A Dark and Lonely Place
In 1911 John Ashley, a young man from rural Florida, was accused of robbing and murdering a Seminole. In this true-life story, Ashley escapes jail and he and his childhood sweetheart, Laura Upthegrove, become fugitives. Their lives echo Bonnie and Clyde’s as John escapes jail, and for thirteen years the couple scramble to survive. Along with a few accomplices, Ashley is blamed for nearly every crime committed in Florida – a few of which they actually are guilty. In the end, John Ashley and his gang meet the same bloody end as Clyde Barrow, and Laura takes her own life.
A century later, Sergeant John Ashley of Miami Homicide is investigating a horrendous boating accident when he realizes two things. The first is that Ron Jon Eagle, notorious Seminole lawyer and casino lobbyist, was dead long before his boat rammed into a beachside hotel. The second is that Ashley feels an irresistible attraction for a witness, a model named Laura. Eyebrows are raised when Ashley dumps his fiancée for Laura, and doubt ratchets even higher when Ashley kills his captain and flees custody. Has Ashley turned rogue, or is he destiny’s pawn?
Edna Buchanan has won numerous literary prizes, including the Pulitzer, during the eighteen years that she covered the police beat for the Miami Herald. She has studied more crimes than most policemen, and uses that experience and razor-sharp prose to fine effect in A Dark and Lonely Place. Buchanan relates John Ashley’s story, creates the fictional John and Laura, and asks whether they can alter fate or are doomed to repeat their antecedents’ tragic fates. I highly recommend that you visit Buchanan’s Dark and Lonely Place to learn for yourself.