Thriller tracks conspiracy’s twists and turns

Parental rage at kids’ sporting events is nothing new, but Maggie Russell takes it to a new level when, during her son’s last Little League game before the playoffs, she screams at the coach to give her son some playing time.

L.C. Shaw

Even Agatha, her good friend, thinks Maggie’s gone overboard, but it gets worse in L.C. Shaw’s second novel in her Jack Logan series, “The Silent Conspiracy” (Harper Paperbacks $16, 2020). Grabbing the knife Agatha is using to cut up apples for the team’s snack, Maggie marches down the bleachers and plunges it into the coach’s chest.

As she watches his body slump to the ground, an inner voice urges her to remedy the situation by turning the knife on herself. And so, she does.

It’s not your usual Little League confrontation. But to Logan, an investigative reporter, and Taylor Parks, a television producer, this isn’t just an isolated incident. There are news reports from around the country of mild-mannered, highly respected people committing murder and then suicide. It all seems to lead back to a case the couple had two years previously, when they were able to shut down a secret facility set up to brainwash political and media leaders.

Investigating the murders, Logan and Parks discover that Damon Crosse, the man who tried to kill them two years ago when they stopped his indoctrination plot, may have faked his death and is now planning revenge. But it’s even more complicated than that. The show Park is producing about a class action suit against a national insurance company may also be connected to Damon, the murder/suicides, and his new fiendish plans.

“’The Secret Conspiracy’ is a stand-alone book even though it ties back to ‘The Network,’ my first Jack Logan book,” said Shaw, the pen name for Lynne Constantine.

In addition to her own books, she writes with her sister Valerie. The best-selling team writes thrillers under the pseudonym Liv Constantine. Their books include “The Last Mrs. Parrish,” “The Last Time I Saw You” and “The Wife Stalker.”

The two are a prolific pair. Shaw said she’s just finished her fourth book with her sister and they already are plotting their fifth, while she is also at work on another book on her own.

“The challenge,” she said, “is to have endings that are inevitable but unexpected. We like to be tricky and to catch readers by surprise but to also have it all make sense in the end.”

For your information

L.C. Shaw will be doing a series of virtual events. For a full list, visit her website, lcshawauthor.com/events/

Here are several that are that are free and upcoming:

• Fairfield University Bookstore, 6 p.m. Tuesday, http://www.facebook.com/FairfieldUBookstore/events/

• Westport Public Library, 6 p.m. Wednesday, westportlibrary.org/storyfest-2020

• Poisoned Pen book store, 1 p.m. Friday, http://www.facebook.com/thepoisonedpenbookstore/live

Author: Jane Simon Ammeson

Jane Simon Ammeson is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, food and personalities. She writes frequently for The Times of Northwest Indiana, Kentucky Living magazine, Edible Michiana, Lakeland Boating, Experience Michigan magazine, Indiana Monthly, Cleveland Magazine, Long Weekends Magazine, Food, Wine, Travel magazine and the Herald Palladium where she has a weekly food column. Her TouchScreenTravels include Indiana's Best. She also writes a weekly book review column for The Times of Northwest Indiana as well as food and travel, has authored 16 books including Lincoln Road Trip: The Back-road Guide to America's Favorite President was the winner of the Lowell Thomas Journalism Award in Travel Books, Third Place and also a Finalist for the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Travel category. Her latest books are America's Femme Fatale: The Story of Serial Killer Belle Gunness and Classic Restaurants of Northwest Indiana. Her other books include How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away with It, A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana and Murders That Made Headlines: Crimes of Indiana, all historic true crime as well Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest, Brown County, Indiana and East Chicago. Jane’s base camp is Stevensville, Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. Follow Jane at facebook.com/janesimonammeson; twitter.com/hpammeson; https://twitter.com/janeammeson1; twitter.com/travelfoodin, instagram.com/janeammeson/ and on her travel and food blog janeammeson.com and book blog: shelflife.blog/

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