Rose, a widow and mother of three adult children, is a founding member of the Salton Symphony and one of a group of seven volunteers who call themselves the Symphony Slaves. As the story opens, she is in the hospital recovering from a concussion after being found unconscious outside her friend Judy's house. Rose cant remember how she got there, although she remembers finding Judy bludgeoned to death. This is only the first of several murders that rock the rmally dull Salton, a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Alternate chapters comprise segments of the killer's journal in which she recalls her childhood and reveals the warped logic that enables her to eliminate those who threaten her hard-won lifestyle. She overcame her destitution with the single-minded ruthlessness that drives her to kill again and again when things go wrong. The journal converges with the narrative as the story progresses and shows the terrible fallout that can result from child abuse; but it also suggests that it is t inevitable-her sister is t a killer, after all. This woman's intelligence and drive have worked for her and against her. This psychological suspense, the first of a trilogy, focuses on the characters' inner lives and the social constraints that bind them. Each Symphony Slave changes as her complacency is shaken by dark events she never imagined could touch a community like Salton. And the way it all ends . . . pleases one.
D. A. Spruzen grew up near London, England, earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, and teaches writing when she's not seeking her own muse. In another life she was Manager of Publications for a defense contractor. Her short stories and poems have appeared in many publications, and she is currently hard at work on the next book in the series, Lily Takes the Field. She and her husband live in Northern Virginia with a Jack Russell terrier who doesn't know he's old and doesn't know he's small.