by Karin Slaughter
This started out sounding like something you would find under 'Womens Fiction' and I wondered if I had made a mistake. Andrea had chased her glamorous dreams to New York City and failed, winding up waiting tables. When her mother telephoned her with disturbing news, she leaves New York without looking back to go home to small town Georgia and help her mother through a fight with breast cancer.
After taking a job fielding 911 calls for the emergency services, her life looks very ordinary and at a dead end. However, when a crisis situation arises, some real drama enters the story and by the end of the first chapter, Andrea finds out there are aspects of her mother that she's never known and the story becomes very interesting indeed!
This is a Mystery story. I didn't like Andrea because she just freezes up in situations when a stronger person would react and she makes some seriously stupid decisions, like just kill her now and put her out of all of our misery stupid. The other female characters were also either pathetic or psychotic, yet for the most part it worked in the story. Paula got on my nerves pretty quick, not least of all because she reminds me of someone I met once, and Jane was too much like Andrea. To be fair, the male characters were mostly unpleasant as well, apart from Gordon, her step-father.
All this adds up to a pretty twisted situation that begins to get explained about a third through. There's a time flashback that takes us out of Andrea's story and gives us the background behind her mother's actions. Then it moves forward again to resolve the situation she manages to get herself into.
The characters do develop and the reason they had to be so weak becomes essential to the plot, so they're forgiven. I actually enjoyed the story quite a lot, despite the weaknesses in the main characters. I would read something else by this author.