When a Tree Falls


A madcap love story involving New Jersey government officials caught up in entrapment, corruption, and extortion

by Beatriz Rivera

ISBN: 978-1-55885-596-0
Published: March 31, 2010
Bind: Trade Paperback
Pages: 256

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Otilia Mancuso is a self-professed Xanax poster girl who works, sleeps, breathes, loves and bribes in Hudson County. She has lived in a high rise next to the Holland Tunnel ever since she was elected to the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Her sudden and unexpected election—to a seat vacated by the untimely death of her predecessor in a sleazy motel—made her the first woman to be elected legislator at the county level.

But now, all Otilia wants is to click her heels together and disappear from the mess she’s in. Her lover, a charming psychiatrist who provides millions of dollars worth of services to county facilities, convinces her to deliver an envelope full of money to the county executive. Soon, Otilia finds herself charged with four counts of aiding and abetting extortion and three counts of mail fraud.

Cuban-American writer Beatriz Rivera serves up another offbeat love story full of oddball characters in absurd situations: Dr. Chico Chanca, a clog-wearing, tea-drinking psychiatrist obsessed with yoga, financial success, and cheap-motel sex; his gorgeous wife Laura, a passionate animal rights advocate and brilliant veterinarian with a predilection for expensive designer clothing, organic food, and breast implants; and Amber Delrío, the owner of Sacred Greens Farm and a yoga school who has taken an eternal vow of chastity.

Loosely based on the machinations of New Jersey politicians, the off-the-wall antics of Rivera’s eccentric characters are sure to entertain and amuse.

Click here to listen to an interview with Beatriz Rivera about When a Tree Falls.