Second Cousin Once Removed by Kenneth L Toppell – Spotlight

It’s another stop on the Second Cousin Once Removed by Kennth L Toppell blog tour. Today is a spotlight post to help promote the book, this is a thriller that sounds like it is a wild ride. I wasn’t able to read this book for the tour but I’m happy to be a part of any promotion for books. Let’s get into the book!

second cousin once removed cover

Second Cousin Once Removed
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Release Date: September 8th, 2020
Publisher: Brown Books

When Henry Attkinson, divorcee and semi-retired attorney, decided to do
a little research into his family tree, he never expected it to take him on the
adventure of a lifetime. Now, he must unravel the mystery of his strange
second cousin’s past to stay one step ahead of him – and stay alive.

As Henry digs deeper, his predictable life becomes anything but as he begins receiving ominous threats from his second cousin Shelley and noticing the increasing number of bodies showing up in his wake.
Henry must go on the run, joined by Carolyn Trellis, a woman who stumbled into his life at just the right – or perhaps wrong -time. Together they must disguise themselves and hop from cities to small towns along the east coast in an attempt to evade Shelley and pursue justice. Though the chemistry between them becomes undeniable, Shelley refuses to be forgotten.

Henry and Carolyn’s minds and hearts will be put to the test as they try to untangle Shelley’s past – little do they know they will soon be facing an even more ruthless villain. When asked about his writing process, Dr. Toppell stated, “I write without an outline. Therefore, if I think the story works better in a new direction while I’m writing, I simply go there. I try it out to see what would catch my reader unaware or surprised.”

Discover the intricate web of mystery and betrayal conjured up by Henry’s seemingly innocuous genealogy research in Second Cousin Once Removed. With plenty of twists and turns, as well as Toppell’s dry humor, readers will be engrossed from page one to the end as they try to catch their breath in this fast-paced, sweaty-palm thriller.

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About the Author:

second cousin once removed author

Author Ken Toppell wanted to write when he went to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was there during a tumultuous time, the start of the sit-in campaigns, the onset of the civil rights movement. He graduated with a degree in History and Political Science before he went on to Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, and postgraduate training in Houston, Texas, and in the army.

Over the next forty-eight years, Ken did his writing on medical wards and in intensive care units. Ken saw organ transplants go from rare procedures only done by celebrity doctors to a new surgical specialty. Passionate physicians implemented new forms of medical research and brought HIV/AIDS from an epidemic with a 100 percent mortality rate to an outpatient disease. There were new tools and new drugs, and Ken learned why medicine is called practice.

As the years passed by, Ken began to give lectures in American History, and he had some time to do a new kind of writing. He now lives in Plano, Texas, where he reads, writes, and enjoys life with his wife of fifty-four years.

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Excerpts from Second Cousin Once Removed:

“I was curious too, maybe even nosy about what the guy, Shelley, was doing now that he was out of prison . . . I wanted to find out more about the notorious second cousin I’d never met” (3).

“’Henry. It’s me, Shelley. You’ve been looking for me. Why?’ That’s all he said. Ten words that scared the hell out of me. He had found me . . . Maybe it was a warning. A frisson of fear ran through me, a shiver previously unknown to me” (6).

“Kids can be very cruel. The object of the cruelty can be crushed . . . Some of those kids never did recover. I recovered. Yeah, I was upset at first, but I’m over it now. As a matter of fact, I took control of the situation, and you could say, I turned it to my advantage. Right after I killed Billy Comstock” (50).

“Now we were on our own, but we’d accept any help along the way. We made plans and tried to keep to them. But as Hymie Rosenberg once told me, ‘Man plans, God laughs.’” (80).

“He confirmed what we had gathered. It was being called an execution, brutal, and unfathomable. Something was off. Something was very off” (103)

“How did it all come to this? I had wanted to do a family tree. Now I was preparing to back up my wife of one day, with the aid of a professional killer, as we tried to free . . . a woman I’d never met” (129).

“I wasn’t entitled to claim integrity for what I had done. Yet, I knew I would do it all again. I was trapped in a conundrum of my own making, bound by the adhesive of ill-gained pride” (189).

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