The Stone Necklace
Story River Books
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Clawing chest pains and a fiery car crash take one life and change the destiny of four others. The Stone Necklace braids together the stories of a grieving widow, a struggling nurse, a young mother, and a troubled homeless man, reminding us of the empowering and surprising ways our lives touch one another and how, together, we can recover from even the greatest of losses.
Carla Damron weaves the stories of four people in Columbia, South Carolina, whose seemingly disparate existences intersect through tragedies realized and tragedies averted. Lena Hastings survived breast cancer and marital infidelity but now faces an uncertain future and crises with her teenaged daughter Becca without the support of the one person she has always counted on. Intensive care nurse Sandy Albright, newly released from drug rehab, confronts temptations from her past and false accusations threatening her career, leaving her to wonder if a drug-free life is really living. Tonya Ladson, a mother whose child is injured in the wreck, must decide if her domineering husband is right and a lawsuit will solve their financial problems. Joe Booker, a homeless man who sleeps in a graveyard, loses his gentle benefactor and must either succumb to the real and imagined evils of his world or find the heretofore-untapped courage to care for himself and for others as a stranger once cared for him. Weighted down by their respective pasts, the characters must make life-altering choices that reverberate into the fates of the others, ultimately bringing them together in unexpected but healing acts of compassion, forgiveness, and redemption.
The Stone Necklace includes a foreword from novelist Patti Callahan Henry.
The Safe Harbor Center is supposed to be a sanctuary for the homeless, but when a ruthless killer strikes, no one is safe. Social worker Caleb Knowles, immersed in the demanding work of housing, feeding, and counseling the colorful array of clients at Safe Harbor, is deeply concerned about the murders. It doesn’t help that city officials blame the homeless and plan to use the killings as an excuse to close Safe Harbor for good. There’s even talk of razing Zooville, a tent village that is home to some of Caleb’s most vulnerable clients.
Like the flick of an arsonist’s match, tensions ignite when Wyman Carter, a homeless drug addict with a strange fascination for fire, enters the mix. Wyman knows more than he should about the murders, but he’s on the run—from the guardian who exploits him, from his past, and from the voices screaming inside his head.
Tempers flare as Caleb himself becomes a suspect in the murder investigation led by Claudia Briscoe, the detective he used to call friend.
With help from his deaf brother Sam and Henry Rudd, a recovering addict, Caleb faces a firestorm that threatens not only his reputation, but his very life. REVIEWS of DEATH IN ZOOVILLE:
Social Worker Caleb Knowles grapples with two horrendous crimes: a nurse found stabbed to death in the yard of her suburban home and a millworker unexplainably draws a gun and opens fire on fellow employees. Caleb’s ties to these murder are both professional and personal, and he soon finds himself a reluctant witness and victim to dark and dangerous events in the underbelly of his hometown.
In this first of the Caleb Knowles mysteries, Caleb is called upon to help his brother, renowned artist Sam Knowles, deaf since age sixteen, who stands accused of the bludgeoning death of his fiance. And it doesn’t look good for Sam: when the police arrive at the scene, they find Sam alone with the murdered woman, who was also deaf. They identify the murder weapon as one of his sculptures–a wooden angel called the “Gabriel.” And Sam himself isn’t helping his case– he’s doing little to defend himself despite Caleb’s efforts to break through Sam’s chilling silence.
During a therapy session, one of Caleb’s clients reveals a curious connection with the murdered woman. So Caleb launches his own investigation, hoping to help his troubled client while he learns what he can about Anne Farrell, a complicated woman with some dark secrets of her own. But when Caleb’s client nearly dies from a suicide attempt, Caleb’s investigation into Sam’s troubles becomes dangerous for those around him–and deadly for him.