What is this about?: A five-year-old boy is killed in a hit-and-run, and the book follows the cops as they search for the killer, and Jenna who is trying to find her way back from the tragedy.
What else is this about?: While the crime is the underlying plotline tying all these characters together, much of the book is devoted to the characters and who they are outside of the case. It’s compelling storytelling and characters.
Should you read: YES. The excellent character-building is compelling reading.
Blurb: In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.
Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .
This is the story of tragedy, which holds together characters that otherwise would be cookie cutter stereotypes of the genre. Don’t get me wrong, Jacob’s loss is keenly felt by everyone, but the more interesting part of this story are the lives these characters have outside of the case.
Ray and Kate are cops, working together to find Jacob’s killer. It weighs on them when they don’t make progress, and when they’re ordered off the case. They keep working though, trying to find anything over the span of a year. In that time they flirt, kiss and halt their budding whatever-it-is in their tracks.
I should clarify, that we learn more about Ray than we do Kate, who is engaged to be married. Ray is the one with the family: Mags is his wife, a former cop who is growing bored staying at home as their kids are growing up, and Ray is oblivious to this. Then there’s their son, Tom, is proving problematic and they can’t seem to get a handle on why.
What we learn of Kate is wrapped up in the case, in her determination to find Jacob’s killer. She’s somewhat untarnished compared to Ray, and he finds himself swept up by that earnestness. They’re flawed, complicated, dedicated cops and people, and I couldn’t help but get swept up by that.
Jenna is trying to recover from the terror of the accident, finding solace in a remote town where she tries to gather herself together and recover. She’s broken and out of those pieces, bit by bit the author takes us on a journey as she pulls herself together. You’re going to want her to find happiness and solace, and love … and when you learn her full story, pieces will fall into place and you’ll wonder how you didn’t see this twist coming.
So, this book does twists right. But, where it flounders is when it piles on another and we’re robbed of seeing her deal with the good and the bad, of the strength of her character … and I’d reveal more, but that would be spoilery territory.
Suffice to say, I am torn — everything up to the end was wonderful, but I can’t help but feel too many revelations destroy the strength of this book. I think it’s a case of one twist too many.