Review by Sylvia A. Reddom
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Meet Meredith Lowe: two kids widowed, lives in Hay City Idaho, where the mayor is a shoplifting barfly. She ends up having to drive 40 minutes to use the Twin Lakes library for internet. Some strange fellow beside her enlightens her with his life story and also some news – he thinks his Church going wife is trying to kill him.
Meredith is so busy with home and school and schedules she just doesn’t take the time to take him seriously.
The he dies – in a Catholic Church confessional, of an apparent heart attack. No one but Meredith seems to think it is anything but a natural death. His well-liked wife, is after all the Principal of her kids’ local school. She couldn’t be a killer too – or could she?
But then a second man, the local Senior Priest is found dead in surprisingly similar circumstances. Is this murder or coincidence? Meredith, pressured by some guilt for not taking her neighbour’s cry for help seriously at that first library encounter, decides to take some action.
Since she is seeing Sheriff Curtis, she decides she can affect some deeper investigation at least. Meredith realizes there’s some sort of “country style” justice around that town, with a lot of people, all related to one another – and none of them are telling her the whole story – about anything.
While trying to keep her darling kids safe, and avoid all the pitfalls of poverty and homelessness she suffered, Meredith tries to follow the advice/of her new best friend/mother figure “Honey”, who teaches her how to shoot – and how to learn from the gossip of town.
Meredith, age 24, has a full plate, working for Crusty Connery at his bar/hardware store. She invests in an online college course for a better future. Not far from her mind, is her own sombre past with spousal abuse and a mixed up family history.
From time to time Meredith reveals bits from her past – about her lying, cheating, now dead husband Brian, his girlfriend Gemma and their baby son, a half- brother to her two children, Atticus and Jamie.
What a tabloid story that will be when her children finally hear it – girlfriend’s grandfather kills married boyfriend. Meredith was too busy to deal with that now, but had to remind herself she had once contemplated murder herself.
Her idea of finding a quiet life in this small town had all but disappeared when the second body turned up. And now the Sheriff seemed interested too. In her and the “maybe” murders.
All this is a town where open carrying of firearms is A-Okay. So with guns everywhere, in trucks, in stores, it should not be surprising to Meredith when she spies one holstered but worn openly by the local librarian!
This little, big book is full or everything you could want – romance, humour, neighbourly caring, sweet kids, agony of abuse, stealthy spouses and the trail and tribulations of being young and guilty.
So cozy up to the fireplace, but keep a box of tissues handy because you will be spellbound and moved.
The ending left me with a lot of questions – and I think is just the beginning of a third book in this series.
I’m waiting but not very patiently.