While sitting in various waiting rooms this past week, I read a mystery by an author new to me. The book was so good I'll be looking for more books by her. This was another book sale find.
Although I like going to the library, I love to support them by going to book sales. Our library is a county library which has suffered budget cuts of drastic size, unfortunately a common problem in this country, and therefore remains in an inadequate space with an inadequate amount of funds or space for new books. So I take advantage of their annual book sale to try new authors. If I don't like the book, I haven't lost much and anyway I'm contributing to a cause that means a lot to me. We're currently fundraising for a new building so the county historical society can take over all of the current historical building on the green.
INDELIBLE by Karin Slaughter was a lucky find. The book starts out with a bang - literally. Two well-armed young men shoot up the police station in a small town, killing several people and injuring others. At the time, one young patrolman happens to be giving a group of small children a tour. The chief is shot and his pediatrician wife is there but not allowed to treat him. As the scene turns into a settled hostage situation, we are taken in a series of flashbacks to the beginning of this couple's story. Meanwhile, the reader is a hostage as well since Slaughter makes sure you'll read the whole book to find out how the situation ends. If you don't read the flashbacks, you won't understand what has happened and is about to happen in the police station. Don't skim or you'll regret it.
I was on the edge of my chair through most of the book. There were so many twists, fascinating characters, and small town grudges and misperceptions involved that I was taken by surprise several times. The story involves an exaggeration of a truth of small towns. Small town people might not agree with me, but I've seen it happen. People are judged not as much by their own character and actions, but more so by their family history. If you have a drunk or a violent person in your family, people don't expect much different from you. And if your family is poor, people don't expect you to make much of yourself. That dynamic is at work in this story to the nth degree.
I will certainly read more of Karin Slaughter's books, I guarantee it.