Out the Summerhill Road: A Novel

Out the Summerhill Road: A Novel

Out the Summerhill Road: A Novel

Out the Summerhill Road: A Novel


From Jane Roberts Wood comes a quietly riveting novel revealing the banal faces of evil in a small East Texas town. In 1946 a young couple is brutally murdered in Cold Springs. And, now, thirty-four years later, the rumor is that Jackson Morris, who had been the only person of interest in the murders, has come home. Or has he?

When the four women of the Tuesday bridge club hear this rumor, their responses range from a reckless excitement to a shaky uneasiness. There's Isabel, compelling and passionate, who foolishly and inexplicably longs to see Jackson, her first love, again while the seemingly innocent Mary Martha prays that the sheriff will put Jackson's head in a noose. Although the eternally optimistic Sarah looks to the law to determine Jackson's fate, the fourth woman, an Irish immigrant and a misfit in Cold Springs, is guided by the spirit world, including a cat, in deciding his guilt or innocence.

When a second murder occurs after Jackson's return, Cold Springs reacts with fear and paranoia while the women struggle to protect their friend's reputation and desperately try to find a murderer.

Number 5 in the Evelyn Oppenheimer Series

Praise for Jane Roberts Wood's Fiction:

"A genuine Texas treasure."-- The Dallas Morning News

"Wood handles whatever she touches with delicate precision, and leaves an impression, not of bitterness of life, but of the tenderness of the human soul."-- The New Mexican

Praise for the Lucy Richards Trilogy:

"It's a winner!--A real down-to-earth story that keeps you spellbound from page to page."--Liz Carpenter, former White House press secretary

"A truly fine tale of the indomitable human spirit, told in the honest voice of a strong young schoolmarm in early day West Texas." -- Larry L. King, author of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

"Wood's lively, eccentric characters leap off the page and will live in the reader's heart long after the book is closed."--Jean Stapleton, actress

"Wood has a rare gift for transcending the ordinary and this heartwarming continuation of her earlier novels is no exception. Wood's narration is seamless and she is especially masterful in creating meaningful characters."-- Publishers Weekly


It was horrible! Just horrible! Rosemary Winslow murdered! Her body found in the Park the night, the very night, of Sarah’s slumber party! Rosemary Winslow. a nice girl. Who could believe it? Not her best friends who waited until three in the morning before they woke up Sarah’s parents to tell them they didn’t know where she was or why she hadn’t come. When the girls saw the grim look on Mrs. Claiborne’s face and watched as Mr. Claiborne threw on his robe and rushed down the stairs to the telephone, they began to realize that something was horribly, dreadfully wrong.

But even as the police were called and a search was begun, nobody dreamed it would end in a nightmare. Who could believe that? Not Rosemary’s father, who, after the call came from Sarah’s dad, hugged his wife and said, “Stay here. By the phone. in case she calls.” and Jacob Winslow threw a coat on over his pajamas, jumped into his car and drove slowly, forced himself to drive slowly, so that he could look down every drive between his house and the Claibornes’ for his baby girl’s blue convertible. But when he saw the two police cars blocking the entrance to the Park, saw a policeman holding his cap in his hand and with his face turned to stone, Jacob knew it was bad. He stepped out of his car and threw up before the policeman could say they had found a young man’s body in the Park beside a blue Chevrolet convertible and that a search for his daughter had already begun.

One hour later Rosemary’s body was found. When that news came, Rosemary’s best friends—young, innocent, heartbroken—tearfully told the police they did not know a thing that might have triggered the slightest alarm about Rosemary’s safety while they waited for her to show up. and then, after a few questions, the girls were shielded by their parents from insensitive questions asked by the police, ques-

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