Brake Failure is a romcom with a feisty heroine and a hero in uniform. The story is set in one of the most fascinating periods of America’s history: the months leading up to Y2K “meltdown.”
“Is it too late to tell him you love him when you’re looking down the barrel of his gun?”
Ruby is an English lady who knows the etiquette for every occasion and never loses her temper … until she ends up in Kansas. Far from home, she transforms from Miss Perfectly-Correct to criminally insane as she breaks the bonds of her rigid upbringing. Sheriff Hank Gephart tries to reel her in, but she’s out of control and she ain’t hitting the brakes.
As the clock strikes midnight of the new Millennium, she’s on a freight train with three million dollars and a smoking gun.
What happened to Miss Prim-and-Proper? And why did she shoot Mr Right …?
Note: Alison Brodie wrote this story from first-hand experience. She lived in Kansas during this time and was stunned by the global hysteria, unnerved that the US government was spending $150 billion preparing for Armageddon. As Lionel Shriver says in her novel, We Have to Talk About Kevin: “1999, a year widely mooted beforehand as the end of the world.”
Brake Failure – Chapter One
Shady Acres Retirement Home, Kansas City
11.56 pm. New Year’s Eve, 1999
‘There’s a dead man at the door,’ Mrs Whitaker hissed, leaning over the desk.
Nurse Betty sighed, took a bite of donut, closed the magazine on “How to get Slim for the Millennium” and heaved herself to her feet. ‘Come on, Mrs Whitaker.’ She curved an arm around the old woman’s shoulders and began to guide her along the corridor. ‘Let’s get you back to the lounge. You’re missing all the fun.’
Mrs Whitaker twisted away. ‘Didn’t you hear me? There’s a dead man at the door!’
Nurse Betty stopped, mid-chew. The doors to the lounge were wide open. Garlands festooned the ceiling; coloured balloons drifted over the carpet, paper-cups lay scattered like there’d been a stampede. ‘Where is everybody?’ she demanded.
‘Where do you think?’
Nurse Betty pivoted, turned sharp right and marched into the entrance lobby. Beyond the glass doors, the residents stood in the snow, illuminated under the porch light. The doors slid open and she was outside, cold biting her cheeks, shoes slipping on ice as she descended the ramp. She paused when she saw the snail’s trail of blood in the snow. It came out of the blackness, from the direction of the railroad, and into the light – a red line disappearing into the huddle of residents who were shivering and whispering.
She pushed in to see what they were staring at. A big man in a sheriff’s uniform lay spread-eagled on the ground. The snow around him looked like Strawberry Slurpee. She couldn’t see his face because Mrs Peterson, who was seventy-five and wore leopard-print blouses, was giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As Nurse Betty pulled her off, she gasped.
Hank! Blood stained his neck, his uniform, his hands. She dropped to her knees and opened his jacket. He’d been shot. Above their heads, the sky exploded in bangs, fizzing and popping. A high, keening whistle screamed low over the rooftop.
The new Millennium.
She struggled to her feet to go call an ambulance. Mrs Peterson was again bending over the body. Nurse Betty had to shout over the noise of the fireworks. ‘Don’t give him mouth-to-mouth!’
‘I’m not!’ Mrs Peterson shouted back. ‘He’s delirious. I’m trying to hear what he’s saying.’
A huge explosion shook the air. Silver starbursts lit up the sky.
In the sudden lull, Mrs Peterson again lowered her head to the sheriff’s mouth and when she looked up her eyes were big.
‘He’s saying: “Don’t do it, Ruby. Don’t do it.”’
London. Sixteen weeks earlier …
ABOUT ALISON BRODIE:
Alison is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side.
A disastrous modelling assignment in the Scottish Highlands gave Alison the idea for FACE TO FACE which was published by Hodder & Stoughton. “Fun to snuggle up with” –GOOD HOUSEKEEPING Pick of the Paperbacks. FACE TO FACE became a bestseller in the UK, Germany and Holland.
Alison moved to Kansas. She loved the people, the history and the BBQs! And it was here she first had the idea for BRAKE FAILURE.
Alison lives in Biarritz, France with her rescue mutt, Bayley.
Alison is now an indie author. THE DOUBLE was reviewed in 2016: “Excellent … Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review
BRAKE FAILURE has just been released. Here are some editorial reviews:
“Masterpiece of humor” –Midwest Book Review
“5/5 Empowering … I’d love to see more from this author” –San Francisco Book Review
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31683339-brake-failure
Alison would love to hear from you. Here is her website:
BUY LINKS – Brake Failure
Amazon US: http://goo.gl/yXiKdH
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/UhU5b3