|Boulevard of Broken Dreams|
|Release Date||March 2, 2018|
|Tagline||"You don't know where you're going until you know where you've been…"|
|Theme Song||"Boulevard of Broken Dreams", by Green Day|
|Preceded By||Dirty Little Secret|
|Followed By|| The Big Surprise
At The Chair Emporium, Brett reported for work and met up with Louie, one of his co-workers at the store. They set off on their itenerary for the day, making furniture deliveries, while Louie made small talk about the baseball game. Upon arriving at their first stop, Brett discovered that Dave Mathison just bought the old Eaton place, intending to make it his and Carol's new home, as she was expecting their first child. Dave made an awkward attempt to be friendly, but mentioned that he couldn't believe Brett was delivering furniture, as he thought he was supposed to be famous by now. This was not the only thinly-veiled insult to come out of Dave's mouth, though Brett shrugged off most of the ribbing, much to Louie's dismay.
Meanwhile, Marnie toiled behind the counter of a clothing store, alongside a girl named Alice, who complained repeatedly about her boyfriend and voiced her intention to break up with him. Carol came in, demanding a dress for her upcoming housewarming party, and Alice tried to sell her a garish, but expensive, garment, in the hopes the commission will help her pay her phone bill. While Alice was off fetching a hat to match the ensemble, Carol asked Marnie's opinion and Marnie ended up talking Alice out of a sale by telling Carol the truth.
Shortly thereafter, Jeff showed up, revealing that he was the boyfriend Alice referred to, and Marnie found herself in an awkward position when he playfully tried to use her interest to make Alice jealous. He then revealed a stack of cash and Alice agreed to leave with him, but not before Carol dressed Marnie down for not knowing her size. This caused Jeff to intervene, making a bumbling attempt to small talk to divert Carol's attention from Marnie -- a sweet gesture that only intensified her crush on him. This did not go unnoticed by Carol, who took it upon herself to give Marnie a little advice after Jeff and Alice left -- stay away from Jeff, because he was nothing but trouble.
Meanwhile, Shane woke up from another bender to find a strange young woman in his home. It took a moment for him to remember meeting her the night before, though he struggled to understand why she'd stick around long after their night together. She later introduced herself as Peggy, and helped fill in the gaps of the evening, reminding him that they'd been unable to make love the night before, but that he'd promised her not to marry or to get pregnant, relating how much it hurt when Carol did the same. She then intended to make good on their promise to try again in the morning but Shane, sensing her vulnerability and uncomfortable with how much of a physical resemblance she bore to Carol, backed out of the situation. Peggy did not take this well, slamming her way into the bedroom and railing about how stupid she'd been to fall for a damned drunk, while Shane realized that in some strange way, he'd been trying to replace Carol with Peggy, resolving that he would have to make his peace with her marriage to Dave and move on.
Later, Carol met Terri for lunch, relating her morning at the clothing store and the awful dress Alice tried to sell her. She also shared that she noticed Marnie seemed to have the hots for Jeff, before conversation turned to Brett and his new position at the store. Carol said that she believed Lance would offer Brett something different (meaning better), while Terri maintained that she had nothing to do with what went on at the store. After some needling, Carol got her to admit that it did bother her, but that there was nothing she could do. Then, Carol went on a tirade about how little Lance cared for her or her family, encouraging Terri to earn his respect by neglecting some of her household chores. Terri paid this lecture little mind.
After a raucous afternoon of lovemaking, Jeff awoke to find Alice in the process of leaving and tried to convince her to stay, only for her to confront him on the casual nature of their relationship. Exhausted, he tried to tell her that he'd been up all night and, later, that he did love and care for her very much, but stopped cold when she suggested that they should be married. Alice took this to be the confirmation that their relationship was going nowhere and broke up with him once again, but not before telling him that she wanted him to look at her the same way he looked at Marnie, noting that she'd noticed the flirtatious interaction between them. Jeff denied this, citing Marnie's age, but Alice refused to listen to him, leaving the hotel room in a huff.
After work, Louie took Brett out for a birthday drink, and they posed personal questions to one another to pass the time. They were soon joined by Shane, and the tension between Shane and Louie was obvious right away. Louie related that they saw Dave earlier in the day, then made a good-natured but ill-advised suggestion that Brett "not be a pussy" and continue to drink, because it was his birthday. Knowing that Shane was likely to intervene, Brett dragged him out of the situation to the pool table. There, Shane told him about his encounter with Peggy earlier and asked if he was crazy for the strange ways he'd tried to move past Carol before ultimately answering his own question with the words of his analyst: the reason none of his relationships work out is he sees Carol as his gold standard, and no one else can measure up.
Meanwhile, Evan took a trip to remote Charity, an hour outside of town, to Rocky, an apparent vagrant who hung out near the abandoned movie theater. It took some time for Evan to gather his nerve, but he finally approached Rocky, telling him that Homer told him about him and his services. Rocky immediately asked Evan if he was vice, then announced his pricing when satisfied that it wasn't somehow a set up. Evan opted for the $10 special, but wasn't counting on the lack of privacy Rocky had in mind. Sensing Evan's nervousness (and overhearing his low recitation of Hail Mary), Rocky asked if it was his first time, and Evan told him it was not, but soon found himself searching for a distraction as Rocky began to perform fellatio on him in the alley. After he was done, Evan attempted to convince himself that what had happened was a mere biological reaction, and would've occurred with anyone, of either sex, but seemed to grasp the enormity of what he'd done as he got back into the car.
Later that night, Lance arrived home in a particularly foul mood, ranting about how hard it was to find decent help in the store. Terri attempted to distract him, offering up Brett's birthday card -- a card Lance was noticeably reluctant to sign -- and reminding him about the plan to have dinner with the family this evening. Lance denied knowing anything about it, then unleashed another tirade about his brother-in-law, revealing that Brett (and Louie) had taken off an hour and a half early, with one delivery left to make...and to make matters worse, they did so in Lance's truck. Furious, Lance mentioned firing Brett and Terri begged him not to, pointing out how much he needed this. She tried to insist that there had to be some sort of misunderstanding, because she refused to believe that her brother would just take Lance's truck, which turned Lance's anger onto her. He tore into her for making excuses for Brett, then declared that her father had been right about her. Emotionally, Terri told him that was not the case, before finally getting Lance to agree to let her get to the bottom of the matter before he made any rash decision.
After a night of heavy drinking, Louie drove Brett home, where he was greeted by Julia, both his parents, and his mother-in-law, whose overly friendly nature instantly put him on edge. Julia's displeasure with his drunken state was apparent right away, as was his father's animosity toward him. After more than a few pointed references to what a failure his son had turned out to be, Julia's mother finally had enough, calling him out for saying such things. This served to get Julia involved, all while Brett and his mother looked on helplessly. Knowing that he had to do something, Brett summoned the courage to speak up, but before he could say what he was really thinking, Terri arrived, noticeably without Lance.
Shortly thereafter, alcohol got the better of him, and Brett passed out in the middle of the party, only to be awakened by Terri an undetermined time later. She told him she was about to leave, but wanted to ask about the truck before she did. He initially had no idea what she was talking about, but seemed to snap to the severity of the situation when she mentioned that Lance was talking about firing people. He almost gave up that the whole thing had been Louie's idea, before realizing that Louie had a lot more to lose than he did, and assuming full responsibility. Though he could tell she was disappointed, Terri quickly concocted a plan to lie about the whole thing, telling Lance that the truck unexpectedly broke down and Louie was forced to fix it on the fly. Brett was surprised that she'd suggest he lie, but she refused to back down, saying it was the only way he could keep his job. She also made him promise to never do anything of the sort again.
Overview and Theme:
This book chronicles the events of August 9, 1961, a humid, sticky Wednesday in Haven Park. While the murderous events of the first four books are still five years away from this volume, there are signs that things aren't nearly as picture perfect as they appear on the surface...especially when it comes to the characters' love lives.
Formats and Pricing:
Barnes and Noble Nook
The book is $0.99 on all American outlets.
The only regular characters who do not appear in this book are Lucas and Michael, the reasons being that Lucas was living in Cheyenne as Caleb Hennessy at the time, and his storyline would not intersect with any other characters. Michael, having been brought in to investigate the murders, also had no ties to the community at that time.
This is the first book since book one not to have at least one lyric tie-in from the Lyrical Challenge established in 2010 while the series was still webfiction. This is also the first book not to contain an interlude.
This book contains the first explicit sex scene of the series, between Evan and Rocky. All other scenes of a sexual nature had been implied rather than shown.
The book was titled through popular fan vote on the Facebook page. The three choices for a title (with vote tally) were:
Picture Perfect World -- 2 votes
Little Lies -- 1 vote
Boulevard of Broken Dreams -- 3 votes
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/798708 -- smashwords.com