Featured: River Running Backwards by Susan Clayton-Goldner
Will one more dark secret lead him to the person who murdered his three-month-old sister, and vindicate his mother?
If Detective Winston Radhauser knew how many skeletons visiting his dying uncle would unearth, he might have stayed in Ashland.
But he might never have learned the truth about his past.
During a deathbed confession, Winston Radhauser learns his parents are still alive and his mother is in a psychiatric facility having confessed to the murder of his three-month-old sister.
After her confession, his mother stopped talking and hasn’t uttered a word in forty-three years.
Torn between grief for his uncle and anger at the lies he’s been told, Radhauser sets out to discover the truth about his family. As he conducts his own investigation and uncovers more evidence,
Radhauser realizes the police took the easy way out by blaming his mother.
He is convinced she is innocent.
During his investigation, he unveils one more dark secret.
Will this one lead him to the person who murdered his three-month-old sister, and vindicate his mother?
Meet Susan Clayton-Goldner:
Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware, and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She has been writing poems and short stories since she could hold a pencil and was so in love with writing that she was a creative writing major in college.
Prior to an early retirement which enabled her to write full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.
It was there she met her husband, Andreas, one of the deans at the University of Arizona’s Medical School. About five years after their marriage, they left Tucson to pursue their dreams in 1991–purchasing a 35-acres horse ranch in the Williams Valley in Oregon.
They spent a decade there. Andy rode, trained, and bred Arabian horses and coached a high school equestrian team, while Susan got serious about her writing career.
Through the writing process, Susan has discovered she must be obsessed with the reinvention of self, of finding a way back to something lost, and the process of forgiveness and redemption. These are the recurrent themes in her work.
Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014. Her novel, A Bend in the Willow was released in 2017 and is a Readers’ Choice Best Books of 2017 winner.
She has just finished her 11th book in the award-winning Winston Radhauser mystery series and is working on #12. She has also completed a stand-alone thriller, called Tormented, which won the Rone Award for best thriller, and a novel based on her journey to love and forgiveness with her alcoholic and abusive father entitled Missing Pieces.
After spending 3 years in Nashville, Susan and Andy enjoyed a quiet life in Grants Pass, Oregon, with her growing list of fictional characters, and more books than one person could count. Andy died from a massive brain bleed on March 10, 2021. For months afterward, Susan couldn’t write about anything except grief.
She found the grief road to be rocky with many potholes, but she is now writing again. Somehow she knows the writing will be what brings her back to life. When she isn’t writing, Susan enjoys making quilts and stained-glass windows. She says it is a lot like writing–telling stories with fabric and glass.
Review by Detra Fitch:
During a deathbed confession from his uncle, Detective Winston “Wind” Radhauser learns that his parents are still alive. His absentee father has finally sobered up and remarried.
His mother, Anna, is in a psychiatric facility, where she was placed over forty years ago after Wind’s three-month-old sister, Hope, was murdered. A sister that Wind never knew he had.
The police report states that Anna confessed to the murder and has not spoken a word since.
Torn between grief for his uncle and the anger at the lies he has been told all his life, Wind sets out to learn what really happened on that May night in 1959.
The clues begin to paint a disturbing picture and Wind becomes more and more determined to prove Anna’s innocence.
But his questions are making someone nervous and that someone is not above targeting Wind’s loved ones in their efforts to stop him.
Let me start off by stating that each title in this series can stand alone; however, since this installment deals with Wind’s distant past, having read one or two of the previous titles would give this episode more of an impact.
The author definitely knows how to describe Wind’s various feelings in a way to pull at the reader’s emotions.
Wind is not the only character followed. Readers follow within Anna’s mind as she sees and processes what is happening around her. I found that very interesting.
Mysteries by Susan Clayton-Goldner are well researched, well written, and not to be missed.
Please click HERE to find River Running Backwards on Amazon.