• Hardcover: 394 pages
• Publisher: Five Star (June 16, 2010)
Ashes to Water is a mystery/thriller, and Irene Ziegler’s first novel.
Set in the 1980s, Ashes to Water is an atmospheric story of a small-town Florida murder and one young woman’s reluctant involvement in its resolution.
When Annie Bartlett returns home to bury her murdered father, she confronts the woman arrested for the crime, only to discover reasons to fight for the woman’s acquittal. This pits her against her erratic and unwell sister, Leigh, whose very survival may depend on a guilty verdict.
Annie soon becomes snarled in the social and political dynamics of the town, a wrenching attraction to her old boyfriend, and the emotionally difficult business of sorting out her estranged father’s tangled past. Obstructing Annie further are “visits” from her mother, who drowned in Widow Lake when Annie was nine. As her attempts to solve her father’s murder lead to more bloodshed, Annie finds herself a suspect in a plot not of her making, and a threat to the town’s movers and shakers, suddenly very anxious to see her gone. When Annie’s father is finally laid to rest in the lake that claimed her mother, Annie glimpses in his sinking ashes the flashing glints of hope and healing.
While it stands alone, Ashes to Water continues the story of Annie Bartlett, who grows up in Ziegler’s collection of linked short stories, Rules of the Lake.
Irene Ziegler is the author of Rules of the Lake (stories) and Ashes to Water, both set in central Florida, where Irene grew up. An actor, she has had recurring roles or guest starred in many notable TV series and films. She is also the voice on your cell phone’s GPS, so kindly stop yelling at her. She lives in Virginia with her husband and a wolf-dog. She is an excellent parallel parker.
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