Dream Country: A Nashville Psychic Mystery
by Dan Jewell
Dilly Renfro, 35, is one of country music superstar Doyle Renfro’s three legitimate children. Since being shot in the head by a robber in a Nashville mini market holdup over a year earlier, Dilly has noticed several changes in her personality and behavior. She has become more assertive, admitted to her family she’s a lesbian, and discovered she has precognitive dreams.
As the narrative begins, a leak to the media has revealed that African-American college student Pearl Emery is claiming that she is Doyle Renfro’s illegitimate daughter. Her attorney is Harry Hardin. In a dream, Dilly sees a murdered Pearl lying in a pool of blood. Unsure whether to trust the dream or not, she decides to keep it to herself. Her father calls and asks Dilly to join him in a meeting with Pearl’s attorney.
Doyle confesses to Dilly and Harry that Pearl really is his illegitimate daughter by Georgia Emery, a local restaurant owner. He says he will announce it publicly and add Pearl to his will. That same night Pearl is found dead; her body is discovered by Tyrell Jefferson, her ex-boyfriend, a lighting technician at the Ryman Auditorium.
Cowboy, a homeless and alcoholic songwriter, knows his street buddy Preacher saw Pearl on the night she was murdered. When Preacher goes missing, Cowboy thinks his friend has been murdered too and that he might be next. He hides out at a construction site.
Charlotte, Dilly’s mother, has suffered a mild heart attack and is hospitalized. The sensational news of her husband’s illegitimate daughter complicates her recovery.
Doyle and Charlotte have two other children, Loretta (Dilly's fraternal twin), and a son, tele-evangelist Porter. Loretta and Porter have filed a lawsuit against their aging father, challenging his competency to run his business empire. They suspect he may have dementia.
Since he ran from the crime scene, Tyrell becomes the prime police suspect. Dilly, whose original dream of Pearl’s murder suggested Tyrell’s innocence, hires Pearl’s attorney Harry Hardin to help clear him. She vows to follow her dreams to the truth, even if they lead her to someone in her own family. Harry is at first skeptical regarding Dilly’s dreams, but as time passes, he learns to trust them.
With help from Harry and private investigator Joe Rose, Dilly finds Cowboy alive. She also locates Preacher’s body and discovers the killer’s identity by following the symbolic path provided by her dreams. But when Dilly finds herself facing off alone against the armed killer, she also ably demonstrates that she’s not just a dreamer.
- Dan Jewell, May 2012
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