After 14 years, Nick Kepler is taking a bow. In a novella that revisits the events of “Roofies” and Bad Religion, Nick finds himself embattled on two fronts. First, his business is dying. After getting kicked out of his digs at TTG Insurance, the agency is bleeding cash. Worse, he can’t get Elaine to make a decision about devoting herself full-time to their business.
Or even if she and Nick will be together.
But Nick is busy fighting another fight. Gypsy, the stripper turned high-price call girl, is leaving the sex trade for good. Only someone has a big problem with that and sends her a violent message. While stashing her on an island in Lake Erie, where the tourists won’t arrive for another month, he hunts down her attacker, digging into her past and find he has old scores to settle with many of Gypsy’s enemies. Because, as he reminds Gypsy, he can never repay someone for taking a bullet for him. She has the scar on her shoulder in case he ever forgets it.
The decision to end the Kepler series and how to do it was a difficult one. A fourth Kepler novel stood ready in outline form, but when I began to write, I found Nick was not talking to me anymore. His tale was told. It needed only a coda. I had thought of killing him off, which is tricky in a first-person series. In the end, I decided to up-end Nick’s world and let him decide his own fate.
So now, the story that began in 2001 with “A Walk in the Rain” now ends with Gypsy’s Kiss. And like “Walk,” it’s a tale of loyalty and sometimes crossing a line for someone Nick cares about. Gypsy is the ultimate survivor, a woman who, by all rights, should not have lived past her mid-twenties were it not for a suburban cop named Kepler telling her “You dropped your knife” and present her with a big target for that knife. Elaine is Nick’s best friend, wants to be his lover, but wants to reboot her life. And Nick? Like Gypsy and Elaine, he’s just trying to put the past to rest and live in the present.
Gypsy’s Kiss is exclusively on Amazon for the next 90 days. Get it now, and say goodbye to Nick Kepler.