A teenage art prodigy struggles against the obstacles growing up in the violent world of gangs in New York City. A touching coming of age story with a romantic twist.
Julia Davis has just received the worst news that any wife and mother can; her husband and daughter have been tragically killed in a gruesome car crash, leaving her previously idyllic life, in ruins.
A random encounter with Kit Collins, a teenaged art prodigy, and possibly, the greatest undiscovered artistic talent of the last half-century, may be the key to help her deal with her loss, and give her life purpose again.
A well-established artist in her own right, Julia, tries to take Kit under her wing, mentoring her, and attempting to unlock her almost limitless potential.
However, Kit’s life is far more complex then Julia realizes, and she is hiding shocking secrets of her own. For starters, she has managed to make enemies of the ruthless young leader of a criminal gang, with a personal vendetta and a price on her head; and when Kit’s friends and family come under threat, she will do whatever it takes to protect them; even kill!
Add cryptic visits by the ghost of Julia’s daughter, and a passionate first love with a young, New York transplanted, Montana cowboy; and you have the ingredients of a romantic adventure/thriller with occult/supernatural elements, all against the backdrop of the dangerous and gritty setting of New York City.
Bennie slid open the door on the van and his massive arms grabbed Kit and pulled her inside. David reacted immediately and jumped into the van. David had a hold of Kit's waist and tried to pull her out. Max stepped on the accelerator as the van lurched forward. Bennie had his left arm encircling Kit and held her fast to his chest. David punched Bennie twice in the face, but his blows had little effect on the big man. Kit struggled against his grip with futile effort. Max yelled instructions to Bennie as he careened down the street.
"Hit him, hit him now!" Max yelled.
Bennie struck David in the face with his massive fist. David fell back from the force of the blow and fell backwards out of the still moving van. David's head struck the pavement at forty miles an hour. He rolled like a rag doll down the street.
Seeing David fall out of the van, Kit screamed his name. Still roaring down the street, Max yelled again to Bennie."
"Close the door, you retard!" Max called out, glancing over his shoulder.
In one motion, Bennie lurched forward and thrust the sliding door closed. Kit tried biting his arm as she struggled, Bennie just squeezed her tighter, restricting her breathing.
Kit managed to get her right hand in her pocket and retrieved the derringer that Jessie had given her. She had no hope of turning toward Bennie to use it, so she pressed the muzzle tight against his upper thigh, released the safety, and fired. Smoke curled out of the hole in Bennie's leg as he released her and fell on the floor of the van.
"Max, she shot me!" Bennie cried out. The big man reverted to the child as he clutched at his wound. Tears streamed down his face.
Kit got to her feet and moved forward to the man driving. Having heard the gunshot and now seeing Kit holding the derringer, he attempted to knock Kit off her feet by veering madly, left and right. Kit braced herself behind the driver and pointed the gun at his head."Stop now!" Kit commanded, as her words went unheeded. Max just redoubled his efforts to dislodge her.
"I said, stop; stop now, or I will shoot." She ordered again.
Max veered to the right, causing the van to strike a glancing blow to a parked car. Kit lurched forward from the impact, and lost her derringer in the process, as it flew forward onto the front passenger floorboard. Max, seeing the gun threat neutralized, accelerated.
Kit reached for the steering wheel and pulled hard to the right. The van surged and struck a low, sleek sports car parked on the side of the street. The sports car acted like a ramp, sending the van's right side up into the air. It came down on its left side with a crash, and slid another fifty feet before coming to rest.
Max was trapped against the driver-side door and couldn't move his legs. Kit regained her feet. Looking back, she saw Bennie, lying prone in the back, the great man-child still sobbing and holding his leg. Kit struggled forward, then seeing her derringer lying against the engine cowling, grabbed it and returned it to her pocket.
"Help me," Max cried out to Kit, "I'm bleeding!"
Kit climbed up and through the passenger window, and looked back down on the man."Tell Manuel not to bother looking for me," Kit said, anger in her tone, "I'll find him!"
A crowd started to gather as Kit jumped down off the van and began running back to where David had fallen. Only a block and a half separated the place he fell and the final resting place of the van. As Kit got to him, a few people were trying to help. A man had placed his jacket to elevate David's head; another had called for the paramedics. Kit knelt next to him and took his hand. The sirens of the aid vehicles got louder and soon the EMTs arrived.
Coincidentally, the same EMTs that had worked on Kit's mother, took over David's care. One EMT glanced over and recognized her from their previous meeting.
"Man, you just can't catch a break, can you girl? Who's this, your boyfriend?"
"Yes," Kit said, crying, "please save him!"
The EMT spoke into a radio and relayed David's condition.
"We have a white male, aged... (he looked at Kit), she said, "seventeen," "aged seventeen," the EMT continued, "with severe head trauma, multiple contusions and abrasions," The EMT said. He continued with blood pressure, respiration and all the other vital signs. Finally, David was placed in the ambulance for transport to the hospital. Again, Kit got into the ambulance, with someone she loved, held their hand, and pleaded, again, for them not to die!
Not a reader... but loved it !!
My reviews ever written on books are few and far between as I seldom do much reading. Lately, my days are filled caring for my 1 year old granddaughter. This particular book, I stumbled upon through a YouTube book trailer, when I had the notion that I should read more.
The title and cover of this book intrigued me and the description of the book sealed the deal. I appreciated that this story revolved around real characters in real life situations. The author descriptions of the settings made me feel as if I was there. Also, his excellent job of defining his characters, both strengths and weaknesses, made relating to them effortless.
The story has many components, grief through loss, vengeance through violence, and enduring first love. I liked that many parts of this book were totally unpredictable, as predictability has always been a pet peeve of mine. I developed a real fondness for for the character, Kit, which made me want to see her succeed. Also, I felt Julia's tremendous sorrow with the loss of her ideal family.
If I had one criticism, although minor, I would have liked to see more ghostly interactions, but I can't dictate how a book should go, unless I choose to write my own, which isn't happening. I especially loved that the author neatly tied up all the loose ends at the conclusion of the book and I wasn't left wondering.
So did I enjoy reading this book and would I recommend it to my friends and family? I would say a solid YES. It took me to places and situations new to me and I enjoyed the escape. After all, isn't that what a good book should do?
Rabidreaders.com Review - Oct. 2, 2012
Kit is a 14 year old art prodigy lost in an inner city wasteland. Julia is a mother who lost her husband and child. Fate or desperation bring the two together at a critical moment when Kit has a bad guy gunning for her. Can they both come out alive?
The Ghost Locket is D. Allen Wright’s first novel.
If you were to read Wright’s biography, I suspect that this would be the last novel you’d have expected him to produce. Wright has been a soldier, a pilot, a fisherman, a graphic artist, etc…. and he writes a deeply emotional novel about love and loss with the central character a 14 year old girl who is in deep trouble just by the very nature of her environment. I’d call this novel The Outsiders for girls. It’s gritty at points without ever losing that vital hope. That said, I would not call this a YA novel. Because of both sexual and violent content, I’d call this a novel for older teens.
Wright is to be applauded for his plotting in this story. Some of the points were predictable but he did go where authors won’t usually go in the crafting of their story. His main character is frequently violent in a “go big or go home” kind of way. In one of the scenes when she faces off with a violent young man, Kit and her friends disable the young man. Some folks will recoil but in the overall plotting, the violence speaks to the desperation of the characters and their situation. It’s been said that you’re either a victim or a hero and the girls of the novel choose, when they can, to be heroes.
Wright is also to be applauded for the way in which he introduces the romantic interest, David, into the story. Sure, the romance story line is a little syrupy for this 41 year old but I remember the desperation of romance of the young teen years and the feeling that there was someone without whom life would be meaningless. Wright paints the relationship in an over the top literary way but one that doesn’t ring as untrue.
If you’re into the great teen coming of age novels where a person rises from the ashes to become something great, The Ghost Locket is good story for you.