryder is not sure where Rossi is getting her information (Maybe Rossi does not know) but so far she has not been wrong. When he finds out what is going on with Rossi, he is stunned.
While all of these symptoms getting worse, Rossi finally decides to find out what is going on with her health. Lyons does a great job of describing what is going through Rossi’s mind as she goes to see her neurologist. Whatever is causing the problem could be the end of her ER career or not. Her neurologist is a close friend and Rossi knows she will tell her what she needs to know. Rossi’s neurologist explains how Fatal Insomnia might affect her life.
Rossi does not like the tentative answers. Here is where Lyons shows us her writing skills as she takes Angela through much of the drama of bad news but helps her she what she needs to do. You have to read FAREWELL TO DREAMS to know how this fast roller coaster takes the turns, twists, and provides a great surprise ending.
As I have said at the beginning of my review, FAREWELL TO DREAMS is a fast paced medical, romantic, suspense, thriller, a unique fatal illness surfacing, crime families fighting each other, and is true Lyons story of struggle and hope with a great ending. If you are not a fan, you are in for a treat, and I think you will be joining the Lyons fan club.
Everything starts in the ER, and it ends in the ER. I recommend C.J. Lyons, FAREWELL TO DREAMS: A novel of FATAL INSOMNIA as a must read and give it 5 stars.