Speed of Dark

Publication date — May 3, 2022

Mary Em Phillips has decided to end it all after losing her beloved Mamie, who raised her; her husband, Jack, who has left her for another woman; and her only son, Petey, who has died as a result of a freak bacterial infection. But when Mosely Albright, a black man from Chicago’s South Side, comes to her back door one morning only needing a drink of water and directions back to the train, her plans are derailed . . . much to the chagrin of Mishigami (Lake Michigan’s Ojibwe name), who has been trying to lure Mary Em into his icy depths in the hopes that she will save him.

This story of friendship, survival, connection and the unquestioning power of nature is told through these three voices. Speed of Dark affirms a love of humanity that transcends all else.

Praise for Speed of Dark

“In Speed of Dark, Patricia Ricketts begins her tale of grief and loss with a woman searching for a final escape. But if you think you’ve heard a story like this before, think again. Ricketts’ compassion, lush writing and enormous vision challenge, dazzle and, most importantly, offer a debut novel that demands readers pay attention, listen, look around, and fulfill their own contracts with the world.”
Sharon Fiffer, author of Imagining America, and the Jane Wheel Mysteries

Speed of Dark is a fantasy with three different points of view telling a tale of anguish, survival, and love. Mary Em Phillips was ready to end her life after a series of unfortunate events. Her Mamie passed away, her son Petey succumbed to an infection, and her husband Jack left her for another woman. Things couldn’t be worse for her. Lake Michigan called her to its icy depths, and Mary had nothing left in her life to hold on to. However, that changed when Mosely Albright came knocking on her back door…”
Rabia Tanveer, Readers’ Favorite

Speed of Dark is a great read, a compelling tale, which examines grief and how humanity, hope and kindness sometimes prevail against all odds, with even the forces of nature lending a hand. Its wonderfully textured prose will keep you turning pages.”
Steven A. Jones, Producer of films Mad Dog and Glory and The Harvest

“I absolutely loved Speed of Dark! Such diverse characters come alive, their lives linked in such intricate ways. Ricketts captures the “yin-yang” relationship between joy and sorrow, love and loss, gratitude and guilt. Wonderful insights.”
T. R. Kerth, author of Revenge of the Sardines and syndicated newspaper columnist The View from Planet Kerth

“Brimming with earthiness, humor and wisdom, Patricia Ricketts’ Speed of Dark is everywoman’s story of the struggle to heal amid life’s vexing realities. If you have ever felt that you have forgotten how to live…or know someone in the crucible of despair, Speed of Dark will remind you that a troubled mind and powerful worry can indeed cross paths with a little spark of hope.”
Betsey Means Wills Artistic Director of WomanLore

Speed of Dark is a wondrous romantic fantasy pulsating with life so that you can feel its heartbeat. It’s a stunningly profound tale, one of those rare novels that establishes a strong connection not only between human relationships but with nature as well. While many romantic fantasies are easy to dismiss, the way Patricia Ricketts writes with a rhythmic flow that tugs at your heartstrings is a triumph in reader engagement.”
Vincent Dublado, Readers’ Favorite

“What a complex story of connection to each other and the natural world. Speed of Dark’s dialogue is realistic and rich, and Mary Em’s struggles are vividly compelling.”
Betsy White, Instagram’s “Biblio Betsy” weekly book reviewer and influencer