Paramedic Zoe Chambers and the rest of rural Monongahela County’s EMS
and fire personnel are used to wading into the middle of trouble to rescue
the sick and the injured. But when someone with an ax to grind seeks
retribution by staging accident scenes and gunning down the first responders,
Zoe finds herself forced to not only treat her own brethren of the front lines,
but also, in her role as deputy coroner, seek out whoever is killing her friends.
At the same time, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams races to track down a gun,
a mysterious all-terrain vehicle, and the sniper before Zoe goes back on duty,
placing herself—and Pete—firmly in the gunman’s crosshairs
Henery Press released the fourth in the Zoe Chambers series, With A Vengeance, on May third. This series captured my attention from the first book, Circle of Influence, which was an Agatha finalist for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014.
Lost Legacy, the second book in the series, surprised me because it surpassed Circle of Influence in its explosive character development (a hard-won achievement few authors attain). The third in the series, Bridges Burned, culminated in a stress-filled ending. It was nominated for an Agatha in the Best Contemporary Novel category.
Annette’s talent for creating tense situations coupled with clashing characters continues in With A Vengeance. If you haven’t read this series—put it on your TBR pile! You won’t be disappointed.
Please welcome Annette Dashofy back to WWK. E. B. Davis
Thanks so much for having me back!
When two paramedics are shot, killing one and injuring another, no one can figure out the motive and fear spreads among the emergency response community. What’s the M.O.?
If I give away his motive, I’m giving away the ending! But I will say this guy picks locations with no one and nothing around where he can make his shot from a safe distance and get away quickly! He’s a real challenge for Pete and local law enforcement.
When two firefighters are shot, killing one and injuring another, what common factor is discovered?
Besides the obvious emergency responder thing, Zoe finds out the two victims were both on a call together weeks earlier, which had resulted in some nasty threats.
After the paramedics and firefighters are attacked, Pete arranges police escorts to 911 calls. What are the effects of this vigilance?
Pete catches his man! Or does he? Hmm…
In With A Vengeance, Zoe is dependent, making her uncomfortable. Please describe for our readers the two issues Zoe faces, which cause basic day-to-day living hard.
Poor Zoe. Not only is she currently homeless and mooching from her best friend, now her trusty old Chevy pickup is on the fritz and in the garage, forcing her to beg rides and borrow cars to get anywhere.
I thought Rose (Zoe’s best friend) had some good points when it came to the dishwasher (not the cats!), but she’s really hard on Zoe, who saved Rose’s daughter, Allison, in Circle of Influence. Is Rose overly defensive or is she being a good mother?
I’ve had several people think Rose was a little over-the-edge here, and she is! But consider what’s going on with her. She’s suffering from jet lag and culture shock after being in New Mexico for months. She can’t reach her son, who’s still out west. And she’s worried to death about her daughter who’s newly clean and sober—and diving back into the real world for the first time since being out of rehab. Rose is stressed to the max and not dealing with it well. Zoe’s her best friend and is “safe” so yeah, she’s venting in her direction.
Sylvia Bassi (Rose’s mother-in-law) is still my favorite secondary character. She mentors Zoe even though Zoe’s job has little to do with Sylvia’s old dispatching job or her current job as a county board member. What role does Sylvia play in Zoe’s life?
We met Zoe’s mother back in Lost Legacy and let’s face it, Kimberly was severely lacking in maternal skills. So Sylvia plays Mother Hen to Zoe. And to Pete, too! Sylvia is a mentor, the voice of reason, and the guardian angel, all rolled up into one.
A lowlife named Eli “Snake” Sullivan is found four wheeling in a quad on tracks used by the killer. Why is Snake a good suspect?
His name pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? (With apologizes to those of you who own and love snakes.) He’s been in trouble with the law for years, he’s a bully, and he’s not too bright. I love those videos and stories of stupid criminals, don’t you? Well, Snake is one of those.
How are response calls handled, and why does Sylvia come in to cover the calls? Is this a real situation in many counties?
There’s a county-wide emergency dispatch center where all 9-1-1 calls are routed through. But the police and ambulance stations have non-emergency numbers that locals are often aware of and will call rather than bother 9-1-1. Sylvia, having worked as police secretary for years, feels she knows Vance Township better than someone in the county seat of Brunswick where the dispatch center is located, so with “her boys (and girls)” in danger, she decides to take the dispatching chores into her own hands. As for it being a real situation in many counties? This is where setting my stories in a fictional community comes in handy! It’s plausible and it’s how it’s done in Monongahela County. Let’s leave it at that.
Chuck Delano, Pete’s former partner now living in Maui, pesters Pete again to move there by offering him a job. But Chuck’s constant haranguing backfires on him. Will Chuck ever learn?
One can only hope. Although after everything that’s transpired, I think Pete and Zoe deserve at least a VACATION in Hawaii! Don’t you?
One of the victim’s ex-fiancé is a whack job named Lucy Livingston. Lucy and her father have a talent at sharpshooting, making them good suspects. What does Zoe find out that has her concerned about one of Pete’s deputies?
The call which resulted in threat that I mentioned earlier? It seems most, if not all, of the victims had ties to it. And the police officer who stepped in just happens to be one of Pete’s men.
I love that one word between Pete and Zoe enables her to respond to a life and death situation correctly. Aren’t these two meant to be together?
Well, of COURSE they are. But THEY don’t realize it yet!
Will Zoe get a new truck?
Ha! When I finished the book, I really intended for her to give up the Chevy, but so far she’s been resisting the idea!
Can you envision yourself writing the fifteenth Zoe Chambers novel?
Fifteenth??? Wow. I would love it if my readers still loved Zoe and Pete after that many. I’m currently finishing the fifth and plotting the sixth, and that’s about as far as I’ve thought.
How do you relax, Annette?
Relax? What is THAT? Just kidding. Sort of. I’m so glad spring is here, because I love to go to our fishing camp. I don’t fish. My husband does. But while I’m there, I do a lot of walking and biking. And ordering dinner out. My other “escape” is watching old westerns. I have an embarrassingly huge collection of DVDs!