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Comments from the Editor

In Caught in the Cold Snows, the ingredients of exemplary American fiction arrive in a contemporary package adeptly penned by the story-teller, the plot’s recipe stirred and thickened before your eyes, and the suspense heated to fully-baked. T.R. Healy’s characters are raw and true to life, unburdened by exaggeration other than for sudden effect. The author defers instead to the extremes of populist behavior represented in his contrast of civic leaders and regular people with drug offenders, abusers, extortionists, and animal killers. Caught in the Cold Snows tells us plenty about who may be good or bad, frightfully revealing the common presence of inhuman varieties within communities.

Caught in the Cold Snows features “nice guy” Curtis Reese, burned-out from teaching college courses and his coincident spousal separation. In need of change, Curtis temporarily sidelines himself to the relative impassivity of limo driving while unraveling the puzzles of his life. Vulnerable to loneliness and the effects of an unusually long, cold, snowy Oregon winter, instinctively humanistic, Curtis looks forward to an upcoming, second charitable trip to sunny Mexico, and the reaffirmation of his good will toward others.

As fate would have it, do-gooder Curt acts when a life needs saving and, stepping in knee-deep with the rescued woman, is stuck battling a diverse lineup of nasty characters who counter his protective actions with intimidating threats of physical harm.

Suspense flows uniformly, danger increases forcefully. There’s no drifting. Fearful action is swiftly executed. In Caught in the Cold Snows, Mr. Healy knows exactly what he wants to showcase -- essence of character and storyline without dislocating the reader with superfluous commentary. The author plays with his sheltered characters; exposing the weakness of habitude that criminals feed on. Impaired by little need for street-sense, the honorable incompetently, albeit sometimes bravely, lead themselves into the deepening accumulation of a prevailing storm.

Caught in the Cold Snows is more than a proxy for good versus evil. The reader is asked to compare and side with either those who respectfully tow-the-line, or those who fail to comply due to emotional inadequacies, or more alarmingly, heinous impulses toward crime, abuse, malfeasance, and other brutal behaviors.

The surprise is that you may be disappointed in both.