Clark I reviews books and sometimes writes them!
A Cape May Diamond
Life brings you many choices and decisions to make along the way. Some more difficult than others as on young man found out. Tom Ryan always thought that he was as the author relates to the reader The King. Tom Ryan always thought that he could do and say as he pleased and the consequences would never be born by him. When Tom is called up to serve for his country he has no choice but to rise to the call. But, fate plays him a lucky and fortunate hand and his young brother Harry devises what he thinks if a foolproof plan to help Tom out but what happens is more than just a turn of twisted fate. Just when Tom is about to graduate college as Harry and Harry is about to be discharged from the army Harry is killed in action and the tables are turned on Tom. Realizing what he did and convicted he is sentenced to five years in prison and trades his thrown for a cell. But, when Watergate occurs and Nixon is impeached the new President pardons all draft dodgers. Winding up working for his aunt and uncle he meets a young lady who just might change his life. Annie Mae Meeham comes into his life almost out of the blue claiming she has no memory of how she came to Cape May or why she is there. Situations come about that Tom decides to take her in for the night but not before learning a body washed up on the shore right where he and this young girl were walking and talking. Taking her in for the night he remembers his time in prison, his archenemy Bruno and now the police want to question him about the man who washed up on the shore. Lying about meeting this girl and knowing she knew the man who was killed, Tom finds himself embroiled in her life. Coming back to the Dew Drop Inn she arrives with his brother’s book in hand as they both confront each other on many different levels. It’s almost as if she knows him better than he knows himself as Annie continues to let the reader know her assessment of Tom, his actions and why they both feel like the world does not care whether they exist or not. Philip Gladden is dead and now the police are trying to find out why. Tom loves to spend his days walking on Higbee beach and collecting what most refer to as Cape May Diamonds, which his aunt creates bracelets and other pieces of jewelry. But, something happens that changes things as his Uncle Mack is rushed to the hospital and a police detective wants to learn more about the man who washed up on the shore from Tom. The truth about what happened to him startles Tom as why would anyone want to attack his uncle and who were the two men in suits that came to the Dew Drop Inn? Questioned again by Police Detective Jill Davis, Tom once again becomes the center of attention for all the wrong reasons.
Tom met Annie and for some reason they both could not admit that there was something that would bind them together. Annie Mae claiming she had not memory of her life and Tom feeling lost in his own private world of defeat, hate and distress. With his sarcastic sense of humor and her serious or comedic wit these two characters provide the dialogue the narration and backdrop for this interesting novel. Author Larry Enright brings to light what happens when the political world changes, a President is dethroned, draft dodgers are releases and pardoned and two lost souls meet in a town that no one really cares about and too many know Cape May. May 19, 1975 would remain in his mind and hers forever as they met for some reason maybe fate or it was meant to be. As Annie speaks to the reader she expresses her concerns and feelings for Tom. As Tom speaks to the reader you get the impression that he’s unsure of why he keeps helping her, allows her to stay with him and wonders why she cares about who he sees and speaks to.
With his Uncle Mack in the hospital he needs to step up and run the Dew Drop. Annie refuses to take no for an answer and together they attempt to deal with all of the crowds, the Senior Special and the breakfast-dinner rush. But, the Inn was broken into and the back door left opened just who was his family a target? Furthermore he still needs to find out what happened to Annie Mae after the burglary at the Dew Drop and just why did she disappear? What is her connection to the man who washed up on the shore? But, the town pitched in and helped him get the Dew Drop back in business and one police detective proved to be a really good friend.
Two men came into town and explained to both Tom and his Aunt Mindy it would be wise to sell out. Innuendos made, inadvertent threats and Tom calls Jill to help him but what is the real reason anyone would want the property in this town and is this linked to the death of Phillip Gladden? Throughout the novel whether she is physically present or not we hear thoughts of Annie Mae as she relates the events through her eyes, where she thinks Tom is going but never why she is there. As Tom starts to piece the puzzle together you learn about more deaths, more accidents and people selling off their property and Realty Company hired to handle the sales. With his Uncle not answering questions, his aunt worried about paying for the hospital and the town on the decline just what can Tom do to save the Dew Drop, what part does Annie have and why did the police close all of these cases?
As Tom helps the police with their investigation he finds out something interesting related to the real estate company and an article in a back issue of a paper dealing with Gambling and Casinos in Atlantic City. Added in he hopes to find out more about the detective who was fired and left town and suspicion is cast upon the doctor who seems to be buying up the property in Cape May. Just how will these all link together still remains to be seen.
As Tom’s uncle is to be released from the hospital he works hard to learn why. Critically injured and definitely not stable enough to go home he searches for answers as some turn a blind eye, doctors comply and one medical examiner and doctor might have gone rogue. Who is behind everything and why are two police departments involved? What is the link to the governor, the doctor and the police chief? Just how far would some go to get what they want?
Bribery, murder, the mob, fraud and racketeering was how many filled their bank accounts but one young man whose persistence and drive would not let himself or the rest down as he proves himself not just to the town but just maybe to himself. Where does Annie Mae wind up? What about his relationship with his family when things get tough and his uncle and aunt decide to leave Cape May? What will be the final fate of this town? Will anyone find Cape May Diamonds worth more than the price of Quartz? Once again author Larry Enright takes the reader inside the hearts and mind of the Ryan family and allows everyone to get to know the read Tom. Love, friendship, loyalty and trust and one town that will never give up on itself.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Let’s give this book: FIVE REAL CAPE MAY DIAMONDS!