15 Mar 2012


Several years ago Husband dearest and myself went on holiday to Spain with my (naughty) little sister and her then two young children and I can remember  niece #1 spent most of the journey looking out of the window at the sky in the hope of seeing an angel ........ a memory which provided perfect inspiration for this book which I read for the 

'Something You'd See in The Sky' category.

Rape and murder aren't new to the Deep South, but when the body of a popular high school girl is found dumped in the local river, the whole town of Natchez, Mississippi is shocked.

Penn Cage no longer practises  law, but when his best friend Drew is accused of the murder and asks for help, Penn must face the hardest questions of his life:

Can he defend Drew against the town, the police and overwhelming evidence? 
Or could it be true that his friend is a brutal killer who has deceived Penn and everyone else?
...... outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): The rain kept falling, swelling the creek until it lifted the girl into its muddy flood.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 130): The cell phones of Mia and her friends are like native drums on a Pacific island Every significant event is instantly known by the tribe.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: No, this one I'll be passing on.

The body of a popular high school girl? Girl? The girl in question (Kate) may well be a few weeks short of her 18th birthday but she, along with just about every other 'girl' in the book, certainly isn't like the girl I was or indeed like any of the girls I knew. Worryingly sexually experienced, at times the author went into a few too many details for my comfort.

 Though mainly about the rape and murder of Kate and the subsequent arrest of Drew, side stories also looked at the issue of drugs and the power struggles, mainly racial, within a small community. All very interesting, I just couldn't help but think that the author had perhaps 'bitten off a bit more than he could chew' and turned what could have been two books into one.

Character wise? I'm not so naive as to think such people don't exist and though I did find them believable I have to admit that I did find the psychological make-up of most of the characters very difficult to understand, the motives behind their behaviour often being beyond me.

My only real criticism being the fact that, almost without exception, the men of this novel came out looking badly ...... either adulterous, racist or just plain violent (all three in some cases), a high proportion of them seemed to be overly aware of the sexual appeal of the young girls in their trust. And yet that said I felt they were well penned, I even managed to feel genuine empathy for several of the less savoury characters which, I feel, is a sign of a book well written.

Overall I am glad that I read this, the legal jargon was fascinating (completely different to our own here in England), I just could have done with less of the sexually explicit stuff.


Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

i'm sorry this one did not meet your expectations.

a brilliant review as usual!


Vivienne said...

LOL, eighteen year olds are definitely more experienced than they were in my days.

Sridharan said...

Brilliant review indeed..

GMR said...

Yeah...the explicit stuff can get in the way of a good story sometimes. Sounds like it was a stumbling block but overall it didn't break it. Not one I'll be checking out I'm afraid, but great job on the review nonetheless!

Arti said...

Wonderful review as always Tracy.
Have a lovely week ahead:)

anilkurup said...

Why not try reviewing for the print media?

Suko said...

Excellent review, Petty, as usual. It does sound like an interesting, well-written book.

naida said...

Great review Petty. It sounds like an intriguing book but I do know what you mean about the writing being a bit too explicit. That might make me feel uncomfortable in a book like this.
I agree, being able to empathize with unlikeable characters is a mark of good storytelling.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I think this is just too dark for me. I might even be upset that I feel empathy for the bad guys. Good review. I really get a feeling that I wouldn't enjoy reading this one.

Kelly said...

I'm not sure about this one - I might enjoy it, but since I need to start limiting what I add to my wish list, I probably won't.

Sadly, I think far more 18-yr olds are more experienced than we realize.

Jenners said...

Greg Iles is one of my favorite go to thriller authors. I know I read this one at some point but it has been lost in the mists of time.

....Petty Witter said...

Funny you should mention that anilkurup, I hope to have some news on this front soon.