The North Country Confessional
by Craig C. Charles
Family roots, teachings, and tradition permeate Darby Weeks’s existence despite a two decades old decision to walk away from a life of privilege. They have given him the courage to survive under impossible conditions, but the most challenging of them all comes from an unexpected place: his return home. As heinous crimes peppered with riddles begin to plague the North Country, Darby's reappearance back home sparks an old rivalry between two families, releasing an evil to wreck vengeance upon everything around them. Darby's proposal of a truce between them not only fails to appease the rival family’s thirst for retribution; it fuels it. And the town of Bretton Woods lies between the two when old passions ignite and set forth new determinations to win an old struggle.
Reunited with an old flame and guided by a pompous blowhard, Darby sets out on a journey to learn the truth about his family’s past and their ancient blood feud with a ruthless industrialist. Darby’s quest leads him all over New England, from the rare books library at Dartmouth College to Author’s Ridge - the final resting place of the literary greats Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Emerson. Darby discovers family he’s never known and an insidious danger lurking in the arms of a rekindled love.
Read an excerpt:
Emily Baines glanced down at the streets of Midtown Manhattan from her corner office at Tither Publishing and fiddled with the single gray strand of Tahitian pearls that clung around her neck. Rush hour had already paralyzed the streets of the city as throngs of humanity struggled to reach their insignificant evening destinations. Worker ants, she told to herself.
She had stayed late, disrupting her normal evening routine of pilates and a massage as she awaited confirmation that the assignment was complete. Her cell phone buzzed, announcing the receipt of the message. A smile blossomed on her face as she read the expected news. The object of her attention had paid the fee just like so many other political malfeasance, celebrities, and religious buskers that Tither had squeezed over the years, avoiding what would have been a very messy and very public scandal. Dirt was her business and business was never better. She verified the $20,000,000 transfer had been processed.
Sitting down, Emily congratulated herself as she poured another glass of Perrier-Jouët and marveled at how far she had come: building Tither Publishing into a media giant with no equal. She rarely thought about the past, but the picture and associated story on the front page of the New York Times stopped her cold in her tracks, causing unfamiliar pangs of nostalgia.
“Darby S. Weeks,” she said slowly while biting her bottom lip and caressing her pearls. She paced her expansive office for a minute, looking at the picture as memories invaded her mind. Throwing the paper on her desk, she hastily buzzed her personal assistant.
“Olivia, I’m going home to Bretton Woods for a little vacation. Make the necessary arrangements. I want to be in the North Country by tomorrow.”
Ready or not, here I come, war hero.
I'm a native New Englander. I grew up in the sleepy shoreline community of Madison, CT. After graduating from high school in the late 80's, I headed out West and spent a wonderful six years living in, exploring, and getting lost in the deserts of Arizona. After earning my B.S. from Arizona State University, I headed back East trying to find my path in life.
I found myself trying out MANY different careers. I learned the art of audio engineering and worked at a major recording studio in Manhattan for a while. I learned the nuances of fine wine from a wonderful South African man and sold libations in his high-end store. I sold power transmission equipment as a manufacturer's rep in the Northeast. Next I ventured into the publishing world when I signed on with Yankee Magazine working in their Community Partners Program. It was here at Yankee's headquarters in Dublin, NH that I fell in love with the art of writing and beauty of the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. I met tremendous people and embarked on my own quest to write an engaging mystery novel set in New England. However, I couldn't ignore the internal pull I felt to work with young people. I went back to school and earn a Masters of Education degree and embarked on a career as a special education teacher working primarily with autistic children. This has been my main profession for the past 14 years as I continued to write and work towards mastering the craft of writing. I love the creative process of writing and editing.
In short, I'm a life long learner who continues to absorb all I can about the world around me.
Author Website: www.craigccharles.com
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