Monday, September 15, 2014

Real Murder: Character Guest Post

Joshua Thornton: Prosecutor, Father, Lover, and Newly-Wed Husband
By Lauren Carr
Review (ebook), Character Guest Post

If you think tracking down murderers is tough, try raising five children on your own. No one sets out to be a single father. When I was a kid and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a Navy Commander and Perry Mason.
I was blessed to have achieved both of those goals.
Never, did I wanted to be a single father— let alone to five children.
But, my first wife, Valerie, got lonely with all my travels in the Navy and wanted company. So, she had five children. Then she died suddenly and left me to raise them alone. Sometimes I can hear her laughing from up in heaven.
Do you know what it is like to live in a house with five children—four of them teenagers? It’s like living in a hormone palace. Young love and mood-swings and acne abound. While I love them all very much, I craved to be alone and to hear the sweet sound of silence.
So, you would think that after four of them went off to college, leaving only Donny, my seventeen year old, six-foot-four inch, one-hundred-and-ninety pound baby at home, that I would embrace the opportunity to have a sliver of sanity and silence back.
In walked Homicide Detective Cameron Gates from the Pennsylvania State Police.
Was I looking for love? No, I was looking forward to being alone for the first time in my life.
Was I looking to remarry? Well, I have to admit, I loved being married. I loved my wife Valerie. I loved having a partner to share my life with. But was I looking for it? Maybe. Maybe not.
But when love comes knocking on your door, I don’t believe in shutting the blinds and pretending I’m not home. It was glorious the first time around. Why would I refuse to get back on that ride again?
I knew Cameron was it within days of meeting her. Our first “date” was at a crime scene for a cold case.
Months later, we eloped.
That was when the problems started. Seems two of my children didn’t take the elopement well. It wasn’t that they disapproved of Cameron, who is vastly different from their mother. Valerie never packed a nine-millimeter semi-automatic. A couple of my felt as if we had shut them out of this new chapter in our lives together.
The best way to proceed, I concluded, was to give Tracy and J.J., my eldest son, time. Eventually, they would get over it. They would get to know Cameron and forget all about our not having a wedding.
Circumstances would not let that happen.
Weeks after Cameron and I said, “I do,” in front of my pastor at our church, a police cruiser was discovered at the bottom of the lake in the park. The body in that car was turned out to be one of my best childhood friends, a sheriff’s deputy who had disappeared eighteen years ago.
I was the last one to see Mike Gardner alive.
As luck would have it, my daughter Tracy had been secretly dating Hunter Gardner, Mike’s son. So, she came rushing home.
The tension between Tracy and Cameron was palatable. So, I did the only thing I could do—I went for a walk. When women start fussing in the kitchen, the best defense is a fast retreat.
I was chasing Irving, Cameron’s cat who likes to terrorize a man in the neighborhood who drinks too much (Did I mention that Irving is a twenty-five pound Maine Coon who looks like a skunk?), when I discovered the body of Dolly Houseman, our elderly neighbor.
For years, she has been telling everyone that someone had killed one of her girls. No one believed Dolly because she had never been married and had no children. So, we all assumed that she was senile.
Cameron believed her, though. She firmly believed that this was a Real Murder.
Hours after Cameron talked to her about the details of the murder, Dolly Houseman was dead. It wasn’t long after that we discovered that this little old lady who used to babysit me was in reality a retired madam with a lot of secrets and her girl was a prostitute, whose murder Mike was investigating when he was murdered.
Oh, yeah, the discovery of Mike’s body and the murder of Dolly Houseman uncovered a lot of deeply hidden secrets that sent Cameron and I in all different directions in our quest for the truth about what had happened to Mike Gardner. Our investigation ended up taking us back fifty years to the start of everything.
It’s a good thing Cameron and I work well together—both at home and on the case. Love has everything to do with it. That’s what makes us –
The Lovers in Crime.

You can see my review of Real Murder here. 
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