Higgins Hotel
by Carla Coffman

"But all good things must come to an end. One morning after Jack left for the gym his wife came back from Florida unannounced and made her appearance at the hotel."

Multiple murders, affairs, and a slew of motives populate Coffman’s second novel. Jack Higgins owns a hotel and a gym and does a bit of drug dealing on the side. The FBI is trying to make a case against him and one of his partners, but they don’t have much to go on. Jack’s wife, Booboo, is spending the winter in Florida, and Jack hires a young woman named Blossom to replace her as the head of Human Resources and the object of his desire. Although Blossom is doing a good job at the hotel, Booboo knows her husband and his motives and immediately fires Blossom when she returns to town. With the mysterious explosion in the occupied office of Cecil Pratt, a bank executive, the body count begins to rise.

At best, most of the characters in Coffman’s novel can be called flawed. Some are vengeful, adulterous, and murderous. In a small town where everyone’s secrets are partially known, and the blanks quickly filled in with gossip, everyone is suspect. Coffman writes an interesting book which readers will quickly read through to try to put the pieces together. At times, the motives of some individuals seem a bit questionable, but the pace of the work and the desire to know the outcomes allows the reader to overlook such issues and enjoy the ride. Although all the loose ends aren’t completed resolved, Coffman leaves enough strings about for the readers to tie them up on their own. If her sophomore novel is any indication of what is to come, Coffman will have book lovers looking forward to her next novel. Readers interested in small-town secrets and the deadly outcomes which can spring from them will enjoy this rapid-paced tale.

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