On his own
Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.
Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.
The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.
Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…
I’ve been very excited to read this book since it was announced. I really enjoyed Kemmerer’s Elementals series and I was desperate to see what she could do once we step outside that world. It starts out with a simple enough story. Thomas’s mother is dead. She was murdered and all the evidence points to him. But he didn’t do it. So we are on this ride with him to figure out who did and why. The problem is that no one really believes he is innocent and there are moments you even you, the reader, aren’t completely sure. I mean, all the evidence points to him. All the evidence makes it impossible for it to have been anyone else. But you want to believe Thomas and you do.
You can’t help but sympathize with him. This whole town he lives in just treats him horribly. The local cops are terrorizing him. The only bright spot is Charlotte, but she is the baby sister and daughter to some of said cops and that creates complications. For some reason, she believes his innocence. I will say that aspects of Charlotte’s life abhorred me. She’s the only daughter in a household that produced 4 children and she’s forced into a kind of home-maker role. At any gatherings or events, she is forced to help cook and clean, serve and tend guests as if we still live in the dark ages where only woman could accomplish those things. She has to be ladylike or get an earful from her grandmother. It’s just appalling. What if one of the boys wanted to cook and clean and serve? What if Charlotte hates it? Why must she be forced into that role just because she happens to have a vagina? And that shit still happens. Those gender roles are still alive and well in the US and it’s got me all riled up.
::deep breath:: Okay, back to the actual story! The further in you get, the more you start to question everything. What is going on with Thomas? And the town? Can we trust Thomas’s memories? It gets very intense very quickly. This book brought me (temporarily) out of a reading slump. I couldn’t get into anything, but managed to devour this in two days. Then promptly fell back into a slump because what could possibly top this?
Basically, this is an intense ride that keeps you on your toes. Kemmerer is a fantastic writer and I can’t wait to read anything and everything she decides to write in the future!
****Thank you to Kensington Books & YA Bound Blog Tours for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review****
Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)
Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager.
While writing STORM, it’s ironic to note that Brigid’s personal life was plagued by water problems: her basement flooded three times, her roof leaked, her kitchen faucet broke, causing the cabinet underneath to be destroyed by water, the wall in her son’s room had to be torn down because water had crept into the wall, and her bedroom wall recently developed a minor leak. Considering SPARK, book 2 in the series, is about the brother who controls fire, Brigid is currently making sure all the smoke detectors in her house have batteries.
Brigid loves hearing from people, and she probably won’t refer to herself in the third person like this if you actually correspond with her. She has a smartphone
surgically attached to her person nearby at all times, and email is the best way to reach her. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.