Andy knows everything about her mother, Laura – or so she thinks. Laura is a speech therapist, a business owner, and knows just about everyone in their sleepy seaside town of Belle Isle. From Andy’s perspective, what more is there really to know about her mother, other than that she’s Laura, her mom?
Andy and Laura are out at a local diner to celebrate Andy’s birthday when a local man barges in to the diner and starts shooting. Andy sees a side of her mother she has never seen before. She is downright astonished by the fearlessness, speed, and intensity her mother exhibits when she faces death head-on.
This is one of the first peeks Andy sees into her mother’s past. After some harrowing, near-death experiences, Andy is on the run after her mother begs her to flee, forcing her to promise to not get in touch until there is no more trouble at home. Soon, Andy finds herself behind the wheel of a very old, very mysterious wagon, which was hidden away in a storage locker no less. Who is Laura?
From this point on in the book, the storyline alternates between Andy’s time on the road and a series of scenes in 1986. I knew that Laura must be one of the characters mentioned in the 1986 storyline, but I could not figure it out until the very end. The characters introduced in the 1986 storyline deal with the cult mentality, and a harmful one at that. The cult is led by a shockingly, so incredibly well-done – on Slaughter’s part – sociopath.
The book keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out where the story is going to twist and turn next. I felt like every four or five pages I was shocked at where the story was headed, and could not predict anything. I felt myself rooting for both Andy and Laura during their respective points-of-view. In the beginning and some of the middle of the book, I found myself frustrated at Andy. And maybe that was the point, but she was so complacent and accepting of everything that happened to her, and she rarely made the effort to have something happen for her. It was incredibly refreshing to read about her adventures on the road – her quick-thinking, her split-second decisions, regardless of whether they are messy or not.
This is the second Karin Slaughter book I’ve read, and I love how she mixes the thriller, mysterious vibes with sentimental moments. This book, similar to the other one I’ve read by her (The Good Daughter) is full of blood, guts, and gore. The blood, guts, and gore does not make up the whole story though, only adding to it when necessary.
Goodreads stars: 4/5 (AKA I truly enjoyed reading it and I highly recommend you add it to your TBR list!)