Abigail Pearson has a weak heart and--according to her daughter JoAnna--an addled brain. Abigail lives alone in the family home and one night she suffers a heart 'attack', brought on by the appearance of the ghost of her husband.
The midnight visitor sets in motion a tornado of family events: Abigail's daughter and her hateful son argue over her fate, and her grandson and his pregnant young wife hover about, awaiting the promised legacy of the dark, ugly house--which they plan to sell to finance their start in life.
But events puzzle septuagenarian Emily Charters and her friend, Chicago detective Jeremy Ransom. They know the 'ghost' is human, and the torment of Abigail appears to have little motive, except for the nasty house that is all Abigail owns. What is the motive? What's the gain? And who begins killing off the players in this ill-fated, dysfunctional family?
The answers are surprising, and very real. "Ransom Unpaid" is a book about human motivation--greed, love, passion, and loneliness. It's well written, and is made more interesting by its character portrayal, particularly of the two old women.
I recommend it.