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

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