Stephanie Banner is twenty 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.
All four are women.
It happens in Portland, Oregon, at the Rose Garden Arena. The show is a sellout. Twenty-two thousand seats gone in less than four hours.
For the eight days leading up to the concert, a handful of disparate lives intertwine as their world unravels. Their sanity, their relationships, their work, their children, the law, and even death hangs in the balance. Among them are: the learning-disabled black kid from East St. Louis trying to move past having his little sister die in his arms when she and his Momma become collateral damage during a drive-by; the quick-witted black man who, after losing control of his car on his way to visit family in Portland, finds himself duct-taped to a chair, a hostage to a meth-addled lunatic wanted for a double homicide; the Latino son now desperately struggling to rise above his abusive father and help his mother and sister move on to a better life, while unable to let go of the tremendous guilt he bears over the fate of the other sister he once had; the slash-punk singer who manages to score her band the best gig of its career, only to learn she may not have a band left to play it; the Korean psychiatrist finally confronting how much of her life has slipped by her—how many years she lost—while focussing on far less important things; the ex-LAPD detective now working for the Portland PD finally facing the ghosts that still linger from the time of the Rodney King riots—a past that forced him to drag his family up out of LA; the bitter ex-wife of a disc jockey who still secretly listens to her ex-husband’s midnight radio show as she drinks herself into a whiskey coma; the out of control daughter having unprotected sex with strangers hoping that pregnancy might draw the attention of parents unable to see past themselves…
And then, Dakota Shane: chart-topping superstar with a dark secret, caught in a media and tabloid frenzy full of rumor, speculation, and lies. She’s off her meds and grappling to find any semblance of herself that might still exist inside an identity forged over the past five years by an extremely successful record company’s marketing department.
Each of these lives is a story and the stories collide with each other like silver balls bouncing off bumpers on a pinball machine.
But in the end, The Rose Garden Arena Incident is a tale about passion, about bravery, about redemption, about fixing those things in the world that are fixable and learning to live with the things that are not—A heartbreaking story of tragedy, despair, and loss that still somehow leaves you with a glimmer of faith, love, and hope.
The Rose Garden Arena Incident is a “serial thriller." The story takes place over seven separate books, each encompassing a full day or more leading up to the Dakota Shane concert.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mosh Pit, the first book in Michael Hiebert's newest thriller series entitled The Rose Garden Arena Incident, is not just going to leave you wanting more, but demanding more. Mosh Pit will grab you from the first page and not let you go, as we witness a terrifying scene in the opening chapter--one which has become all too common in real life. At a concert, five people appear to be randomly shot, and only one of those victims survive. Who is the shooter? Why are they shooting? Who is the intended victim? We don't know--and neither do the victims. But in this 20K word opening book, we are given a host of possible suspects. Journey back 8 days, where we meet some of the victims, and some other characters who are yet to be involved in the terrifying scene in the opening pages. We have Karma Shaw, a 16-year-old girl with a troubled family life and her two much older girl friends, Brenda and Stephanie, two fully grown women who should know better. Then we have bouncer Rodney Esquivel, the father of the girl Karma sometimes babysits. We also have two detectives: Tony Benedetti and Dennis Martin, who clearly have a knack for being in the "right" place at the "right" time. But don't forget about the sympathetic young fighter given a break by the detectives (Matias Perez) with his musician girlfriend, Alexis Thorn. We also get a glimpse of the inner workings of alcoholic mother, Trinity Shaw, in charge of parenting Karma (and doing a horrid job of it), with her ex-husband and DJ, Lex the Axeman. Between these two parents, Karma has an impossible job of growing up to do. But Hiebert sure knows how to end on a cliffhanger, as he introduces yet another character certain to weave his way into this story: Reggie Hines, the not always responsible, yet long-distance father figure to Marshall, a young, disabled teen who lost his family to a drive-by shooting. Everyone in this story has a heavy cross to bear, and just when it gets interesting, Hiebert moves you on, leaving you turning pages and wanting more. With sharp, clean prose, and an interesting, diverse cast of characters, Mosh Pit will grab you from the very first page and leave you waiting for Part 2. Book 2 of The Rose Garden Arena Incident, Media Frenzy, will be released about a month after this. *I was given a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
I absolutely loved this book, I haven't read a book in years as I'm dislexic and it makes it hard to follow from time to time. The last book I read was in the 90's, other then having to read tech books for school. Right off the start Mosh Pit gets you hooked and wanting to find out what happens, I found it to be such an easy read for me. Each chapter I read I had the need to read more, Michael keeps you in suspense and wanting more. I read this book in about 3 days which is very fast for me, I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next and couldn't stop reading it. Every character in the book has something going on, the more I read about each character the more I want to find out about them. I look forward to reading Book 2 - Media Frenzy of The Rose Garden Arena Incident. I was given a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.