“Rebecca Aldrich has a history of disappearing. But this time is different. The spirited college freshman simply vanishes, like several other young women in Las Vegas, New Mexico. When Jamie Aldrich embarks on a desperate hunt for her missing stepdaughter, she discovers that the surrounding grasslands and foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are full of secrets, and that her recently deceased husband left behind a life enshrouded in mystery.”
There you have it, two of the characters in the second mystery of my Family Secret Series, Ant Dens: A Suspense Novel.
But, who else is in this story besides Jamie Aldrich, the middle-aged science teacher, and her stepdaughter, Rebecca. (By the way, Rebecca is not physically in the story until the very end. She is missing, remember?) Here is some background on three more primary characters: Jonah Clay, sheriff; Kate Gerard , Jamie’s best friend; and Al Winters, the principal at Jamie’s high school.
Jonah Clay, sheriff of San Miguel County, New Mexico. “The burly, brown-skinned man charged across the parking lot like an angry bison,” Jamie narrates. And then a few minutes later, “The sheriff cleared his throat and lifted one hand to groom his dark mustache. He pulled a photograph out of his starched gray uniform shirt pocket and thrust it at me. ‘You know this girl?'”
Jonah Clay is a good man. He’s the sheriff, but he hasn’t always been on Jamie’s side. Previously, he questioned her involvement in the death of her husband, Ben. And this time around, he doesn’t seem to have the time or the desire to investigate the disappearance of Ben’s daughter, Becca.
Kate Gerard, Jamie’s best friend. Kate makes her appearance in Chapter One, not long after Jamie learns Rebecca is missing. Here’s what Jamie says: “As usual, she was stylishly dressed in trendy pink crops and a polka-dot t-shirt. Silver bracelets clanked on her left wrist and big hoop earrings dangled beneath her short blond hair.”
At this moment, the two women haven’t seen each other in three months. But soon they are talking about anything and everything, as good friends do. Kate, an investigative reporter for the local newspaper and a stringer for the Associated Press, has a disturbing take on Rebecca’s disappearance: if not for the fact that Rebecca had run away before, it was possible she was kidnapped by a human trafficking ring working in the area.
Al Winters, high school Principal. Al comes into the story in Chapter Three when he checks in on Jamie as she works in her science classroom and lab to prepare for the start of the fall semester. “Principal Al Winters stood in the hall doorway. As usual, his thinning black hair swept across the bald top of his head, but his face seemed thinner than I remembered from last spring. His suit jacket was actually buttoned, the material pulled snugly across his midriff.”
Al has been Jamie’s principal for only two years. She doesn’t know much about him, but his method of leadership seems to be to give the students every possible break. He consistently champions one particular student, Trey, who has been a trouble-maker in previous years.
Check back Friday for another post about Ant Dens’ characters.
And now, the big announcement!
Ant Dens is up on amazon.com, although not all the features are working yet. The book can also be ordered through barnesandnoble.com or bam.com (books a million) as well as through the publisher, Wheatmark.com, or Ingrams (book warehouse).
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