Trouble in Paradise

The Sands Motel

By David J. Cox

A review of The Sands Motel by Sheila Kindellan-sheehan

Published on April 1, 2005

The Sands Motel
Sheila Kindellan-sheehan

Price-Patterson Ltd.
$15.95
paper
341pp
1-896881-47-5

The Sands Motel is a story of Canadian snowbirds, prep-school drug dealers, and Floridian old-timers. The setting is a small section of Miami beachfront where old-style motels stand in the shadow of the ever-growing numer of ultra-chic hotels and modern super-spas.

Carmen and Caitlin have come to Miami for their annual beach getaway. Their first few days are dreamy and pleasant as they mingle with old friends and fellow guests. All comfort and familiarity disappear, though, as they accidentally become involved with a gang of rich-kid pushers.

After the gang leader ditches two bags during a police chase, the two C’s, as they’re called, find the bags, which turn out to contain two million dollars. They decide to keep the money. When their identity is discovered by the gang, the story develops into a tale of greed and survival. The two women try to hide the money – and themselves – from the dealers, all the while contending with their own consciences. In the other camp, the dealers are given three days: find the money or be killed. Adding to the mess are the cops, who are asking questions on both fronts.

Kindellan-Sheehan has a knack for creating great action-packed sequences and has a Stephen King-like flair for character. Even bit figures are shown as believable people. She incorporates all the genre elements well: murder, double-dealings, twists and turns. Unfortunately though, the dialogue is at times awkward and unnatural to the point of distraction.

Nonetheless, The Sands Motel places an unlikely combination of characters in a cautionary tale of how money can change everything, destroying the best of friendships, twisting points of view, and clouding the judgement of normally solid people.

Crime fiction fans should find The Sands Motel ideal reading for that beach-front vacation they’ve been planning. mRb

David J. Cox was recently featured at the Verdun Poets Society.

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