Broken Choices, the second installment of The Beadle Files, begins in the midst of bad omens on the high desert of New Mexico, then weaves its hard-edged suspense to the final page. For several members of the ensemble cast, both physical and supernatural threats lurk in the shadows as a dark man masquerading as a crazy-eyed scarecrow invades their consciousness.
Storylines take the reader to Rooster's Barnyard on the southern outskirts of Denver, where murder precipitates a change in management; to the musty basement of a building where cans of gasoline and peculiar bundles are strategically placed by a man in black; to an unemployed nurse who is guilt-ridden and tormented by menacing nightmares; and to a seasoned policeman upchucking the contents of his stomach at a crime scene.
Boss Hawkins, who has thoroughly exasperated Mandy Kilmer, is the catalyst for trauma that strikes close to home. Criminal powerbrokers initiate a scheme to neutralize, or quite possibly terminate, the Pinkerton man's crusade against them. Lifelong allies come alongside Hawkins, which puts into motion preparations that culminate in dramatic violence.
In the aftermath, LC Beadle utters thoughts that tie the soul-testing adversity into a thorny Gordian knot: "Killing someone is a broken choice, but these circumstances were precarious at best. There was no other way for the quandary to be resolved."