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SECOND COUSIN ONCE REMOVED

Uncovering family secrets becomes a fight for survival, when the past comes looking for you.

Henry Atkinson's life as an attorney is slow, predictable, and lonely, to boot, since their divorce left his ex-wife with custody of the kids. To fill the time, he's taken up genealogy as a hobby, but it doesn't do much to spice up his humdrum life.

Until the day he prods at a dead end on one branch of his family tree. Who is Shelley-a cousin he's never met nor even heard of in years? Despite being warned to leave well enough alone, Henry continues his investigation of the man, though it yields little more than a disturbing criminal record that finally convinces him to drop the matter.

But Shelley is a man who doesn't appreciate being looked for . . . and now he knows someone has been looking. Before he knows what's hit him, Henry is running for his life propelled suddenly into a violent world of ominous threats and mysterious strangers. Second Cousin Once Removed is a fast-paced sweaty-palm thriller that will keep you hooked until the last page.

"The action kicks off like a firecracker, and doesn't stop until the bitter end. For fans of Greg Iles and David Baldacci."
— MARCUS LOWRY- READER'S ADVISORY LIBRARIAN

"Kenneth Toppell's prose rings with the crisp diction of traditional noir but tempered with a contemporary sly irony. The reader is immediately drawn into the vortex of events that ratchets up the tension from chapter to chapter. This is a thrilling mystery you will not want to put down."
— NANCY FORD, EDITOR AND REVIEWER



© Kenneth L. Toppell 2020