The deck has always been stacked against you. Then an attractive woman promises love, respect, employment, and a home. Wouldn’t you be hooked?
A novel by Laury A. Egan
Jango is a fifty-three-year-old Korean War vet, itinerant worker, and sweet-natured fellow who left kith and kin in Kentucky decades ago. On a hot August day in 1984, he lands in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, pockets empty, hungry, and in need of a job. After answering an ad for a farmhand, he is hired by a recent widow, Audrey Dalton, and is immediately charmed by her; surprisingly, Audrey also seems entranced and prepares him a candlelit dinner, which turns into an evening of love. Jango considers ending his tumbleweed ways and settling down after decades of roaming…until the next morning, when he is shocked to learn he’s ensnared in a dangerous trap.
A Bittersweet Tale begins as a romance reminiscent of The Bridges of Madison County but spirals into a dark psychological suspense constructed around a mystery whose truths unfold from several angles, as told by Jango and two secondary narrators. A story of authenticity versus artifice, the novel illustrates the old saw, “looks are deceiving,” as police, clergy, and society exhibit prejudiced behavior toward Jango based on his appearance, whereas those who are middle class are able to hide immoral personalities, sometimes using religion as a shield to disguise hypocrisy and pathology.
What Others Are Saying:
“I cannot recall a novel so perfectly menacing—from page one. I shivered at the metaphoric iceberg I’d glimpsed, sensing it was but a fraction of the terror that lies below, what lies beyond in the ensuing pages of Egan’s twisted romance.”—Karla Linn Merrifield, Psyche’s Scroll
“What a story! A plot that twists and turns in ways I never expected or even suspected. Characters so complex you really wish you could meet them in person. And superb writing.”—Helga Schier, Going Beyond
Page Count: 190
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: October 26, 2019
Imprint: Milford House
FICTION / Psychological
FICTION / Romance / Suspense
FICTION / Small Town & Rural
FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General