Authors notes: My inspirations for this novel came from having spent my early childhood in Nigeria, my travels in the wilderness of the Chilko Lake area of British Columbia, Canada, and my frequent visits to Southern Africa. Couple these fascinating and very different environments with the horrific scams that people get caught up in, a desperation for money, then you have the seeds for this suspense thriller.
Behind her back they call her the “The Black Widow”.
Daphne McNeil has been widowed four times in ten years. Each time, her husbands have left her considerable sums of money. She finds she must use these inheritances to support her beloved charities. The money does not go far enough and with increasing financial pressures, she becomes desperate.
When Steve Johnson, a forensic scientist, discovers human remains in an isolated lake near Daphne’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, he unwittingly puts himself in danger.
He begins to suspect the beautiful widow is not as innocent as she seems. Will he become her next victim?
Random excerpts from Widow’s Luck
1. He stood up to his knees in fetid muskeg, his breath coming in jagged gulps. Adrenaline pumping through his exhausted body as he slid his hand into the cavity under the edge of a crumbling bank. Sweeping his fingers around the dark, narrow space, he struck a solid, cold, hard object. He tugged and pulled at the plastic container, easing it out of its hiding place.
Success. The rush from the find made the hours of trekking through this swampy scrubland worthwhile. He forgot the mosquitos and blackflies biting every inch of exposed flesh; forgot the chill seeping up his legs; forgot the numbness in his toes from his waterlogged hiking boots. He’d found this geocache using only a compass and a topographical map. He had honoured the memory of his dad and did it old school.
2. Samir gave in and walked beside her for the rest of the tour. Then he escorted her to a dock on the Wawinma River to catch a sunset cruise. After inspecting the riverboat and speaking with the captain, he settled in the shade on the riverbank to await her return.
Daphne laughed and chatted with the other passengers, enjoying their camaraderie as the riverboat slowly made its way along the shoreline. Occasionally, they spotted crocodiles lurking near the banks, and saw many species of birds, including huge storks and egrets. She even glimpsed a large bull elephant emerging from the jungle in its quest for water.
The elephant sighting was amazing. The creature paused at the edge of the tree line, fanned its ears, and trumpeted. Then the giant beast meandered down the trail to the water’s edge. The passengers found themselves holding their collective breath as the boat eased past the magnificent animal.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are truly fortunate to see this wonderful elephant. He is often seen only at the edge of the jungle. Rarely does he approach the river at this time of the evening. Too many boats.” The captain seemed as pleased as they were. “Now, come refresh your drinks. We will begin to serve dinner. Please take your seats.”