"Theresa Donovan is a legitimate and entertaining new voice in crime fiction."
—John Lescroart, best-selling thriller author
"Punta de Sangre" translates as "Blood Point," and there are plenty of reasons this lonely Pacific outcropping bears its name. Sara McGrath learns that sharks in the waters her daughter surfs are the least of her worries when she tries to close her first big coastal real estate deal. Desperate acts and unintended consequences zero in on Sara and her daughter as they come face-to-face with what lurks beneath the surface.
Sara sucks at sales, but real estate is the only growth market in the depressed California coastal town where she's trying to pull together a life for herself and her teenager, Marsi, after her ex, a Silicon Valley venture wannabe, dumped her. Sharks hunt the point breaks where Marsi surfs, and even nastier creatures—realtors, developers, and open-space-hungry environmentalists—troll the multiple listings in Half Moon Bay. Sara's first shot at a multi-million-dollar deal looks like the capital kick-start her dream of a seaweed-products business needs until dead bodies complicate escrow on the old Punta de Sangre Inn. As the inspection clock runs down and the ripples of violent deaths widen toward Marsi and herself, Sara is forced into an uncomfortable partnership with a sheriff who has more at stake than law and order.
Punta de Sangre becomes the impact zone of big forces and their backwash—powerful land preservation interests clash with greedy developers and their plans to turn great swaths of agricultural land into luxury resort and McMansion developments. Meanwhile, land-rich agribusinesses exploit an underground majority of immigrant workers. And the local fishing fleet and tourist-pandering "chummers" clashwith the surfing community over shark-baiting. As the wave of chaos and loss builds, Sara heeds the big-wave surfers' mantra: "Eddie would go." Sara goes.
The Old Inn at Punta de Sangre won First Place in the Califonria Writers' Club 2007 Jack London Writers Contest.
READ MORE FROM THERESA
In today’s culture, the bonds of female friendship are taken as a given. Conventional wisdom tells us that women are more sociable, more empathetic, and more “friendly” than men. But only a few centuries ago, the idea of female friendship was completely unacknowledged, even pooh-poohed. Dating back to the Greeks and the Romans, women were long considered “weaker” than men and constitutionally unsuited for friendship at the highest level. Only men, the reasoning went, had the emotional and intellectual depth to develop and sustain these meaningful relationships.
Summitville is literary fiction all-too rooted in reality. The story unfolds at a polluted gold mine very much like the real Summitville gold mine in the late 1990s (an EPA Superfund cleanup site). The setting reflects the real devastation that continues in the United States and throughout the world through cyanide heap-leach mining, where an entire mountain is dismantled and soaked in cyanide to leach out microscopic gold dust. Underneath the Summitville, the watershed of the mighty Alamosa River is brewing into a toxic sea of heavy metals and acid mine drainage. While setting and plot converge in thriller stakes, character drives Summitville—Colleen's quest to figure out the right thing to do, and do it. Think "Erin Brockovich" meets Milagro Beanfield Wars.
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