Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Cat, the Devil, the Last Escape

Author:  Shirley Rousseau Murphy/J. J. Murphy
Genre:  Drama/Paranormal

Five Stars
A ghost cat, the Devil, a deceitful criminal, a father framed for murder, and a vulnerable young girl combine in this magical tale from the award-winning, critically acclaimed author of the Joe Grey feline mysteries, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, and her husband Pat J.J. Murphy.
The Devil has been up to no good . . .

Brad Falon, one of Satan’s longtime puppets, orchestrated a deadly robbery and set up his old friend Morgan Blake to take the fall. Now, Morgan has been sentenced to life in prison, and his wife Becky and young daughter Sammie are devastated. Alone and afraid, in need of comfort and a friend, Sammie turns to Misto, the ghost cat.

Behind bars, her father Morgan makes fast friends with an old con named Lee Fontana who knows a few tricks about outwitting evil. They plan a wily escape to bring the real killer to justice and clear Morgan’s name for good. All it will take is outsmarting the Devil one more time...

A young girl holds the key...
I really didn't know what to expect when I read this book.  Having been a fan of the author's for quite some time, I knew beforehand that it would be good.  I just didn't realize that it would be, well, as intense a read as it was.  It seems that years ago, the devil lost a bet to a late relative of Sammie's, and he's been trying to collect ever since...
Lee Fontana is serving time in prison for past crimes committed.  There is nothing spectacular about the crimes he committed, or why he is there.  He isn't in the best of health, but when he improves slightly, he is moved to a prison in Atlanta, where he encounters another inmate, Morgan Blake. 
Morgan is innocent of the crimes he committed, and his wife Becky is trying to get an appeal for him to prove this.  But the man who set her husband up, Brad Falon, wants him right where he is, because he wants Morgan's wife Becky.  And he will stop at no means to get her;even breaking into her house or threatening her or her young daughter, Sammie.
But Sammie has a protector - the ghost of her dead cat, Misto, who was killed while trying to protect his family from Brad once before.  And Misto also protects Lee, who can see the cat as much as Sammie, the cat being as much a part of the story as the others.
Soon the lives of all will intersect with each other, and those of even more.  For it turns out that Sammie has a gift and a curse.  She has dreams that foretell the future, and know that past.  Even at her young age of nine, she dreams things that will occur.  She knows there is a connection between herself and Lee, and when Lee is confronted with this, he at first denies it, then realizes he must face his own past to free his future, and that of Morgan and his family.
I don't want to say anything more, but I will tell you that this book has a feel to it of the past.  Almost as if everything you are reading takes place in the past, not the present.  It drew me in and kept me reading through most of the night.  The characters are well-drawn, the plot is profoundly thoughtful.  Could this happen?  Would this happen?  You feel as if you are there in the middle of the story, watching, hoping for the best of outcomes while wondering if the danger has passed.
This book is is a sequel to The Cat, the Devil and Lee Fontana, and is definitely worth reading even if you have not read the first book (which I have not but intend to).  Highly recommended. 


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