How Far Is Heaven? by Laurie Hanan
Christmas is never easy for mail carriers. But for Louise Golden, the season of good cheer is about to become a nightmare. Exhausted after a long day of delivering mail in nasty weather, Louise is heading back to the station. Through the heavy rain, a ghostlike figure appears in her headlights. Louise hits her brakes, but it’s too late. A thud shakes the mail truck, and a girl lays crumpled on the roadside.
She is taken to the hospital, unconscious. Who is she? What was she doing in the middle of the road on a rainy night, dressed only in an oversized tee-shirt? No one has reported the girl, now called Jane Doe, missing. When she regains consciousness, she remembers nothing—not even her own name. Louise befriends the frightened girl, who then disappears.
Louise is suspended from work during the accident investigation, and uses her time to search for the missing girl. Meanwhile, with the holiday in full swing around her, Louise is confronted with religious traditions she feels no connection to. And how in the world is she supposed to sort out her relationships with the four men in her life? Each of them seems almost right, and yet so completely wrong.
Sexier and grittier than Almost Paradise, The second Louise Golden mystery takes the reader on a true Hawaiian roller coaster ride.
All that stood between me and sudden death was a faded yellow line. Westbound commuters, hepped up on coffee, whizzed past me. God bless caffeine.
My portable radio blared Jingle Bell Rock. I considered flinging it out the window, but I was waiting for the six o‟clock evening news. After the news, I‟d fling the radio.
My name is Louise Golden, better known this time of year as Louise McScrooge. I work for the U.S. Postal Service. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night … and all that good stuff. In Hawai’i we don‟t have to worry about snow, but the rain in winter can be real humbug.
My headlights reflected off the wet road. I leaned forward, hoping the change in position would ease the pain in my back. I‟d spent the last twelve hours delivering Christmas cards and packages in this miserable weather. I was cold, I was wet, I was beyond exhausted. Santa Louise. Ho ho ho, merry Christmas!
Through the downpour, a figure appeared in the road. She was young, maybe twenty. Her long, dark hair and oversized white tee-shirt clung to her thin, pale frame. Her feet were bare. If she‟d just continued across the road, she would‟ve been fine. But she didn‟t. She stopped in front of me, frozen. I hit my brakes and swerved hard. At the same moment, I hit my brakes and swerved hard. At the same moment, the woman doubled back the way she had come. Right into the path of my truck. My tires skidded on the wet asphalt, and there was nothing I could do to avoid hitting her.
A sickening thud shook the truck. She flew several feet and landed on the muddy roadside.
Copyright© Laurie Hanan. All rights reserved.