Men always follow women. It’s the destiny of the cock. Kindle Loc. 2303
Sometimes quiet is so much louder than a scream. Kindle Loc. 3161
TG Wolff, Suicide Squeeze
After reading the title, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book. But then, TG Wolff, whose other pseudonym is Anita DeVito, can make me laugh as few authors can. I wasn’t disappointed. In the first chapter, she paints an authentic scene of twenty-first century life—a woman in the midst of committing suicide, only to be interrupted by the irritation of knocks on her door, the blast of a fire alarm in her building, and the bombardment of twelve puppies bouncing through her doorway—so she gives up her attempt and flows with life. Few can’t identify with Diamond, the woman in question, who is TG’s main character.
I liked the book so much, and had questions about the character, that I downloaded the first book in the series, Widow’s Run. I think you’ll like this series, so start with the first book. It’s just what the doctor ordered after such a horrendous year. Irreverent humor and a rollicking adventure.
Please welcome TG Wolff back to WWK. E.
Why did Diamond kill herself off the first time?
When fate closes a door, sometimes it’s up to you to open a window. The Italian police refuse to reopen the investigation into the accident that took her husband’s life. The suburban wife and juvie youth counselor had only one option left: reincarnate the CIA operative who took “no” as a personal challenge. She set fire to her house and killed Annalisa Rubchinskaya…but from those ashes, Diamond rose.
What did her husband do that got him killed?
Prof. Gavriil Rubchinski died because he only saw the good in people. His research focused on developing a strain of quinoa capable of sustaining people in arid and water-scarce environments. Gavriil truly was altruistic and, wrongly, thought all those surrounding him were the same. Sometimes, it’s not what you do, it’s what you don’t do. Gavriil did not see the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
How did she become a CIA agent when she was a chemistry major in college?
Surprise (no surprise) Diamond got into a little trouble her freshman year of college. Even then, she liked playing with fire. A young professor, Damon Marten, intervened on her behalf, taking her on as a student assistant. Damon had connections to the CIA and they were very interested in the fearless grad student who specialized in things that went BOOM.
Is it hard to kill yourself when the 21 century comes calling, fire alarms, phone calls, robocalls, puppies on the loose, people knocking on your door? Who has time?
Right? How many women have said “Is 15 minutes of peace and quiet too much to ask?” But seriously, it can blow your mind how much difference 15 minutes can make. It’s the difference between being through that intersection or in an accident. It’s the difference between taking that phone call and missing it. And, yes, it can be the difference between life and death. This book has an element of farce around a very serious topic, suicide. Diamond had this adventure because the 21st century invaded, including friends who invaded her personal space.
Do people know Diamond too well?
Ask Ian Black and Sam Irish if they know Diamond well, and they would say yes. Unequivocally. But, that was years ago. The woman they know as Diamond might have the same green eyes, but there is one difference between the woman she was and the one she is. This Diamond has nothing left to lose and that changes everything.
Andrew Dixon is the one who knows Diamond. He’s the one who was with her five days a week before her husband died and after. He saw the changes in her, saw her plotting, saw her stepping away and he followed.
Why does Diamond suspect that when Su-Chen, owner of the dog with twelve puppies, apologizes for a puppy peeing on the floor, she doesn’t really mean it?
It’s a good thing Su-Chen doesn’t play poker. She couldn’t bluff her way out of a paper bag. When Su-Chen called Diamond in the middle of the night to bail her out of jail (that’s another story), she had been apologetic. Did Su-Chen eyes twinkle then? No. Did her mouth quiver as it fought curling up on both ends. Nope. This time there was no apology. Su-Chen was doing exactly what Ian Black asked her to do—keep Diamond busy.
Why does Diamond call Ian “the purveyor?”
Ian Black was introduced to Diamond through a mutual friend of a friend of a friend. Over time, the middlemen grew fat and slow or dropped out of the game until Ian worked directly with Diamond. Whatever she needed, he purveyed. No questions asked.
Seventeen-year-old Andrew Dixon came from an abusive home. Does Diamond have custody of him? How could she have thought to commit suicide when she is responsible for him?
On his 17th birthday, Andrew Dixon took custody of himself, moving out of his father’s house and into Diamond’s spare apartment. Both Diamond and Dixon would deny that she is responsible for him. Not exactly a runaway, Dixon still shows up for school (because Diamond makes him) and is starting to do more with his IT skills than reprogram Taco Taco Taco’s menu pricing. Diamond would have given up grocery shopping and wearing underwear if Dixon wasn’t in her space.
Hanna Lang comes knocking to get Diamond to find her kidnapped husband, Dr. Damon Marten. Does Diamond suspect she’s being played when she finds out the husband just happens to be the chemistry professor, who mentored her, and she worked for?
Diamond is certain she is being played and the maestro with the baton is one Sam Irish. And she’s right. And she’s wrong. Irish needed a distraction for the fiancée who wasn’t rolling over, he put her on Diamond. Irish also knew Diamond’s head was in a bad place and hoped the damsel in distress would get Diamond’s head back in the game.
Dixon is a whiz-kid with a computer, but he also thinks with his stomach. He hasn’t learned to prioritize his needs. Doesn’t Diamond get peeved when in the middle of crucial research, Dixon wonders about dinner, what’s on the grocery list, and if Diamond plans on getting to grocery store that day?
teen stealing food to get by to a young man with a taco habit. Dixon and food go together like peanut butter and jelly. Diamond does give his carnivorous way a single thought but would worry something was wrong if he turned down a snack. Unless it was haggis. Then she’d be cool.
I didn’t know canes were made from bull penises. I didn’t know they were fashionable. I didn’t know you could buy a 36 incher on Amazon for $99. Why does Diamond use one? Why does Diamond throw it away when it becomes limp?
My father had one when I was growing up. Why? No idea. He owned a bar, and someone gave it to him. Damon Marten’s office was filled with eclectic treasures given and bought as souvenirs. When Diamond needs a weapon to tame a surprise visitor, the cane was the perfect fit. For about a minute. Nothing lets a girl down like a limp penis cane.
Diamond is in Dr. Damon’s office searching for clues to his disappearance when two other women enter the office who also don’t belong there. In the middle of fighting, Diamond discovers she knows one of the other women. Even as they fight, Trixie and Diamond start discussing their lives and catching up. They’re both on missions and on their clients’ dimes. When they both go after Dr. Damon’s computer, they continue fighting, but before Trixie escapes without the computer, she offers Diamond a job and wants to do lunch. Is this today’s professional woman?
Today’s professional modern women excel at multitasking and taking a long-term vision. You can’t afford to burn bridges because you may need that bridge in a year or two or ten. Though on opposite sides of that mission, Trixie and Diamond respect each other as they compete, both gunning for the win.
We discover Diamond’s real first name is Annalisa. When did she stop being Annalisa? Could she have ever truly been an Annalisa or has she changed that much?
Annalisa is a beautiful name. It fit the dark haired, green eyed baby but not so much the woman she grew into. Stubborn, independent, curious, and smart, Annalisa caused problems wherever she went. Troublemakers need a short, hard name that’s easy to yell. Diamond.
Diamond knows she’s been played when she finds out Hanna was sent to her by the very person responsible for kidnapping Dr. Damon, but it turns out he’s a friend named Irish, whom she trusts. Hanna, Dixon, and Diamond jet off to Scotland, where pictures were snapped of Irish with Dr. Damon. Why is Irish called Irish if he’s Scottish?
Sam Irish isn’t his born name, but it’s the closest one he’ll admit to. He was born in the Republic of Ireland. He, too, got in some trouble and found his way out of it in Northern Ireland. Irish worked his way into the British spy services and developed his own reputation. He was stationed in Scotland for a time and developed an affection for the land. He owns several properties throughout Great Britain, including those in Suicide Squeeze.
Is Fort Augustus a real place on the outskirts of Loch Ness? Yes, Fort Augustus is a real town on the southern edge of Loch Ness. Attached is a photo I took on the sign coming into town. It is one of the loveliest places I have been. I did not see Nessie in our time there, but it wasn’t for lack of looking.
Were Irish and Diamond lovers?
Yes, Irish and Diamond were casual lovers. They have genuine affection and respect for each other. It’s to be seen if they will be lovers again.
Diamond decides to keep Hanna away from Dixon as much as she can since Hanna is studying child psychology and her thesis involves childhood trauma. Does Diamond think Hanna could be so in love with her own theories that she’ll end up creating more problems for Dixon?
Absolutely. Having lived with a professor, Diamond has seen how out of touch theorists can be with reality. While Diamond may not acknowledge the responsibility she’s taken for Dixon, she will fight like a momma bear to keep her cub from being hurt. The real question to be asked is…is she afraid Dixon will be hurt or is she afraid Dixon will see what she is and turn away, leaving her as surely as her husband left her.
“I’m proud to claim Maryland as my home state, but that didn’t stop me from feeling bad for my Virginia neighbors when they no longer had ice. The woman who had the recipe died.” What’s that about?
When I was in my early twenties, I was a young engineer on a construction project. One of my jobs was to take the tickets from truckers making deliveries. I got to be friends with a bunch of them (I was the age of their daughters) and they taught me a whole lotta jokes. Half of these guys were from Ohio and the other have from West Virginia with only a river separating them. One of the clean but disparaging jokes about the other’s intelligence was:
Ohio Guy: Did you hear they don’t have ice in West Virginia anymore?
Me: What? No, I didn’t hear. Why don’t they have ice?
Ohio Guy: The woman who had the recipe died.
Will Diamond go into counseling therapy as everyone in her life demands?
Yes, she doesn’t have a choice. Talk about your interventions. Book 3 will pick up with the end of Book 2. The working title: Psycho Therapy. Diamond has to figure out how to live with life as it is or we just may lose her. I hope that therapist has a trick or two up their sleeve.
If Diamond has a death wish, she’s in the right business. Will Diamond continue freelance work with her team of operatives?
Diamond has no intention of working for clients, but she’s backed herself into a corner. After killing herself the first time, she can’t go mainstream again (not that she wants to). If there are going to be more mystery/adventures, our hero needs to pull her head out of her butt and figure out what she wants to do with her life.