EDDIE JEWELL is in jail with a secret everyone wants. Her boyfriend, ETHAN CROSS, needs to know the answer to stay alive. FBI Special Agent RANDAL HICKS, can’t complete his case without uncovering it. Serial criminal, SID MARKS will do anything necessary to get it. Ninety year old, LIZZY WATTS will help her to survive what’s coming.
Eddie’s story is about love, betrayal, and punishment. She is pretty and popular, and melds with her classmates like cream to coffee. Finishing her senior year in high school, she meets dark, handsome, mysterious Ethan Cross. The relationship blooms into love and romance. Then, six months later, Ethan convinces Eddie in a romantic, but insincere gesture to leave school and travel the world with him. The idea is a flirtation for Eddie until she challenges Ethan about not having the money necessary to support such a crazy idea. Ethan challenges her back by asking Eddie to meet him in the morning at State Street Bank & Trust where he intends to withdraw a sizable inheritance. At the bank the next morning, Naïve Eddie watches helplessly as Ethan Cross, along with his accomplice, ALANA BAKER rob the bank, leaving Eddie to take the fall.
The FBI convince a jury that Eddie robbed the bank. She receives a ten-year sentence in a federal women’s prison near Philadelphia. She spends three years of her sentence with cell mate MARCIE contemplating her life, talking to the walls, and imagining a sordid future.
The FBI takes new interest in the case stemming from a current investigation of a long-time criminal, Sid Marks. The FBI interrogates Eddie, and hatches a plan with US Marshal JAMES BELK to capture and convict Marks with Eddie’s help.
“This story is engaging and entertaining. There’s a tone and a voice throughout that’s unique and at once relatable. This novel is a winner.”
In Crimes of a Secret Nature by Michael Durney, an error in judgement results in seventeen-year-old Eddie Jewell’s incarceration. Is she guilty? And if so, of what? Eddie is an intriguing, flawed main character placed in a difficult, dangerous situation.
Themes such as secrets, redemption, and justice are masterfully woven through the tale.
We meet colorful characters such as Eddie’s cellmate, Marcie, Eddie’s boyfriend-turned-betrayer, Ethan Cross, and handsome US Marshall, James Belk. The story is well-paced, exciting, and suspenseful. The touches of witty banter and funny scenes brought on giggles as I rooted for the jewel-in-the-rough character, Eddie.
This gem of a book has the excitement of a thriller crossed with the character-focused writing of literary fiction, laced with smile-producing moments of humor. At the end of the book, I was sad to say goodbye to Eddie, but I’m hopeful for a sequel to catch up with this unforgettable character.
It’s not often that a book makes me shout warnings, chuckle, and worry all at the same time, but Crimes of a Secret Nature had me doing just that. Michael Durney has crafted a wickedly funny, scrappy heroine in Eddie Jewell, whom you can’t help but root for. She’s backed up by a host of intriguing characters and a juicy, thought-provoking plot. Easily one of the cleverest books I’ve read in a while.