You’re going to love this book as much as you hate Janie Jenkins for the first two thirds of it!
Jane “Janie” Jenkins was a teenage “It” girl a la Paris Hilton or a Kardashian who discovered her mother’s murdered body with no recollection of the events preceding her discovery. Since she had a tempestuous at best relationship with her mother she the prime suspect and eventually convicted of the crime. Ten years later the lab that processed the scene comes under scrutiny and her conviction is overturned leading to her release. Jenkins is determined to figure out what really happened that night- even if she doesn’t like the answer.
Like I said, you’re going to hate Jane for the majority of the novel for saying things like this:
“Multi-tools are like insults, girls — you should always have one on hand.”
“I turned at a noise from the hallway—but it was just Bones. He was lying on his back, licking his paws. If only men were as easy to handle as dogs. Wait a second—they totally are.”
“Understand that this is how it works with people like me. Self-pity is the sun around which we orbit, the great gravitational force that rules those of us for whom Things Didn’t Quite Turn Out. If we’re lucky, purpose (vengeance, absolution, cookies, not in that order) can keep us from falling in, from burning up, but we’re fooling ourselves if we ever think we’re going to break free. But that’s why God created Xanax.”
The night of her mother’s murder Jane heard a snippet of a conversation between her mother and a man she didn’t recognize. She spent her time in prison obsessing and researching for connections between what little she caught of the conversation and the truth about her mother’s death. This leads Janie to assuming the identity of frumpy historian Rebecca Parker and she sneaks off to a tiny, former gold mining town in South Dakota looking for more clues. She befriends some of the locals, pretty easily, and begins to see the small town has secrets of its own- some connected to her mother.
There is a lot of impressive for an ex-con with a GED investigating and some convenient encounters that lead Jane to the explosive truth about her mother. All in all this is a pretty good thriller that will keep you guessing for the most part. You eventually start rooting for Jane even though, like Jane, the reader doesn’t know if she killed her mother or not.
I really hated the ending but I could see how it would open up a potential sequel.