Road Trip – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
"Molly was the only person who knew what really happened in the cave and Anna realized she was never going to tell. When asked, Molly met her eyes with a dark, glazed look and walked away. Not one more word was ever said about J. D. by her; not about J. D. or the man he had killed – the itinerant preacher serial killer Charlie Callahan, whose hobby had been collecting and mummifying human heads. They both disappeared. Neither came back, and the residents of Beaufort Falls didn’t care. Gone, they made a better story, and one that grew each time the wind rustled the limbs of the ancient water oaks that lined the road to Sicily." -- From Road Trip.
After the murder of their mother, brother and the death of their father, Molly and her sister Tessie were taken in by Anna Johnson a one-time social worker. Anna adopted Tessie but Molly refused her offer to adopt her. She had always felt as though she wasn’t a real part of the family and it showed in her actions both at school and out. And when she met Charlie, who introduced himself as her uncle and told her that her real father lived in California and had sent him to fetch her, she made up her mind to leave just shy of her 18th birthday and find out just who she really was. Then she runs into the little man at the cemetery. He’s naked, seems lost and Molly can’t help but take him under her wing naming him Al. After finding an old truck in the junk yard, getting it running, hitching up an abandoned pink trailer, the 3 head west only to find their little group growing as they go… Roger the ‘Apple-Cheeked Bandit,’ Harry who has no idea who he is, Tu the Oriental prostitute who has been paying off her family’s debts and then there is the ‘black cat.’ Each member of the group seems to be carrying their own problems but together they make up a pretty good team. That is until Tu is grabbed by gang members who have been sent to retrieve her and something makes one of the members disappear, I think it might have been the cat. Disaster seems to follow in the wake of this caravan no matter where they go. Why? Is there something unnatural about someone in the group? Who is Charlie really and why does he carry around that canvas bag? Who is Al and where did he come from? Who is looking for Tu? Who is Harry and will he get his memory back? And who let that black cat into the group?!
Some time back I read Mari Sloan’s book Beaufort Falls and loved it. It was one of those books that you just have to force yourself to put down. Road Trip is even better. As each character was introduced I knew there had to be a connection but couldn’t seem to guess what it might be. The connections finally started to come together but then a new character Rick was introduced and it was Rick that put the whole story together. This book has drama but with humor. It’s so well written that even if it’s farfetched, you can still picture every event and character as they unfold. Mel Brooks needs to check this one out.