||Mar 1 2003
Barnes & Noble.com
Patrica C. Behnke
A Lethal Legacy takes the reader on a thirty-year odyssey with the main character, Ed Townsend, as he works to save everyone in his family but himself. From Ann Arbor to New Orleans and then eventually Ocala, the narrator chronicles his life as an author and the agonies of his best friend and cousin, Gary. In the end, Ed realizes the only person he can really save is himself.
"Life's many twists and turns and ironies bring us to places we never intended to visit. My traveling took me to hell again and again, even though each time I bought a ticket for a destination, I ended up going somewhere else. Even hell would be preferable to the reality of what I had done and what I had almost become. I gently placed my suitcase in the back of the closet and turned to face the walls of my self-imposed prison that would provide me with the pentience and solace needed to heal."††
"I lay in the bed of the spare bedroom after Kristina had left and wondered how I would tell Claire and Philip the news about their only child, a child who had managed to never live up to their expectations for very long.
My thoughts turned to Kristina and her genuine grief over Gary's illness. She exposed her raw feelings to me that afternoon, needing confirmation from me that she had been loved at some point in her life. I hoped I had given her some comfort.
As if in a drea, Kristina was beside me in the bed. I sensed her presence before I felt her hardened nipples pressing into my back as she formed a spoon with my body. For a long moment I lay there in the state betwen wakefulness and sleep enjoying the pleasant sensations of another human body joining with mine."
Frank Wolfarth Walsh, Author, Shoes of Giants
On the next-to-the-last page of A Lethal Legacy, the first-person/author/protagonist comments, "We don't talk about those difficult things, like homosexuality or Alzheimer's." But in the book they certainly do. It is a tory of cousins, the women they marry and beget and the other close relatives.
Her mapping of an author's path through the writing of four novels and attempts to see the work to fruition is an interesting trip not often pursued.
A Lethal Legacy tells a good story. I found myself getting caught up in it, but I wish she explored the whole subject of Alzheimer's disease in greater depth.
William F. Roberts, Author, Bonus Time
A Lethal Legacy maintains a level of suspense throughout, with a few surprises at the end. It tells a story and teaches a lesson at the same time. Family members may not always meet our expectations ó but neither do we. It is well written and definitely worth reading.
Sherry Russell, Midwest Book Review
Review of A Lethal Legacy
A Lethal Legacy
By Patricia C. Behnke
PO Box 151
Frederick, Maryland 21705-0151
217 pages @ 19.95
Ed Townsend, the main character, is a successful author and a seemingly upstanding attractive man. That is, until a young alluring complicated woman enters his life and he misbehaves all over the place. Ed canít keep his control button engaged when it comes to his cousinís sensual daughter, Kristina.
Kristina, like a Cheshire cat licking her hidden agenda chops, plays amusingly with her human toys. Full of street smarts and venom she calculates how to commit, in her opinion, a rather compassionate murder. Kristina appears to be an acorn that didnít fall from the motherís tree keeping the reader in suspense until the end.
The family infrastructure is learned through Edís rearview narrative mirror while the present is used as fodder for his new novel. His first book was based on his beloved cousin, Gary. Gary was married twice with the first marriage producing his daughter or so everyone believed. His second marriage was to a former Miss America. There was no way Garyís marriages could work. He was a homosexual and had known his desires from a very young age. Gary finally settled in with a long time friend and lover until he died from AIDS. Fears and clandestine relationships tainted the love of a father to a son leaving Gary to die without his father being present. Garyís death initiated a chain reaction that suddenly snaps clean with the murder of his mother.
This is a great read for scandal and suspense junkies. The author teases the reader measuring out the story bit by bit keeping you intrigued and turning the pages. A Lethal Legacy is a captivating tale of obsession and greed.
Midwest Book Review
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