This tale that spans 10 years is crafted to fit the locale, the San Francisco Bay Area, the era, the 1980s to the 90s, and the human foibles of a rich array of characters carefully revealed by author Jennifer Dwight. More a novel than a mystery, The Tolling of Mercedes Bell lulls readers by the rhythmic pace that is the unfolding of a new life for recently-widowed Mercedes and her seven-year-old daughter, Germaine.
Mercedes is an emotionally fragile, yet stubborn quasi paralegal. Her drunkard husband’s single car crash has left her penniless and in desperate need of a job. She and Germaine leave a rental house in Piedmont to settle into a rental cottage in an undesirable part of Oakland. Author Dwight has obviously frequented the areas she describes in minute detail. Coincidentally, my wife lived just blocks from the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland where Mercedes buys her newspapers and she vouched for the authenticity of the writing.
The biggest shift from the minor key of the musical score, yes this is movie material, comes when Mercedes has realized her goal of steady employment at a law firm. Given the era, the notion of a tall, handsome single lawyer becoming infatuated with her is no surprise; however, what follows is eye opening to say the least! Long-time residents of northern California have an advantage in figuring out the conclusion.
Irish novelist Roddy Doyle’s Smile, his 11th novel, opens with middle-aged Victor Forde moving back to his hometown. Victor occupies a small apartment and walks down early each night to a local pub for a pint. One evening he runs into an old [...]
On a cold December night, Hannah Reindel walks out of her house and jumps off a bridge. Her husband understands the reason why, but is devastated. Hannah’s reasons stem back to a different cold December night – a college night rush [...]
After a failed coup attempt of the United States government and the destruction of the organization behind it, all that is left for INTEL 1 is to hunt down the last remaining member of the conspiracy; Nemesis. In their pursuit of Nemesis, Agents [...]