Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.
The only survivor of a brutal crime, Reece Gilmore has been on the road for a long time now. Plagued by phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, and her many mental issues, she hasn’t stopped anywhere for long. But her car has decided to break down in the little Wyoming town, Angel Fist, and almost broke, Reece has no other option than to stop, and seek employment.
Soon, the little town starts feeling like home, she likes her job as cook in the local diner, and although she’s the stranger in town, hence object of curiosity, the jitters about hitting the road again haven’t hit.
Until she witnesses a murder during a hike one day, but no one believes her since there’s no proof, no other witnesses, and absolutely no sign of struggle. And it seems the violence of what she’s witnessed has put her recovery into regression, and she starts experiencing lost time again, moving things, doing things she cannot remember doing. She would probably skip town again if it wasn’t for another outsider, the man who held her together the day she witnessed the murder, the only man who believes her she did see what she claims she saw, Brody. And it’s also Brody the one who suspects there might be another explanation to her supposed lost-time episodes to the one of her going slowly crazy.
Someone is obviously trying to discredit her testimony, and drive her out of town...But what measures might they take if she doesn’t run?
Nice. Very nice. Intense, gripping, suspenseful, and skirting the edges of thriller with all the psychological warfare deployed by the villain toward the heroine. Very nice, indeed.
I loved Reece, not just liked, loved her. She was a mess with all her issues, her insecurities, her obsessive compulsive disorder, her phobias, but I didn’t find her annoying. I sympathized and empathized, but I didn’t pity her. As Brody said, she might’ve been a victim once, but she was a survivor all the way. She’d self-admitted herself into a mental institution, for crying out loud. She’d known she needed help, and she sought it. If that isn’t admirable, I don’t know what is. She also knew she had many screws loose, yet she coped, she tried to move on, she tried to live. And thanks to Brody (yes, unfortunately, the guy had to help somewhat) when push came to shove, she didn’t go down without a fight.
Now, as for Brody, I somehow didn’t get a really clear picture about him. The image, even the character of him still eludes me. He was there, I guess, a supportive entity, one of the few in town who truly believed Reese, a guardian angel of some sort, a brusque jackass which was just what she needed to get out of her funk, yet he remains obscure. A tall, dark, and handsome generic hero, who happened to get involved with Reece.
It’s weird, because it’s usually the other way around. It’s NR heroes I can clearly picture, while the heroines remain rather generic (and somewhat annoying).
I guess this is a “special” book, since the abovementioned fact isn’t the only thing that’s inverted. In this book it’s the heroine who embraces her feelings more easily, it’s Reece who expresses them first, and it’s the hero who’s scared, annoyed, and reluctant to move forward, to change the way things are, while it’s usually the other way around, with the heroines playing the “male part”.
The jewel of this story is the suspense, which is also a slight deviation from norm. Usually I enjoy the perfect combination of both, the romance and the suspense, but in this case, the romance (or whatever that was) took the backseat to the suspense. And yes, it was suspense. Not much action, not much danger, gripping nevertheless.
It was suspenseful, lurking, creeping slowly forward, keeping the reader at the edge of the seat, wondering whether it was truly all in Reece’s head or if there was something more sinister afoot. Very, very well done.
In the end, when Reece and Brody went out on their own, and the knots started unraveling, and the plot started thickening, I had two possible suspects—I had no idea about the villain’s identity until the end, so the big reveal came off as a surprise and not so much a surprise in the end.
I also felt the ending a tad too easy for the town-folk, with no vindication for Reece. I wouldn’t have minded a little groveling, but then, those that counted, believed her no matter what.