By BETSY RIDER
Special to the Sun-Gazette
"Bill Warrington's Last Chance" is a novel by James King.
It's about Bill, an elderly man who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and his 14-year-old granddaughter, April, who he takes on a trip to California.
Bill realizes he's losing his abilities but before he loses all his memory, he wants to get his three grown, estranged, offspring together so they can face the suspicions they've harbored ever since their mother died 20 years ago.
They don't want any part of it - they don't want to meet with Bill or even with each other.
So Bill kidnaps April, his 14-year-old granddaughter, who's more than willing to go with him because he offers to take her to California where she can start her career as a rock star.
He won't tell his offspring how to reach him until they agree to meet.
First he has to teach her how to drive because his driving is getting rusty, too.
Of course, he doesn't have any map, but he figures he only has to go west and he'll get there eventually.
When they get pulled over by police, he schmoozes his way back on the road.
His personality and know-how come and go, as needed - on occasion.
Humor, pathos, suspense - all mixed in with insight into family dynamics, Alzheimer's and the rebelliousness of youth make this a compelling read.
The author, James King, will sign copies of his book from 5 to 8 p.m. First Friday at Otto Book Store, 107 W. Fourth St.