Edmund Kohler and business partner Quinton Long own a successful printing shop in Colorado Springs. Ed’s wife, Katherine, heads a local hospital’s women and children’s outreach program. The adult Kohler children join the family business, relieving their mother of her earlier promise to take over their father’s job if anything happens to him. Except for the occasional intrusion of Ed’s younger brother, Oren, who shows up for a handout whenever he’s in need, they all live the good life. A concrete truck careening through an intersection and a deathbed commitment change it all.
Woven into the fabric of the story, A Brother Betrayed addresses issues that face many people today. Within the carefully crafted plot, well defined characters find their life courses altered by the sudden death of Edmund Kohler and the unwanted presence of his scheming brother. A manipulative opportunist with a diabolical mind, a racist mentality, and a vendetta against women, Oren Kohler arrives with the sole intent of permanently settling an old score with his sister-in-law. Family rifts, more deaths, and domestic violence further complicate their lives; and the conclusion brings closure to the unexpected events that have forever redirected their paths.
Edmund and Katherine Kohler
“Kate.” Ed’s lips barely parted.
She leaned closer. “I’m right here, Ed.”
“Promise. Print shop.”
“Yes. I promise.”
He didn’t answer.
“I’ll do anything you want.”
The rhythmic beat of the heart monitor filled the room.
“What do you want me to stop?” She pressed his limp hand against her heart. “You’re the love of my life, Ed. Do you hear me? Please stay with us. We need you. I need you.”
“I love you, Ka—”
The monitor’s steady pattern faltered. It paused, beeped, then paused again.
Quinton Long and Katherine Kohler
“One more thing.” Quinton Long’s steady gaze never wavered from Katherine’s face. “Your husband has a brother.”
“Yes. Oren Kohler. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t remember meeting him at the memorial service.”
“He didn’t come. I tried to locate him, but the last phone number I have had been disconnected. He doesn’t stay in touch. I assume he’s still living.”
“He’s alive and well. He talked to Ed at least three times in the last month, including the day of the accident. Yesterday, he called again. When I told him his brother had died, he asked to speak to you. You’d already gone.”
Her heart thumped in her chest. Her stomach lurched. She took a deep breath and swallowed hard. “I do not want to talk to that man. Not now. Not ever.”
Rather than put the few dishes in the dishwasher, Katherine washed them by hand. When Yoshi hadn’t returned from her room by the time they were dried and put away, Katherine knocked on her door. Postponing this discussion would not make it any easier. She knocked again. The door opened.
“May I come in?”
“Of course. It is your house.” Yoshi walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed.
“My house, but your room.” Katherine followed her to the end of bed. “May I sit here?”
Yoshi nodded. “You have been very hospitable, and I am most grateful. But I knew this day would come when you would want to know about Oren. I’m sorry to say I would rather move out of this wonderful home than discuss him with you.”