"Wow - this is one INCREDIBLE novel that I could not put down. It had me on the edge of my seat and I can honestly say that I never saw the end coming. It was full of suspense, action but also humour (done in a way that only Lauren can accomplish)." - 5-Star Review of THE NUTCRACKER CONSPIRACY by Working Mommy Journal
Book Title: The Nutcracker Conspiracy (A Thorny Rose Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 388 pages
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: January 30, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 (Lauren Carr's books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!
Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin. Even after numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital.
Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist who’d disappeared months earlier.
“She was number twelve,” Dean says.
“Twelve?” Murphy asks.
“Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.”
Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy:
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Do You Believe in Conspiracy Theories?
By Lauren Carr
Do you remember Pizzagate?
According to Esquire, Pizzagate started in 2016 when Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta's email was hacked, and the messages were published by Wikileaks. One of the emails, was between Podesta and James Alefantis, the owner of D.C.'s Comet Ping Pong. The message discussed Alefantis hosting a possible fundraiser for Clinton.
From there, someone got it in their head that the emails contained coded messages for a pedophile ring run by the leaders of the Democratic party. Within a few weeks, a pro-government media outlet in Turkey started tweeting the conspiracy theory using the hashtag #pizzagate.
And so the conspiracy grew and grew and grew until a 28-year-old North Carolina man, outraged that no one was doing anything about this pedophile ring operating out of the pizzeria, walked into the restaurant and shot it up.
How does an email about arranging a fundraiser for a political candidate grow into a world-wide conspiracy? Good question.
As a mystery writer, I explored how such a phenomenon can and does happen while writing my latest Thorny Rose mystery. The Nutcracker Conspiracy deals with a mystery surrounding a conspiracy theory. Surprise! Who would have guessed?
The Nutcracker Conspiracy, named after the ballet which the president is attending when there is an attempted assassination, is loosely based on the JFK assassination. This latest Thorny Rose mystery takes up three years later. Conspiracy theorists are convinced the attempted assassin did not act alone—but rather that the president’s cabinet had framed the alleged assassin in a failed coup attempt.
In my opinion, most people are skeptical of those conspiracy theories that are contrary to their own beliefs. Yet, they happily jump on board for those conspiracies that validate their agendas.
Several years ago, my late mother came to believe that the moon landing was faked. Distrustful of the government, this conspiracy fell in with her beliefs. Of course, the government would con the world in such a manner.
Likewise, another elderly fellow I know firmly believes that Nazi Germany was framed for the Holocaust. A world-wide conspiracy against Nazi Germany better serves his own personal anti-Jewish agenda.
Whether they be personal or political, agendas are like fertilizer to conspiracy theories. What starts out as a germ of truth, spreads like manure as those wanting the alleged infraction to be true spread the word. In the case of Pizzagate, it was an alt-right motivation to smear the left.
In watching the news, even recent events, I have observed that conspiracy theories take root from the tiniest of incidents, mostly coincidences, and grow like weeds. Over time, events that may or may not be connected to the original conspiracy get tossed into the mix. That makes it difficult to sort it out the truth from the fiction.
It’s been close to sixty years since the JFK assassination. A few hours after the shooting in Dallas, a police officer was shot and killed. Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Allegedly, Ruby had mafia ties. A witness to the assassination who swore he heard four shots was killed in a motorcycle accident four years later. An investigative journalist died six years later. Her manuscript about the JFK conspiracy disappeared. Those are just a few of the deaths that conspiracy theorists list as part of the government’s cover-up.
Of course, if the conspiracy theory gets grand enough, it can become laughably unbelievable.
Murphy Thornton laughs about The Nutcracker conspiracy when a writer claims that twelve people connected to the assassination attempt have died or disappeared—until two days later when the writer becomes number thirteen. When a friend is accused of the writer’s murder, Murphy and Jessica go to work unraveling the conspiracy to find out the truth about what had happened that night at The Nutcracker.
Over a half a century later, there’s still a huge debate about whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the JFK assassination or was he a patsy. Mostly likely, your opinion depends on if you trust or don’t trust your government.
The writer in me asks, “Suppose there is some truth to it?”
I have discovered that the truth is not always wholly black and white. Sometimes, you have to peel back the layers of lies, perpetuated by those who have their own agendas, to get to the truth at the core.
That’s what makes investigating a conspiracy both challenging and fun.
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June 9 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – audiobook review / author interview / giveaway
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