Kensington House Pub Ltd, ISBN 978-0758258588
June 25, 2013, 336 pages
"The most hated woman in Savannah, Georgia, is about to be set free. Twenty years ago, Blondell O'Henry was convicted of murdering her eldest daughter and wounding her two other children. The prosecution argued that beautiful, selfish Blondell wanted to be rid of them to be with her lover. Now Blondell's son, Niall, has recanted his testimony and demolished the case in the process. Reporter Nikki Gillette is determined to get the true story, and not just for professional reasons. Blondell's murdered daughter, Amity, was Nikki's childhood friend. The night she died, Amity begged Nikki to meet with her, insisting she had a secret to tell, but Nikki didn't go...Ok, let me get right to the point.
And somehow, the events of that tragic night connect to Nikki's own fractured family. But now the killing has begun again. Is Amity's murderer still at large, or is this a new, darker danger? Soon Nikki will discover what really happened twenty years ago, but the answers may come too late to save her life..."
Good book, worth reading, but not the author's best. If you are a fan of Jackson, no doubt you will want to read it, if only to see if her wedding to Detective Reed actually takes place. But if you are new to her books, I would not necessarily start here.
The good part.
Jackson is a good writer, the plot unfolds in a nice, interesting way, with lots of red herrings to keep the reader on their toes. And I like the main characters, Nikki and her fiance, Police Detective Pierce Reed. Of course, he is the detective charged with looking into the case again, seeing if evidence of Blondell's guilt or innocence may now be found that was not possible 20 years ago, things like DNA. And of course, Nikki will be trying her best, unsuccessfully, to get him to spill some information. Not that she should bother, because it seems she is making more headway than the police. At least if you consider the poison snake someone puts in her car to try and scare her off. Eeek!
Savannah is a great setting and I only wish we saw a bit more of it in this book. Really authors should take full advantage of the place a book is set in. Give is a little tour, a look at th highlights, a real feel for the place. It is often one of the great fun things of a book.
Finally, I did not figure out the villain, which is always a good thing.
But the bad..
First, there are just way, way too many characters, many of them not drawn clearly enough to be memorable. When I find myself flipping back, asking "Wait, is that her cousin, who got killed, or the ex-husband of her uncle client?" I know there are too many people here. Which led to the greatest problem. When the bad folks are revealed...and there is more than one, including one who even Nikki agrees she could not understand the motivation of...I was a bit confused as to who was who.That is not good.
The worst thing? Nikki breaks my cardinal rule of doing something dumb. More than once. One example...Ok, you are in a cabin, hiding from a bad person. They know you are there and looking for you. Where is your only protection, a stun gun? In your HAND? Oh no, that would be too sensible. No, you flee and then look for it in your bag or your pocket or wherever?? Nikki should have her reporter license taken away for that. Well, if they gave reporter licenses out.
Still, I sort of enjoy yelling at stupid things people do. So maybe that is not all bad.
A pretty good read if not Jackson best, another one of those fast, not too heavy beach or airport reads that will keep you entertained if not overwhelmed.