I am delighted to welcome Rebecca Marks to the blog!
Meet Dana Cohen
by Rebecca Marks
Dana Cohen is the protagonist of my mystery series. Dana is a beautiful, 40-something, redheaded, hard drinking, former NYPD detective who has “retired” after her 22-year stint with the department. Her mother passed away years ago from cancer, but she has now moved back to her childhood home on the North Fork of Long Island to take care of Sam, her aging father who has succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease and lives at the Island Breeze nursing home.
Dana’s ex-husband is Pete Fitzgerald, another NYPD detective she met soon after joining the force. The two married quickly when Dana found out she was pregnant. Both the pregnancy and the marriage were doomed—after Dana’s miscarriage, Pete’s roving eye finally “got to” Dana, and the two separated. But somehow, they never seemed to “pull the trigger” on a divorce, with Pete claiming his Catholic religion wouldn’t allow him to do that. In reality, although they got back together from time to time, with Pete swearing he wouldn’t stray again, it never really worked for them, and now that Dana has moved to Long Island, Pete has stayed in the city and on the job.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Dana cannot seem to resist sticking her nose into getting to the bottom of some terrible crimes that rock the normally peaceful town where she lives. She works with or without the cooperation of local police to solve whatever “unsolvable” crimes happen, despite warnings from the police to mind her own business and let them do their jobs.
As tough as Dana is, though, she also has a soft side that she doesn’t like to admit. When she meets Alex Frasier, her father’s nurse at Island Breeze, the two are instantly attracted to one another. They quickly begin an intense love affair, which seems idyllic until after four residents at Island Breeze are murdered, Dana has reason to suspect Alex of being the perpetrator, and she shares that suspicion with local police. Alex, who is actually completely innocent of any wrongdoing, is so mortally hurt and offended by Dana’s lack of trust, that he says he may never forgive her, and that their relationship is over. But Dana finds out she is pregnant by Alex, whom she still loves deeply, and as she struggles about whether to go through with the pregnancy at the “ripe old age” of 43, she tries desperately to get Alex’s love and trust back. Having been a very heavy drinker during her career and after she moved back to Long Island, the pregnancy forces her to stop drinking, and her sobriety gives her a great deal of insight she never had before.
Dana puts herself out in every way she can imagine, waiting on Alex hand-and-foot, apologizing over and over again, and doing everything else she can think of to win him back. Although he admits he’s never stopped loving her, he is recalcitrant to get back together with her until a mutual friend acts as an intermediary and urges Alex—who is desperate for Dana to go through with the pregnancy—to let Dana know he will be there for their baby no matter what.
After Dana decides to keep the baby, and after a great deal of effort on her part, Alex finally comes around, and the two are reconciled. That gives Dana a great deal of relief, although her father’s declining health is a constant source of sadness. She regrets that her father will never have the opportunity to really know his grandchild. When Alex gets down on one knee and proposes to her, Dana tearfully accepts his proposal and is thankful that she will be with the man of her dreams, and that even at this age, they will be starting a family together.
ABOUT THE BOOK
STONE COLD SOBER by Rebecca Marks (Black Opal Books; September 23rd)
Dana Cohen, a forty-three-year-old, hard-drinking NYPD detective, spent twenty-two years on the force before retiring to Long Island. Now Dana’s best friend, Marilyn, is directing a local musical theater production. Dana’s estranged lover, Alex Frasier, the father of the child she’s carrying, is a Morris dancer in the show, but Dana has no theatrical talent at all. So Marilyn cooks up a way to get the two former lovebirds together, hiring Dana to work security for the production. When Dana discovers a gruesome murder during one of the show’s rehearsals, her “detective gene” overtakes her, and she can’t resist the urge to throw herself into this case. But as she investigates, she uncovers some dark secrets and realizes, too late, how far someone will go to keep them hidden…