For Every Action There Are Consequences
– Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts
‘Back in my office, I set Jed’s report aside and turned my attention to the witness statements. Neighbors had reported loud noises and shouts coming from the only bungalow in the cul-de-sac. According to a neighbor two houses down, everyone knew about the constant arguing. One statement quoted a woman at the top of the cul-de-sac as saying, “Liticia Tuarence often accused her husband of passing judgment on her. I saw the police arrive more than once when things got out of hand. We went out of our way to ignore the squabbles. This time was different, lots of banging and profanity.” I reread the remark about “passing judgment” and wondered if the woman had chosen the phrase herself or is she’d only repeated Liticia’s words. According to Jed, Wes Tuarence admitted he’d stabbed his wife multiple times though he offered no explanation for his actions and refused to make any further comment. The snapshots stapled to the file told me far more about the man than any written statement ever could. White borders around the photos drew my attention to the gruesome details of each knife wound, giving me a measure of the hatred this man must have harbored.’
Pepper Bibeau is an insurance investigator for Early Settlers Insurance Company. Her boss “Sully” Sullivan has just assigned her to not one but two cases that will take her to Chicago to hopefully solve. The first case is a claim filed by a Doctor Patel who has filed claims for five members of the same family. Due to the heredity of the children’s illness, sickle cell anemia, the probability was that the claim was correct. But due to the lack of blood and other lab work, it became Pepper’s job to check out the claim.
Her second assignment in Chicago came in the form of a favor to Sully. There had been an insurance policy taken out on Liticia that listed her husband as beneficiary and an orphanage as second in line. Sully’s hopes were that Pepper could turn up something, anything, that would help to convict Wes Tuarence of murder and not allow him to claim the proceeds. Sully personally wanted to see it go to the orphanage.
What should have been two simple cases taking just a few days to research ended up taking Pepper into the next week and almost getting her killed. But which case was the real threat? Were the insurance claims legitimate or was the doctor faking claims? Were Liticia and Wes Tuarence in over their heads in something illegal that caused them to flee Chicago or are they victims of the circumstances?
As the number of deaths increased, my list of suspects declined. At one point I really suspected it might be one of the “good guys” gone bad. Actually, I had that suspicion until the end. Was I right? You’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out.