What happens when someone plays mercy killer or is it murder in a residential senior living center? The opening scene reveals The Angel as we hear the voice of this person that is about to end Loretta’s life but not before a secret is revealed. This starts off with a chilling and foreboding event that will eventually snowball even further.
Cold, dispassionate, structured and unfeeling, hardcore and yet vigilant, Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres. Rigid and untiring her ways as we hear her reprimand Serena the night shift supervisor being late not understanding the rationale behind her family dynamics. This residential facility is for the rich and who can foot the bill for long term care but if they don’t pass the mental and physical requirements they cannot be considered as a resident. Things are about to change when the executive director Bob calls Ruth and Kai to explain that they are both being considered for his position but it’s Kai who created a plan to increase revenue and get more people that impressed the conglomerate that bought them out. Rules change and anyone destitute can no longer remain and rooms are changed, and more deaths come about. Just who is this Angel?
Zach is Ruth’s next-door neighbor and an ex- detective who shares a secret with Ruth. Guilt plays a major role and although Zach seems possessed with his late wife Tina’s ghost always hearing her remarks and her thoughts, the reader knows that there is more to learn. Hiring him as the night shift security guard might be a plus to uncovering who Angel is but first Ruth must find a way to deal with Kai .
Zach acts as our narrator along with Tina who provides her own commentary but Pastor Sam gives you an eerie feeling and her preset is unsettling as Dario is tormented by sudden death of Mary his mother and his rants and raves give readers pause to wonder if Mary’s death was at the hand of the Angel as he relates to the Pastor and Zach about the Goodnight Club which is a group of residents that have asked for someone to help assist in their deaths. Mercy killing or murder? When he demands an autopsy and a police investigation what happens next makes you wonder what the Pastor is really about .
Author Catherine Riggs takes us inside the minds of those supposedly there to protect the residents of a senior facility but, their goal is profit margin and deletion of those that are not worthy to remain. Money is paramount and those without means will be made to leave as is they are not worthy and expendable and at the helm leading the demolition is Kai and suffering indignities, Ruth. But will she and Zach uncover what’s behind the deaths and the significance of the pink slip?
We learn about her son Adam and his failed marriage and his drug use. Will Ruth understand his need for help and why did
a charge of felony assault? His wife Nikki is a user and a fight was provoked and its her turn to show compassion, but she is rigid, hardnosed, unyielding and at times cold. What she never says! Things take on a sinister turn when someone from Ruth’s past shows up and she wants Zach to explain why this hit out. Added in the night supervisor, Ember is attacked by her ex-husband and the author shares her story and her prior life in a commune .Adam is working in the kitchen and is with Zach when Ember shows up when they are hiking but things get dark when Adam finds a dead body, Zach covers for him and the lies build up even telling his old detective friend, Javier what happens leaves us wondering what will happen to Zach in the end. With Finn his boss he can’t catch a break and Ruth dealing with Adam, Carlyn an old friend and more deaths as we hear the Angel’s voice again. But Tina’s constant jibes in Zach’s mind creates conflicts and sometimes people wonder why he’s talking to himself.
Then Adam learns about the secret between Zach and his mother and finding Nurse Milo dead starts another investigation into his life as the police learn that she did not exactly do a background check on him but there is much more sinister things afoot as five destitute have died and Kai does not want Ruth to call in the coroner. Added in Molly the head of HR was forced out due to an new health care policy that would eliminate benefits for the staff. Kai is after all in charge and the threats run deep as Ruth might find herself next on the Angel’s list and more deaths might occur. As the VP in charge of operations she should have been party to what was happening at Serenity Acres and the changes coming about. Did Nurse Milo have his own drug business and how did this come into play at the residence and with Adam. Deaths will increase as more destitute residents are taken away by the Angel of Death but is it a staff member of someone else? The issues of forgiveness, understanding, family discord, revenge, sadness, mercy killing, assisted suicide and the dangers of psychosocial pressure are just some of what the author relates in this book plus greed, pressure and the power of love. Added in Ember and her disfigurement add in the layer of prejudice and discrimination of those that are different when Kai demands that she is fired.
The energy and the truths come to light as the hidden secrets that lies beneath what was never said comes out and a family is torn apart. One member of Serenity Acres confesses her part in what has happened to some of the destitute residents and the hidden person hiding in plain sight that was behind it all. When Ruth confronts the Angel of Death she becomes a victim of her wrath but will someone safe her before she crosses over? A family in turmoil, a lie that could forever severe their bond and a woman named Ruth that won’t give up until she finally says What She Never Said! A novel filled with love, despair, greed, revenge, power and the influence of having money and control over others this is one novel that will keep you talking for a long time.
Fran Lewis: just reviews