Local author Lin Weich has now published her fourth book, and it’s a gripper.
Set in Northern B.C. and a fictitious country in Africa, Weich continues to hone her skills, and Widow’s Luck seamlessly blends two divergent plots which culminate in good trumping evil.
The protagonist, Daphne McNeil, was a spoiled child, right into her early twenties, by a father who was short on affection but long on gifts and other luxuries. After his death, she struggles to keep her promise to her father – “I will take care of everything” – but is determined to maintain Morris House, a treatment and rehabilitation centre for addicts and burn outs.
Daphne falls in love with Andrew, a wealthy client at the rehabilitation centre. On their honeymoon in Africa, her husband contracts Dengue fever and dies, leaving his wife with money for Morris House and her new-found passion to establish orphanages in Africa.
Over the next 10 years she is widowed three more times by rich husbands whose money is used for Morris House, and the endless money pit of orphanages in Africa.
Behind her back, the local community call her the Black Widow and although things might appear suspicious, Daphne is clever in her disposal of husbands.
Meanwhile she is being manipulated by a shady government official in Africa to send increasingly exorbitant amounts of money to ensure her two orphanages not only remain open, but have the food and supplies they need to operate. She puts complete trust in the government official and refuses to believe he was fleecing her.
The second protagonist, Steve Johnson, a forensic scientist, parlayed his love of crime-solving and puzzles into a satisfying career. Working from a mobile forensic unit in the north, he combines his forensic work and his passion for geo-caching, and discovers human remains in an isolated lake near Daphne’s Morris House.
Despite developing a romantic relationship with Daphne, Steve continued to pursue the mounting number of corpses in the vicinity of the rehabilitation centre.
Weich has done an admirable job of developing the plot, characters, locations and interactions. The plot flows seamlessly, the characters have depth and dimension and the locations are believable and rich in descriptors.
When asked where she drew her inspiration from, Weich is very clear. She had read on a museum wall in the Cariboo about goldminers who were preyed upon and then disappeared on their way back from Barkerville, minus their gold.
“Everyone has heard about the scams originating in Nigeria and other similar African countries and after a trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe. I conjured up a fictitious country for the orphanages,” she says.
As for Morris House, it was modelled after a wilderness lodge in the Chilcotin.
But perhaps her most ambitious and interesting research was regarding sociopaths, the basis for Daphne’s character and a mini course on forensic medicine, “How to Kill Your Characters Correctly”.
Weich grew up in West Africa and has lived in various places in both eastern and western Canada. She now resides in Quesnel with her husband Brian.
Her kayaking adventures, teaching experiences, outdoor activities and travels have been included the substance and voice of her stories.
Widow’s Luck is available in paperback through FriesenPress, or eBook from Google Play, Nook Store or iTunes Bookstore or by contacting the author at linweich.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.