Bryant Hawkins —
Former Chicago Police detective
Jan Elliot — Former Chicago Police detective
Angel Jimenez — Bryant's teenaged neighbor
Dave Jimenez — Bryant's neighbor
Maria Jimenez — Bryant's neighbor
Emerald Cove Cast
Steve Curtis — City council president
Leona Curtis — Steve's wife
Linda Roberts — City council administrator
Bill Roberts — Linda's husband
Chuck O'Bannon — Pub owner and former Boston police officer
Jonah Attenborough — City prosecutor
Allyson Granger — Assistant city prosecutor
Lou Granger — Allyson's father
Charmaine Granger — Allyson's mother
The Victim and Her Family
Mary Beth Brockleman — College student murdered in Emerald Cove
Susan Brockleman — Mary Beth's mother
The Gallia Five
Jonathan Mayfield — College student in Cincinnati, Ohio
Richard Currence — College student in Huntington, W.Va.
Trevor Adams — College student in Columbus, Ohio
Joey Straight — College student in Marietta, Ohio
Mark Shrekengost — Laborer in Bedford, Pa.
Outside Police Officers
Holly Garvin — Huntington, W.Va., Police detective
Barry Chumley — Gallia County, Ohio, Sheriff's deputy sergeant
Ed Strelzcyzk — Cincinnati Police detective
Mike Mitchell — Ohio State Patrolman
South Carolina State Police
Ron Wilson — Captain of the local barracks
Bea Harrison — Crime scene and forensic tech
Emerald Cove Police
Regina Post — Detective First Grade
Jim Andrews — Detective Third Grade
Aaron Marks — Detective Third Grade
Mickey Garrett — Detective Third Grade
Carlos Morales — Detective Second Grade, forensic tech
Scott Lewis — Community and media relations liaison
Adele Coleman — Duty sergeant
Stan Williams — Duty sergeant
Others from Emerald Cove
Anna Kozlov — Angel's best friend
Erik Kozlov — Anna's father
Beth Kozlov — Anna's daughter
Rosa Delgado — Cook at O'Bannon's Pub
Mira Delgado — Rosa's granddaughter
Cassidy Bell — Teenage theft suspect
Herman Tallmadge — Convicted sex offender
Ryan Lucas — America First Posse member
Derek Parsons — America First Posse hitman
Kelley Lucas — Lucas' wife
Caroline Lucas — Lucas' daughter
Ronnie Lucas — Lucas' son
Sanford, S.C., Cast
Melinda Pahl — Suspected sex offender
Victor Yoxley — Suspected sex offender
Danielle Pahl — Melinda's daughter
Ashlynn Pahl — Melinda's daughter
As my writing has grown more ambitious, moving from short stories of about 20 chapters to novel-length offerings, I've discovered the necessity to have two stories going at the same time.
That allows me not only to move away from a story to flesh out sections that have proven troublesome, it keeps me from getting bored with the characters in either effort. I believe it was boredom that forced me to cut short many of my earlier efforts before I took the characters all the places I could have.
"Death and a Life in Emerald Cove" began as a sidelight to "A Flawed Diamond." I continued to work on it after I started posting "Diamond" and as I worked on the next novel-length story I'll post at Stories Online in a few months.
"Emerald Cove" is different from anything I've written. I am certain some of my more devoted readers will be disappointed with certain aspects of the subject matter. The story doesn't revolve around a happy group of friends. It doesn't have a light and funny romance. It has very little levity.
"Emerald Cove" is about a burn-out Chicago detective, a man with no real friends, let along funny ones. The story is dark, even in its lighter moments.
I have been advised by my longtime editor, BlackIrish, that some of the chapters should have advisory tags. I've decided that I'm not going to do things that way.
Although given the low readership (or at least the low reader retention) of my previous Author's Notes this probably isn't the best place either.
There is no description of sexual activities between the characters in the story. However, there are graphic descriptions of non-consensual sexual activity during several courtroom scenes and there are scenes involving child sexual abuse. The descriptions are not designed to be titillating. They are descriptions of criminal activities.
I do not portray sexual assault and child abuse as anything less than I view them: sickening acts perpetrated by sub-humans.
If you draw sexual excitement from these activities, it is probably better that you close this story now. Likewise, if such descriptions trouble you to the point you cannot function, this is not the story for you.
I truly hope both groups I have described will heed this warning and act accordingly. I also truly hope you will return to my homepage in a few months when my next story is posted. It is more like my usual fare.
The typical disclaimers apply: This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental; I hold the sole copyright of this work and will defend that copyright if this story should appear, in whole or in part, on any site without my knowledge and consent.
There are also the non-traditional disclaimers that usually accompany my work.
Emerald Cove, South Carolina, is a fictitious city. Other places in the story, Gallipolis and Cincinnati, Ohio; Huntington, West Virginia; Sanford, South Carolina, are real.
This story is in no way meant to be an accurate portrayal of life in any location mentioned in the story. I am particularly rough on the citizens and public servants of Gallia County, Ohio. I have not visited Gallia County in two decades. The last time I was there, it was a lovely place. I simply needed places to set the story and I chose places with which I am familiar.
It is not my intention to defame or denigrate any public official in any location described in the story. If anyone is offended by the way I have portrayed places in this story, please accept my sincere apology.
I am not an attorney. I took the same license with courtroom testimony that television and other writers often take. I did not follow strict rules of testimony or evidence, instead choosing to make the scenes more interesting than actual courtroom testimony often is. As a newspaper writer, I have covered numerous trials. There is little excitement in them. Instead, it is mostly a dry recitation of fact.
In real trials, there are no "Perry Mason" moments when the real killer breaks down in tears and confesses. There are no surprise witnesses and few revelations that are unknown to either side. The rules of evidence and testimony prevent such things.
Where I could, I have pulled excerpts from actual trials, edited and fictionalized, to lend authenticity to a subject I know little about.
If you are an attorney and you take umbrage at the way the scenes are portrayed, please accept my apologies.
I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist. The thoughts and rationalizations I describe for certain characters are not intended to be construed as those offered by medical professionals. I used my interpretations on the subject matter as fodder for the character's thoughts.
If I haven't scared you away by this point, I hope you'll enjoy "Death and a Life in Emerald Cove."