Dan McNay, one of my favorite authors from Los Angeles, has a new novel out: Under the Cold Stones. It’s a dark, suspense thriller. The heroine, Deidre McIntyre, is well versed in men’s secret fantasies and dark desires. At the age of sixteen, she had run away from her small-town home in Paris, Illinois. Her mother, a heavy smoker with a drug habit, had been no role mother for the unloved, self-destructive teenager. Her father, “crazy as a loon,” had disappeared from her life when she was seven. Only he had held the power to save her from herself. She had found refuge and a new life as a hooker in the New Orleans French Quarter, where she became known as Daydee.
Everything changes for Daydee after her mother’s death. As the only surviving member of the family, she inherits everything: a ten-room apartment building (with no tenants), a farm run by a sharecropper, the large house where her great-grandmother and great-aunt had lived, and a cemetery. Her plan on arrival—to “just sneak in [Paris] and get the money from her mother’s estate and leave without getting caught up in anything”—goes awry.