The Sower, Book Two of the Chimera Chronicles
by Rob Jung
Hawk Hill Literary, An Imprint of Ingram

"…what is she hiding that is so awful that someone thought a threat was necessary?"

In 1971, the day after her high school graduation, Mary Blethen, strung out on heroin, leaves tiny Zumbrota, Minnesota. She returns only once to abandon her young son on her mother's doorstep. Over three decades later, Hamilton Blethen's grandmother is murdered, and the now-grown man redoubles his already unflagging search for the mother who left him. An assault shortly after the murder leaves Hamilton, a talented oil painter, paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. Both to help in his search and solve the murder, he hires Detective Veronica "Ronni" Brilliant. But Magnolia Kanaranzi, a ruthlessly aspiring Massachusetts senator who apparently hates transgender people like Ronni, won't hesitate to commit multiple murders to safeguard the secret of Mary's whereabouts. Does she know who murdered Hamilton's grandmother? And when Mary Blethen changed her name, did she choose one that hinted she was still firmly anchored by her small-town roots despite her acquired wealth and influence?

Jung based this novel and its predecessor on the 1937 work The Reaper by Spanish painter Joan Miró for the Paris International Exhibition. In 1938, it was either lost or destroyed. Its uncertain fate supplied the impetus for one of the book's mysteries, namely whether Hamilton is just a clever forger or whether he did, in fact, inherit Miró's original work from an aunt. Hamilton's anguish about the change in his physical ability, his maternal abandonment, and the damage accusations of forgery inflict on his reputation lend the text the same poignancy found in written descriptions of the vanished mural. Kanaranzi's meticulously choreographed public persona also reflects a visual artist's minute awareness of detail. The abrupt and total shattering of that persona mirrors how suddenly and completely artwork can be destroyed. This book will likely resonate with modern art enthusiasts, mystery fans, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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