Saturday, November 6, 2010
"Broken hearted melody won't you bring him back to me." Song lyrics
The title of this novel could represent the status of the characters and the situations in which they find themselves.
Officer Lena Adams of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrives at the scene where a suicide note is left at a lover's lane spot, popular by area teens. The spot is at the side of Lake Grant. When divers recover the body of a young woman, Lena sees a stab wound to the rear of the girl's neck and knows she's not dealing with a suicide. The girl is identified as Allison Spooner, a college student and waitress at a nearby restaurant.
Lena accompanies acting chief, Frank Wallace, to Allison's apartment. On route, Lena smells alcohol on Frank and then observes him drinking from a flask. At the apartment, they are met by Brad Stevens, a young detective on the police force. When Brad looks in the apartment window, he sees a person they believe must be Allison's boyfriend, Tommy Brakam. He has a mask on and his holding a knife.
In the attempt to question Tommy, he becomes out of control and stabs Brad. Then Tommy is caught and jailed.
While the other officers accompany Brad to the hospital, Tommy commits suicide in the jail. In looking at his background, we learn that he was a flawed, or broken individual. He was just nineteen-years-old and had an i.q. of around eighty.
Dr. Sara Linton arrives at her parents' home for Thanksgiving. She had been married to the former chief of police and blames Lena for her husband's death. Sara was also the former coroner. Prior to Tommy's suicide, she had been asked to come to the jail and speak to Tommy.
When she finds that Tommy had committed suicide, Sara learns that Lena had interrogated Tommy. Thinking that this is another case of Lena failing to do her job, Sara calls in Special Agent Will Trent to investigate a possible case of police neglect.
Of the characters, Lena is a broken or flawed person due to her guilt over the former chief's death. Although she had been cleared, she still felt responsible.
Acting Chief Wallace appears to be an alcoholic and overreacts to the situation.
Sara's flaw is that she cannot forgive Lena and wants her to pay for causing Lena's husband Jeff's death.
In an interesting plot, we see the police investigate Allison's murder and Tommy's suicide. Will Trent is an appealing character. He is dyslexic and had grown up in a foster home. He has overcome his dyslexia to a point but has difficulty reading police reports.
There is an interesting portrayal of the town and the university. The university doesn't want any bad publicity and often covers up crimes.
I enjoyed Lena's characterization. She's easy to sympathise with and is a sincere person and wants to do the correct thing, even if it costs her job or her freedom.
The novel was very interesting and the story seemed as if it could have been taken from the local newspaper of a city that has a large university in it.
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