By Theresa Odom-Surgick
Myra Vandelyn has died. Niece Rachel, nephew Devin, their cousin Delia and a few others are set to inherit. However, family secrets can’t stay hidden. Lurking in the shadows is another with a vendetta against Devin for the crimes he’s committed. Plus, let’s not forget about budding romance.
It’s a good soap opera type story with Christian overtones.
Devin Vandelyn: parents abandoned him and his sister as children, alcoholic, drives a gray Buick Century
Rachel Vandelyn: Devin’s sister, religious
Michael Stern: sister-dead-was affianced to Devin, cigar smoker, owns a restaurant and a limousine
Jovan Wilkins: attorney, father-a former lawyer-suffers Alzheimer’s, runs his own small firm
Trevor Danison: private investigator, 5’10”, blond, handsome, religious
Delia Vandelyn: singer, Devin’s cousin
George Vandelyn: Delia’s great-uncle, mentally challenged, cook
A good variety of characters. They felt soap opera-ish which isn’t necessarily bad, but I didn’t get mental images because there were almost no physical descriptions. ‘Handsome’, ‘attractive’, and ‘beautiful’ are too vague.
Devin talks aloud to himself. It’s okay, but a bit unnatural. Tag line problem: Incorrect to start a piece of dialogue with a tag line, then later within the same piece of dialogue, end with a tag line. Example: Defeated he said, “It’s not here. Where is it? I bet Rachel must have hidden it somewhere. I’ll check her room. That has to be where it is,” he said… Use one tag line, not two. Otherwise, except for one particular character’s, voices weren’t very distinct. Not that they all sounded the same although a few used similar phrasing. A few characters sounded too formal or the conversations just didn’t seem natural to the situation.
Titled chapters. POV shifts within chapters. Shift in tenses in a few sentences. Punctuation problems here and there. Some overuse of ‘ly’ words. No profanity. Religious aspects throughout. No real action, no surprises.