ABOUT LIQUID SHADES OR GRAY:
First his brother, now his mother— Jack Girard searches for the truth behind his family's tragedies
When hungover ex-lawyer and Key West bar owner Jack Girard groggily wakes up one morning, he's greeted by a beautiful woman lying next to him and a shrill, ringing telephone. Seeing the call is from his father, Claude “ The Duke” Girard, Jack answers. Within seconds, he learns that his mother is dead in an apparent suicide, and Jack hits the road, heading back to his childhood home in Miami to face his tyrannical father.
The death of his mother brings up haunting memories from Jack's past— memories of his brother Bobby's suicide when they were in college together. Being back in Miami only continues to dredge up his family traumas, but things grow more complicated when The Duke suggests that his estranged wife's alleged suicide may have been a murder.
As Jack begins to uncover the truth about his mother's death, including the secret she had revealed to only two people— the same secret Bobby had taken with him to his grave— he finds himself in imminent danger. Can Jack reveal the true story before it's too late? He has to act quickly, or he fears he may be the victim of the next Girard family tragedy.
EXCERPT OF LIQUID SHADES OR GRAY:
The day began badly but the worst was coming. This is the way of many stories, although I hadn’t thought of it in a comparative way until I began piecing this together.
It’s been a while since it all happened. You wonder about the effect of traumatic events on already imperfect memory and about perceived connections that may not even be real.
You, at least, understand that I’m alive to tell this tale, if that’s what it turns out to be. But what of the damage done? What’s the result of all that?
There I was, opening my eyes uncertainly, head throbbing and lips dry; definitely a hangover—nothing new. A shaft of light from a nearby window revealed the murky outline of furniture I recognized as my own. Safe in my own bed at least, I fleetingly thought. But then I heard the soft breathing that was clearly not mine.
Turning slowly—agonizingly—to my left, I encountered the bare shoulder and silky black hair of Anna Markova, a high-end Key West sex worker I knew casually from her sporadic visits to my bar.
“Good Lord, Jack! What have you done?” I whispered.
I was dully transfixed by a small heart tattoo on her shoulder blade, wondering why she put it there where she would never see it. I noticed a light dusting of freckles on her otherwise alabaster skin, offering proof that she did sometimes venture out in the tropical Key West sun, although I had only seen her in artificial light. I pondered these things while my mind otherwise raced to fill the void that was last night.
Needing answers, I lightly squeezed her right shoulder and watched as she slowly but fluidly rolled over to face me. Her startling cornflower blue eyes settled on me. I tried to hold her gaze but peripherally saw that she was naked, at least from the waist up.
As she reached forward to touch my cheek with the back of her hand, she made no effort to adjust the sheet that partially covered us.
“Good morning, Jack. How are you feeling?”
“Never better, Anna. Why are we here?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
"I'm thrilled to be releasing Liquid Shades of Blue," said Polkinghorn.
"This book has been a labor of love for me, and I can't wait for readers to dive into the complex world of Jack Girard and his family. It's a thrilling mystery that keeps you guessing until the end."
James Polkinghorn is a lawyer and partner in a national law firm specializing in labor and employment law.
A Pittsburgh native, Polkinghorn moved with his family to Florida in high school, where he has since stayed.
He has a degree in political science and a law degree from the University of Florida.
Liquid Shades of Blue is his first novel.