A Washington, D.C., bank robbery goes hilariously wrong and sets three unlikely people on a cross-country journey that redefines each character’s life. Billy T. Pickle, first time bank robber and jilted husband, plans the caper to impress his spoiled and cheating wife. In the process he inadvertently winds up with two hostages, Phoenix Knott, the quintessential irreverent teenage girl, and Kate Aregood, a proper and outspoken octogenarian.
Their first interaction is prickly at best, but the reader is pulled into the story as the three began to forge a relationship founded on loyalty and trust. Their journey in Kate’s ornery but reliable Dodge Dart starts out as Billy’s attempt to evade capture but eventually becomes Kate’s scheme to redeem Billy’s life and reshape Phoenix’s dreams. It is only fitting that along the way she also experiences a bit of redemption herself.
Cogan . . . deftly weaves a tapestry from two very different genres and uses a distinct voice for each. Her characters touch the heart, and to add to the joy, send tacks on a surprise ending— actually two.
For entertainment on their odyssey, the three began to read a romance novel, Double Trouble. Double Trouble, a tale of mistaken and hidden identity, relates the story of Daisy, a poor Tidewater girl, who takes a job that offers her everything she has ever hoped to have—romance, family and fortune. When she realizes that following her heart may well cost her soul, she faces a decision that could destroy the people she loves most. As Double Trouble enchants the three travelers, it also relays the wisdom they need to rebuild their lives.
Cogan does a fine job of splicing the two novels so the reader does not feel any artifice in gliding from one to the other. She deftly weaves a tapestry from two very different genres and uses a distinct voice for each. Her characters touch the heart, and to add to the joy, she tacks on a surprise ending— actually two.
Cogan is not only a good storyteller, but also owns a gift for the visual. To give just one example, when Billy, Phoenix and Kate arrive at the Mississippi River, Cogan writes: “. . . a series of thin metal bridges stretched up and down the river, precariously stapling Wisconsin to the state of Minnesota.” Most novelists would give a year’s supply of ink cartridges to have penned that.
Treat yourself. Pick up a copy of Double Time.