In this captivating tale of crime, government corruption and mystery, Municipal Clerk Chelsey Alton gets more than she bargained for when she encounters an irate resident and loose cannon, Robert Triggers. Triggers has been harassing the employees in the small, Jersey shore town where she works and he becomes the prime suspect when multiple attempts to sabotage the municipal building are made. Chelsey begins to piece it all together and finds herself framed for a crime she did not commit. She narrowly escapes several attempts at her demise, only to find herself in a much more precarious situation. Will she make it out alive or end up a tragic victim at the hands of a madman?
Red Tape was a thrilling ride through the small town of Sunshine, New Jersey. Chelsey works for the town helping with town meetings, helping people file for marriage licenses, death certificates, etc., among other tasks like working the polls during elections. As the story starts, Chelsey is just coming back to work after maternity leave. She’s a single mom, newly split from her fiance, but loving her life, nonetheless. But, things quickly change after she heads back to work. Robert Triggers wants some dunes installed at the end of his street to prevent his home from being destroyed in a storm. He determines to push the issue as far as he can, and he’s particularly out to get the mayor. Questions start forming in Chelsey’s mind when the office she works in is vandalized and safety papers (forms for vital statistics) are discovered missing. Before long Chelsey becomes a target. She finds herself battling more than one kind of storm.
This was an easy and enjoyable read for me. The characters were all well-described, and their unique personalities shined. I could easily see myself being friends with Chelsey. She’s a strong and independent lady; she’s not weak like so many protagonists today. She doesn’t just lay down and become a victim, and I really appreciated that. There were a couple times I did wonder how she wouldn’t be more freaked out than she was.
The plot was always intriguing, and as the plot thickened the tension was palpable. The scenes were gripping, and some really pulled on my heart strings. I balled my way through one heart-wrenching scene. Let me note here that there’s some strong language in some of the scenes that may be found offensive to some.
The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the ending. It just felt very abrupt, and I have found myself struggling to remember exactly how it ended. I think it just lacked a little of the punch the rest of the book delivered. Overall, I’d rate it a solid 4 stars with its gripping scenes, and the strong emotions it evoked. I read mysteries from time to time, but I wouldn’t by any means say they’re my favorite genre. The fact that I look forward to reading more from Michele Seigfried should say a lot!!
About the Author
Michele Lynn Seigfried is a mom, municipal clerk, public speaker and author. Born and raised in New Jersey, she has served for municipal government for over 15 years in two different municipalities. She holds a B.A. in Communication from the College of New Jersey. She obtained the Master Municipal Clerk certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2010. She also holds the Registered Municipal Clerk certification and Certified Municipal Registrar Certifications from the State of New Jersey.
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*