A character-driven legal suspense story

A legal suspense story

Weighing the Truth

In Christine Z. Mason’s just-released novel, Weighing the Trutha character-driven legal suspense, 32-year-old attorney Natalya Drummond struggles with significant challenges in her life–a demanding job representing criminals in their felony appeals, crushing grief over the sudden death of her husband, and the difficulties of raising a young child on her own.

The novel opens as Natalya travels with her slacker colleague Rick Cropper to visit their death-row client Jared Hegner at San Quentin prison. Hegner claims he’s innocent and is furious that his appeal is moving too slowly. When his two lawyers inform him that the most he can hope for is to have the death penalty reduced to a life sentence, Hegner becomes even more enraged and threatens Nat and Rick, boasting that he has gang connections on the outside. Bizarre and disturbing incidents follow, leading Nat to believe Hegner’s purported gang members are responsible, especially when she becomes the victim of a traumatic attack.

Police detective Emily Zhu helps Nat pursue the identity of the attacker down a shocking and unexpected path, as Nat comes to question her own assumptions and even her sanity. Has her fear clouded her perception of the truth? Has her distress undermined her passionate belief in the presumption of innocence?

After the alleged perpetrator is arrested and charged, testimony at his dramatic trial hints at a possible link to the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Nat’s husband–a mystery Nat feels she must solve before she can move on in her personal and professional life.

Weighing the Truth explores the devastating emotional impact of violent crime upon its victims, and the too-frequent failure of our criminal justice system to provide justice for all. Readers who enjoy Elizabeth George, Benjamin Black, or Tana French, and who like to be drawn into an increasingly suspenseful tale, will be engrossed by this psychologically complex legal drama.

” . . . an emotionally supercharged domestic thriller . . . [E]ven relatively peripheral characters, such as Hegner, are all fully realized and authentic, which makes the emotional aspect of the story feel intense and intimate. As a result, readers will experience the diversity of Drummond’s feelings during her painful but redemptive journey of self-discovery. . . [W]ill have suspense fans turning pages until the very end.” —Kirkus Reviews

Weighing the Truth is more than a legal thriller. It’s a close inspection of morals, ethics, and values in the face of threats, gang involvement, attorney interactions, and a level of professional involvement that suddenly turns all too personal, unexpectedly placing Nat on the other side of the witness stand . . . [W]ill delight readers who look for more personal touches and protagonist development in their legal fiction.” –D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Boundaries: A Love Story

Boundaries: A Love Story is a richly textured novel about the devastating effects of abandonment and the primacy of love. During a vacation on a small island off of Cape Cod in 1980, a young woman is drawn into the maelstrom of family secrets and dysfunction and eventually into a profound but imprudent love.

“Forbidden love flourishes in Mason’s debut novel as Kaia and Mark, first cousins, fall in love. The two meet the summer that Kaia is 16. Devastated by her parents’ recent divorce, Kaia is finally ready to confront her mother for leaving her with her controlling father in Berkeley, Calif. When Kaia and her mother spend two weeks together with Kaia’s aunt and uncle on an island off  Cape Cod, instead of contending with her anger toward her mother, Kaia finds herself fiercely attracted to Mark, her older cousin who is about to start law school. . . . As the story shifts from Maine to California, Kaia and Mark will have to make decisions that will affect them and their families. The characters and their choices come alive as dynamic and complicated in this involving story about desire and the intricate secrets of families. The issues of Kaia’s finding herself, despite her father’s iron fist and Mark’s at times suffocating love, speak to the tricky navigations of the heart as well as the delicate balance of individuality and interdependence. Kaia shines as a growing girl who changes over the course of the novel, and the tension of her conflict will keep readers intrigued. A feast of romantic entanglements that tests the odds.”—Kirkus Reviews   

See the full review on Kirkus Reviews: Boundaries: A Love Story on Kirkus Reviews

Through this East Coast-West Coast love story, Boundaries: A Love Story explores the extremes of abandonment and passion, and tracks the conflicts between individual desire and societal expectations.

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Praise for Boundaries: A Love Story

“BOUNDARIES: A LOVE STORY will have you torn between lingering over the beautifully crafted prose and rushing ahead to discover how several absorbing questions are resolved. The story of Kaia and Mark and the difficult decisions they face will lead you to think about the novel long after you’ve read the last page.”

– Susan Samuels Drake, Author of Fields of Courage and Wandering Amazed

“Intriguing and touching, a beautiful story.”

– Bharti Kirchner, Author of Darjeeling and Tulip Season: A Mitra Basu Mystery 

Praise for The Mystery of Nan Madol

“A rare gem of a book for young readers, a gripping adventure tale that I could hardly put down.”

– Bharti Kirchner, Author of Darjeeling and Pastries

“Middle graders who enjoy an ancient mystery, wild animal chases, curses from angry natives and being lost in the jungle will love the adventure of The Mystery of Nan Madol.”

– Linden McNeilly, MFA and 6th Grade Teacher

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