An Old Chaos



The second novel in my Latouche County mystery series, An Old Chaos, is available from Perseverance Press with a spiffy cover and some very nice reviews. An Old Chaos deals with a lethal mudslide and the aftermath of catastrophe on a small rural county. Meg McLean, Rob Neill, and Madeline Thomas figure in the story, and so does Elizabeth McCormick, wife of Sheriff Mack McCormick, whose house is destroyed in the slide. The disaster reveals corruption in high places, and heroism in unexpected places.

About a month after I sent in the corrected proofs of this novel, a massive mudslide hit Stevenson, Washington, causing serious property damage and threatening worse. My hair stood on end. When I researched the book, I wanted to look into disaster response and the problems natural disasters cause for American communities. A mudslide seemed plausible and dramatically manageable. (I toyed with volcanic eruption but that would call for international press coverage, and I didn’t really want to deal with that kind of thing, so I picked the mudslide as the second-best--or maybe the second-worst scenario. Really, folks, I didn’t cause that slide.) I don’t think I have a prophetic bone in my body. In any case, the story is fiction. If it rings a bell for Stevenson residents, I hope readers there will think I dealt with the problem believably. But Klalo is not Stevenson, the charming seat of Skamania County, though there are resemblances.