If you are looking for a mystery without cliches you will enjoy this truly compelling tale from Karen Slaughter. It seems slower than other Slaughter books, yet still very gripping.
Protagonist Andy is a 31 year old loser, living in her mother’s garage. Her mother Laura on the other hand is a super hero type. While recovering from cancer, Laura takes out a spree killer to protect her child. With her bare hands. The killing starts a sequence of events that sends Andy into hiding. Following super mum’s instructions, Andy flees across the country, using a false identity and a stash of mum-supplied cash. As she fumbles along, stuffing things up along the way, Andy wonders who is her mother really?
I’m not sure if the author ever answers this question. Is Laura an abused mother desperate to protect her young? Or a criminal mastermind who has escaped justice? The end is not a cliffhanger but it doesn’t supply all the answers either. The biggest strength is the characters. The contrast between Andy and her mother is harsh at first, then Andy begins to evolve and find herself. Laura evolves too as her secrets are exposed. Best of all is a bad guy who is arrogant and charismatic. He has the same qualities as a top CEO in this realistic depiction of how evil happens.
Oddly there is not much heart. While you feel for Andy and Laura, none of the characters are deeply likeable. But it’s a fascinating read all the same.