Andrea’s mother Laura is a pillar of the community of Belle Island. As speech therapist she has helped many in the community find their words and be able to communicate fully. Andrea admires her mother and her quiet strength, her confidence and the way she helps and encourages Andrea to follow her dreams. Andrea hasn’t quite manged that yet. She has struggled to find her dream or to feel the confidence in herself that her mother seems to find so easy to embody.
So when they went to the mall that day they fell into their regular patterns, of Laura encouraging and Andrea wanting to find something easy, less challenging, something more comfortable so that she did not need to leave her own comfort zone. It was a conversation they had repeated over and over again, but this time they were interrupted by a man with a gun who came into the restaurant and started shooting. Andrea froze, but her mother, calmly confronted the gunmen, stepping into the line of fire, protecting Andrea. What happened next was so unbelievable it defied belief and yet it was caught by the surveillance cameras and eventually shown on national TV over and over again. Laura stands next to the gunman and using a knife calmly cuts his throat.
Laura is wounded and rushed to the hospital. Andrea is in shock by the horror of what happened. Was the gunmen targeting her mother or Andrea herself? Who is this woman in the video? Her mother, the mother Andrea knew should be incapable of such an act, even if it was in self defense. But she had done it. The police are insistent on talking with Andrea, but her stepdad, a lawyer, tells her not to speak to them. Laura urges her to leave town, saying that Andrea is in danger and needs to protect herself. Suddenly Andrea is not sure she even knows this woman who is her mother. Who is she, what was she and what happened to her to create that woman in the video? Who is and is not the mother she has always known?
Karin Slaughter is genius in her plotting. With every twist and turn more is revealed about the life that Lauren led before she became the woman Andrea knows. As each piece is revealed Andrea too begins to fine herself and changes before our eyes, gaining confidence and a sense of purpose. Although this is a suspense novel, it is at its core a mother/ daughter story and in that it shines with that unique bond of love that the best mother/ daughter relationships have.
Brenda’s Rating: ****(4 Out of 5 Stars)
Recommend this book to: Sharon, Marian and Lauren
Book Study Worthy? Yes
Read in ebook format.