Supported by an eclectic cast, Kari Watkins and Luke Maxwell are the primary protagonists in A Town Divided, the latest novel in the Mountain Mystery Series, released July 2020.
KARI WATKINS is a feisty, green-eyed, 38-year-old brunette who prefers comfort over glamor. A competent and no-nonsense paralegal, she’s been employed by Perkins & Maxwell Law Group more than 15 years. Her strong opinions and short fuse lead to verbal and, on occasion, physical confrontations.
Kari has lived in the mountain community of Ridgeview, North Carolina her entire life. Childless and recently divorced, Kari resides in a single-story home at the edge of town. She’s comfortable with her current status, but there’s a subtle attraction between her and Luke Maxwell, a young partner at the firm. She attended high school with Luke, but ran in different circles, and they never got to know each other until years later.
Kari and Luke work side by side to find the killer of Glen Perkins, their longtime friend and partner at the law firm.
LUKE MAXWELL is all business. With steel blue eyes, short sandy hair, and a convincing stare, the former high school linebacker has maintained his six-foot athletic frame and competitive demeanor.
A Duke law degree and State Supreme Court clerkship contribute to an impressive résumé. He is well on his way to fulfilling his professional aspirations at a firm in Raleigh when his father suffers a fatal heart attack. Glen Perkins, his father’s law partner, convinces Luke to return to his hometown of Ridgeview to take his father’s place at the two-attorney firm.
Luke didn’t expect the small-town firm to engage in high-profile cases. But when his senior partner is gunned down in the office parking lot, Luke finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation with statewide focus. Perkins had been representing Ridgeview County landowners in an eminent domain battle against the NC Department of Transportation. The DOT is condemning land in preparation for a highway expansion. Powerful men with a lot to gain are backing the project.
While investigating his partner’s murder with the help of Kari, Luke confronts those behind the highway project. The tenacious couple become entangled in controversy, and eventually, run face-to-face into an evil no one saw coming.