Kisscut ~ Karin Slaughter

Clearly I was hooked at the end of Chapter 3 which the book starts out on a Saturday, with a relaying of the activities and investigations the book covers barely two weeks, in this time frame the characters and their history is slowly exposed.

I don’t have the book that introduces these characters, (Blindsighted) but Kisscut does a well enough job delving into the characters and rebuilding whatever history I may have missed in the previous book.

Pathologist Sara Linton, who has been dating her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, is witness to Tolliver’s fatal shooting of a teenage girl when the girl threatens to shoot a 16-year-old boy in a standoff outside the local skating rink. A search of the rink turns up a dismembered fetus in a toilet; Sara’s postmortem reveals the girl had a long history of abuse most gruesomely, her vagina is sewn shut. Working the case alongside Jeffrey is Det. Lena Adams, herself the victim of a recent abduction and rape, who is also trying, with difficulty, to come to terms with the death of her gay sister. Questioning Mark, the boy who was almost shot, Lena gradually uncovers a true horror show of pedophilia, incest and kiddie porn, an inverted world where parents rape their children before peddling them to strangers for money and blackmail. Slaughter adheres to the traditional mystery format, but turns up the shock factor tenfold, demonstrating that the deepest depravity can be business as usual in small towns as well as big cities. The undertone of violence is pervasive, even at quiet moments (“Lena was able to pull her hand away, but not before she felt Grace’s thumb brush across the scar…. The touch was tender, almost sexual, and Lena could see the charge Grace got out of it”), amplifying Slaughter’s equation of intimacy with menace.

Stillwater Trilogy or duology~

Just finished 2 more Brenda Novak books from the Stillwater Trilogy, missing the first, but here is a review of the two I read. Will have to find the first one….sigh.

Dead Giveaway~

After a painful divorce, detective Allie McCormick comes back to her childhood town of Stillwater to start a new life with her six-year old daughter. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that her father happens to be the chief of police and offers her a job. Immediately, Allie begins to work on a cold case–the strange disappearance of Reverend Lee Barker nineteen years ago. But the time factor is not the problem. The main problem is the chief suspect, handsome and brooding Clay Montgomery, who everybody in the town hates and believes to have murdered the Reverend.

As the investigation unfolds, and Allie falls deeper into her relationship with Clay, she realizes the man she has fallen in love with could not be capable of murder. She decides to help him to the end, even if that means putting herself in danger and fighting the whole town and its most important family. Will she succeed? And what if the famous Reverend, who everyone respected to much, turns out to be the most despicable of criminals?

Surprising twists and turns and a couple of interesting sub-plots keep the story moving at a fast pace until the very startling ending. Novak has a keen gift for combining suspense and romance, as well as for creating real, sympathetic heroines and darkly mysterious heroes that beautifully stand out from the typical stereotypes of the genre. The way Allie `solves’ the case at the end is smart and unexpected.

Dead Right~

Novak’s last Stillwater novel revisits the small Mississippi town, where journalist/newspaper owner Madeline Barker is still seeking closure two decades after the disappearance of her father, a town minister. When police find her missing father’s Cadillac submerged in a quarry outside of town, Maddy is determined to discover, finally, what really happened. Maddy hires L.A. private eye Hunter Solozano to solve the case, but neither expects to find romance: Hunter is an embittered divorcé, and Maddy recently broke up with a domineering boyfriend. While their relationship simmers, Hunter discovers some disturbing truths about Maddy’s father and his domestic life; before long, a series of sinister phone calls and a botched robbery raise the stakes.

American Literature 101~Monday midday ponderings

Truly theAge of Innocence
Truly theAge of Innocence

So I’m here totally bored out of my skull, then I got to wondering if the early American Lit writers based their writings on issues indicative of their times. Like hypocrisy, incest, indecency, immorality…I’m talking early American Lit, like early 1700’s to mid 1800’s…given the bio’s of some of the great writers of those times and the books they wrote, all would indicate that either they alone came up with the subject matter or the subject matter was all around them.

I get to wondering if people back in them days were as full of faults, lacking in moral character as we are in this day and age. Some of our beloved poets, authors, inventors, politicians and prominent people from bygone eras have skeletons at the helm of their closets. Drug and alcohol abuse were rampant, fornicating with same sex members, yes, I mean homosexuality, incest, pedophilia, adultery…and a gamut of other questionable behavior.

Are we more morally corrupt and then some… than generations past?  Or do we perceive the world to be more so? I believe that all that would be considered abominable in times past was probably kept quieter than in present times. We have so much technology at our disposal, we can choose to live our otherwise quiet lives by tweeting our every moves, updating our status bars and letting the world know we are up for coffee, a day of shopping, a hard day at the office, a drink or two after work, a weekend partying and even our intent to call it a day and go to bed. Is the bygone Age of Innocence a myth?

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