Stephanie Banner is 20 years old the night Dakota Shane stands center stage while six bullets ring out through the stadium. Five deaths occur from those shots, although only four ever go on record.
It happens in Portland, Oregon, at the Rose Garden Arena. The show is a sellout.
For the eight days leading up to the concert, a handful of disparate lives intertwine as their world unravels. Among them the learning-disabled kid from East St. Louis trying to move past having his little sister die in his arms; his quick-witted father-figure who inadvertently finds himself duct-taped to a chair, hostage to a meth-addled lunatic; the son desperately struggling to rise above his abusive father; the slash-punk singer managing to score her band their best gig ever only to learn she may not have a band left to play it; the psychiatrist confronting her wasted life; the ex-LAPD detective now working in Portland finally facing the ghosts still lingering from his past; the bitter ex-wife of a DJ, still secretly listening to her ex's midnight radio show while drinking herself into a whiskey coma; the out of control daughter having unprotected sex with strangers hoping pregnancy might draw her parent's attention.
And Dakota Shane: chart-topping superstar with a dark secret, caught in a media frenzy full of rumour, speculation, and lies, grappling to find any semblance of herself inside an identity forged by an extremely successful record company's marketing department.
Each life is a story and the stories collide like silver balls in a pinball machine.
A tale of passion, bravery, and redemption, The Rose Garden Arena Incident is ultimately about learning how to fix the parts of the world that are fixable and learning to live with the parts that aren't. A heartbreaking story that still leaves you with hope.
A "serial thriller", The Rose Garden Arena Incident takes place over seven separate books.
©2016 Michael Hiebert (P)2016 Michael Hiebert
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