This New Thriller Starts Off In RI & It Sounds Like The Perfect Summer Read
I’ve been spending summers in Watch Hill for over 30 years. In the most relaxing way, it’s a beautifully preserved ocean town reminiscent of a Frank Capra type movie. It has expansive beaches and a small town with America’s oldest carousel and St. Claire’s Ice Cream, a family business for over 100 years.
So when I heard that a new novel, Finding Mrs. Ford, was based there and deals with crime, Iraq, the FBI and the Detroit underworld, I could not resist reading it, thinking the old Waspy crowd of Watch Hill would be doubling up on their afternoon martinis, horrified that this tale of suspense and mayhem starts in Watch Hill.
Finding Mrs. Ford is a perfect summer read. It’s suspenseful and a “page turner.” One of my favorite movie genres is film noir, and this novel brings film noir to life in an extremely clever and dramatic way.
Mrs. Ford is the captivating heroine of the story, a complicated enigma...we first meet Susan as the widow of the very wealthy and accomplished Jack Ford. Subsequent to his death, she now runs Jack’s real estate business with Jack Jr., his son from a previous marriage (an interesting sub plot). Susan’s well ordered and manicured life is thrown into chaos as a result of an FBI visit to her Watch Hill home, which becomes the catalyst for transporting the reader to the dark side of a Detroit disco in 1979. It’s during this time that Susan meets Annie Nelson, a young girl her age but wired in a very opposite way from her. It’s thru Annie and the disco that Susan meets Sammy, the dashing Chaldean Catholic from Iraq.
Deborah Royce has a remarkable talent for creating characters in settings that are so visually descriptive and real - I felt like I was watching a movie as I read her novel. Beyond spending time in Watch Hill, I also spent a great deal of time in Detroit during a career in advertising working with Ford. The tension between the staid, beach life of Watch Hill and the gritty, noir characters of Detroit is one of the novel’s major sources of drama and suspense.
I read Deborah’s novel this past week when I was in Watch Hill and could not resist taking photos of scenes and locations that she so vividly brought to life.
Finding Mrs. Ford is a very rewarding thriller. I suggest you pick up a copy immediately and head for Watch Hill.