Date Published January 2021
Publisher: Speaking Volumes
Forty-four-year-old Forrest Alderson isn’t at all sure of his motives for returning from self-imposed exile to Asher Heights, West Virginia, to see his hometown for the first time since he graduated from college. All he knows for certain is it’s something he has to do if he is to find out whether he can break free from the tragedy that compelled him to flee or whether he is forever doomed to be imprisoned by it.
He has spent the intervening twenty-three years in sacrificial preparation, striving obsessively to become enormously wealthy with one exclusive goal: to at long last take possession of Old Mrs. Kimble’s mansion, no matter the cost, and let that magnificent structure he has coveted since he was a poor boy stand as proof to one and all that native son Forrest Walker Alderson has done himself proud.
Or could it be his return is motivated – as his attorney, Olivia Fillmore, fears – by revenge, an evil desire to rub his great wealth and success into the face of the one person who caused him to hermit himself away all those years without a wife, children, or even a close friend?
To have any chance of finding the answers he so desperately needs, Forrest will have to struggle through a challenging new romance, an addiction to a perilous old love, a sensational murder trial, and the inevitable decision about what to do with the rest of his life.
A Curious Request
“Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting that,” Mr. Vermillion utters as he hangs up his phone and steps into the outer office to share the news with Cassandra Pierce, his partner at their law firm on Stanford Avenue in downtown Asher Heights, West Virginia.
“Not expecting what, John?” Cassandra mumbles, her mind focused on her day’s work schedule.
“A call with a curious request from a big-shot attorney at one of Chi-cago’s most prestigious outfits.”
“Oh?” Cassandra responds with a little more enthusiasm, sensing she could be about to hear something that might provide a break from the monotony in the daily routine of a couple of small-town lawyers.
“Get this, Cassandra. It seems someone who doesn’t want us to know his identity is hiring us to buy the old Kimble mansion for him, and never anybody mind that it may not even be on the market.”
“Fine with me,” Cassandra answers without looking up from her pa-pers, “but what if it’s not for sale? What makes that Chicago lawyer representing ‘Mr. Anonymous’ think we, of all people, can buy it? We’re not even in the real estate business.”
“To me, that’s the challenging part, my friend. That and the mysteri-ous nature of the request. ‘Money’s no object!’ ” she said. “In fact, she said it twice.
“The guy is so dead set on having that mansion, its condition is no barrier either. And what’s more, he’s sending us a five-thousand-dollar retainer this afternoon!”
George T. Arnold
His textbook/resource book, Media Writer’s Handbook, a Guide to Common Writing and Editing Problems, is in its seventh edition and third decade of continuous publication. It has been purchased at more than 300 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Arnold is the author of more than 50 professional and academic articles and has written a short story, One Minute Past Christmas, and two novels, Wyandotte Bound, and Old Mrs. Kimble’s Mansion.