Mystery at Sag Bridge: Pat Camalliere
What would happen if your life was being monitored by an unknown entity and you did not know it? What would you think if things that you put away instantly got misplaced or something that you just put down was moved but not by you? What would you do if something happened to someone you knew and you did not realize that you might be linked to the outcome or incident? Cora Tozzi is a retired businesswoman and her life changed many years ago when things started to happen, incidents that she could not explain occurred and she began thinking that she had what she calls an Angel watching over her and doing playful things to get her attention. As the years wore on the Angel would appear and disappear for long time periods until the present when the activities of this entity or spirit became dangerous and violent. Just why was Angel becoming more assertive and why would things from Cora’s past and incidents in the present link her to searching and learning about a one hundred year old murder in the town where she lives: Sag Bridge, Illinois?
Cora spends her days dealing with the historical club, her book club and other areas of interest within her community. But, when things start to disappear and objects that she had placed in one place are no longer where she put them she informs her husband Cisco and gets mixed reviews. Her book club is made up of a varied group of women each having their own opinions on life, the people in the community and their views on the book chosen by the club. But, one meeting would change it all as Frannie, the African American member shares her story about her community, their lack of acceptance for her and the fact that her brother, who is violent created lies about her having everyone treat her like a pariah. Frannie is tough, outspoken and definitely someone you want on your side. She is so like me that I really like her as a character and person. When she shares her story one young woman named Valerie comes back at her in such a rude and mean way that Cora demands that she leaves and never return to her home or the club. Valerie is vindictive and decides to get even with Cora by creating stories about Angel, the mob and other things that Cora shared within the meeting. But, sharing them with a reporter she hoped would help Cora lose reelection to the library board. But, somehow Angel might have caught wind of what she did and when things come to light the author allows readers to understand just how this spirit or avenging angel knows exactly what Cora is up to and going to do. As Valerie sends a letter to reporter the same reporter decides to check out her facts with Cora. Although she believes her paper still prints the lies and what happens to Valerie for her cruelty is sad. You the reader decide if she deserved what she got.
As the story progresses we learn more about Angel, how she came to pass, why the wolf is an integral part of her life and how she came to be called Maime. The chapters that reveal the past to readers will help you understand why Cora has to find out just why this is happening, why anyone that has ever wronged her past and present is being hurt or killed and just how she can stop what has been set in motion so many years ago without the loss of any more lives. But, Frannie is on her side but her husband is still quite skeptical. When the wolf attacks Father McGrath in front of them will he change his mind?
A diary might open the doors needed to solve a one hundred year murder of a family. Written by a young woman named Meg and falling into Cora’s hands the diary speaks to her, as does the spirit. Growing up in Sag Bridge where the woman who had the diary lived, she gave Cora the diary and for some reason Angel has attached herself to Cora and wants her to solve the murders. Packey and Meg were married and had a fight before he left for work. Just what is Meg and what is her link to Angel? Where does the wolf come in? Why did the wolf attack the priest and why did the priest have to kill the wolf that was protecting Meg’s body and that of her family?
Sag Bridge, Illinois is the setting for this story and is a populated place in Cook County, Illinois. It is an important waterway junction and is within the village limits and postal delivery zone of Lemont, Illinois. St. James at Sag Bridge Catholic Church is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and is the setting for a very profound and compelling scene-taking place in the cemetery. Rock quarries such as the one that Packey, Meg’s husband worked in were developed there in the mid-19th century. The quarries are no longer in operations but businesses in Sag Bridge are selling stone products today. Unfortunately, if you visit there the original bridge at Sag Bridge is gone except a small remnant of Old Archer Avenue.
Cora has many questions and together with Cisco and Frannie she has to decide ho she is going to defeat Angel. Does she really want her to go? What connection does she have to her own mother since Meg’s and Cora’s mothers were both difficult and unyielding. Why does Angel thing Cora is the daughter she lost? Why is she protecting her?
Were Angel’s powers limited to Cora’s house? Why do the vengeful acts take place somewhere else? Valerie’s attack, the attack on Father McGrath, the murders, the computer messages that direct Cora’s moves and the research and articles from the time period of the murders might reveal just who and why they were killed. But, Angel won’t rest until Cora solves the murders and why is Cora so bent on doing this? Why does she feel guilt about the way she handled taking care of her mother for so many years when she did everything right?
The revelation as to why the family died, the rational behind the killer’s motives leads back to the past and the ending you just won’t expect. Just who orchestrated the accidents and the bad things and why you won’t believe and the interaction between Cora and the spirit will explain why Angel attached herself to Cora and created a world for Cora that would now change. An ending that will bring tears to your eyes and a new window of vision to Cora’s. The Mystery at Sag Bridge will keep readers wondering what else might be in store for Cora, Frannie and Cisco. Can you hear the howling of the wolf? Do you see and Angel?
Author Pat Camalliere gives readers much food for thought in a heartfelt, heart-breaking novel of two women who needed to find peace and understanding when dealing with family love, relationships and secrets. A story that everyone will want to read and many will identify with.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ Magazine