Authors Showcase: Carson Chance, P. I. by N. E. Brown
February 15, 2015
The Book: Carson Chance, P.I
The Author: N. E. Brown
The Story: This is a sentimental and epic story about a young man, injured in the View Nam War, who returns to Dallas, Texas, in 1965, and begins rebuilding his life. Set against the rock and roll era of late 1950’s and early 1960’s, when casual sex and recreational drugs were the norm, two brothers who were separated from their mother at a young age, are reunited only to find that their upbringing on opposite sides of the tracts puts a deep wedge between their relationship.
Returning from a VA hospital in Louisiana, twenty-six year old Carson Chance stops on the interstate to pick up a beautiful seventeen year old female hitch hiker named Amy Warren. He agrees to let her stay in his guest room until she gets on her feet and soon discovers that she is wanted for the murder of her abusive step-father and he feels obligated to prove her innocence.
Carson and a fellow PI spend hours re-tracing Amy’s steps over the last thirty days and ultimately find enough evidence to set her free from her incarceration in Austin, Texas. Once Amy is released from jail, she flees to Dallas after being threatened by the same men that killed her step-father.
Scared, alone and longing to be in a relationship with Carson, she returns to prove she has grown into a woman but Carson pushes her away feeling that she needs someone closer to her own age. Determined to show Carson he is wrong, she attends college and then becomes a motorcycle cop in Carson’s own neighborhood and often stops by his house to tantalize him. The sparks are ignited and Carson’s life will never be the same.
Carson’s own life is threatened when a member of the Chicago mafia tries to hire him to find someone for them. When Carson refuses they use Amy to blackmail him into helping them. Carson barely escapes death again, and his addition to drugs puts him over the edge and drives a deep wedge between him and Amy, his one true love.
Review by M:
Chances are plentiful but challenging for wayward 17 year-old Amy Warren who runs away from a wretched life of abuse into the unsuspecting arms of a Vietnam vet and loner, Carson Chance, P.I., who only has room in his heart for one. N.E. Brown’s novel Carson Chance, P.I.: Over the Edge provides the familiar nuances of initial exciting attraction between strangers which only escalates. In offering an innocent ride to Amy on his motorcycle, Carson feels obliged to follow through on helping her establish a clean slate in Dallas, Texas. However, when his instincts provoke him to do a background check on her, he discovers she is wanted for murder. His guilty conscience and interest in her leaves the door open for him to focus on vindicating her.
The sexual magnetism and comfort of their on again-off again relationship trepidatiously evolves over several years to the promise of a committing relationship through the complexities of dysfunctional families, an arrest for murder, haunting post traumatic syndrome, threats from the Mafia, death, and rehabilitation. Brown presents the dominance of the doting private investigator in Carson who cares for the naïve Amy and juxtaposes it by the end with the strength of a transformed woman who has joined the ranks of the local police department and in pursuit of a law degree and ultimately a troubled Carson’s heart.
On the outskirts of the romance there are some tender moments in the friendship Amy develops with her 75 year-old landlord, “President Thomas Jefferson” who looks on her as a daughter, and gives her some prophetic advice, “Make it count now…you only get one chance in life.” This comes at a time of renewal for the young woman who tries to convince herself she must move on from Carson.
N. E. Brown’s Carson Chance, P.I.: Over the Edge shares the story of two individuals who embark on the tortuous and sometimes uncomfortable journey of facing personal demons from the past, confronting the criminals of the present, and fighting the intimidating possibility of a fruitful future with the one they love. Both seek some semblance of emotional stability by being apart, but find that sometimes circumstances beyond their control take hold and cast them in situations and places which only serve to solidify them. And sometimes that is fate’s reward.
Review by Patricia J. La Vigne:
During the Vietnam War of the 1960’s, Carson Chance returns to the United States after his discharge from military service. Unfortunately, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has now become a demon he must battle.
While riding his motorcycle from Louisiana to his home in Dallas, TX, he meets a young hitchhiker named Amy, who has run away from an abusive homelife.. She persuades him to let her come to Dallas with him. Over the months, Amy begins to realize she is very much in love with Carson, but he will not allow himself to commit to a serious relationship.
Nancy Brown leads the reader through a myriad of situations, including personal conflicts of the characters, two murders, incarceration of an innocent victim, the effect of the death of a dear friend on Amy, and the emotional tug-of-war Amy and Carson endure as each tries to put order into their lives. The reader is kept guessing for only at the end will resolution occur. The question is for whom will it favor?