Susan Wolf Johnson

Gasparilla King Blog

After the Tampa Tribune hit town, spreading the news about Daniel's disappearance, Becca hurried downstairs and found her grandmother in the kitchen. Becca wanted to know what she thought about the article.
The first morning Becca was back from New York City, she slept upstairs in her childhood bedroom in the Westcott Mansion. She was oblivious to the newspapers as they hit the porches of Ybor City.
As the chief drove over the Howard Frankland Bridge in his wife's Pinto wagon, Victor gazed out the window at the sun sizzling over Tampa Bay. Sailboats, trawlers, and cruisers darted across the basin, while a couple of skiffs trolled the shadow lines beneath the Gandy Bridge, tarpon hunting...
The morning Victor met with Chief Salazar to discuss the disappearance of Daniel Westcott, Captain Mortenson, the town's old salt, was already in the chief's office when Victor arrived. Mortenson was talking about the boy Daniel had taken with him on the Sea Booty to fish the day before Daniel disappeared...
When Becca was in New York City trying to get money for an abortion, Victor showed up at the Westcott Mansion. He had heard Becca was flying home that afternoon, and he offered to pick her up from the airport. He also wanted to tell Natalie, Becca's grandmother, that he was willing to help the family in any way, now that Daniel was missing...
When Becca came home and found out her grandfather was missing, she had to figure out another way to get the money she needed. Two days later she flew to New York City to beg Pug Kismet, her boss, to advance her eight hundred dollars. She promised to pay him back when her grandfather returned.
How spooky was that at the end of chapter two when Becca stepped out of the tattoo parlor and saw Victor in his silver Camaro. He was waiting for her to cross Kennedy Boulevard, but instead, she headed toward downtown away from the car. Then suddenly she stopped, "knowing she was in the part of town where you took whatever you could get." That night we assume Becca gets in Victor's car and he takes her home...
People assume they know someone by how they dress, by how they speak, or what part of town they live in. But when we're able to dive deep into a family's life, into their history, and discover their darkest secrets, we find out that what we see on the outside only scratches the surface of what's really going on inside the home...
In chapter two of King Daniel, Becca has to grip the banister to steady herself when she climbs the stairs to her mother's bedroom. At the top of the staircase, she sees Eula, her beloved nanny, who has cared for Becca ever since she was born. From the novel we know Eula is an elderly family retainer who is slowly losing her eyesight. Here is a clip from that scene in the hall...

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