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by Mary Logue
Bleak House Books, November 2007
239 pages
ISBN: 1932557601

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Itís every parentís nightmare Ė that telephone call in the wee hours asking where your kid is. For Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins, that nightmare is compounded because she knows better than most parents what could have happened to her daughter Meg. Meg is a good kid, but even so . . .

Meg and her best friend Krista Jorgenson had gone out to a Halloween party the night before. Itís Kristaís body that is found at the base of Maiden Rock. Why would Krista jump? Meg thinks it may have something to do with Curt, Kristaís friend and Megís new boyfriend. Krista didnít take that news very well. Meg feels very guilty. That guilt is somehow compounded, not diminished, when methamphetamines are found in Kristaís bloodstream.

As Claire investigates, she discovers the pervasive influence of methamphetamines in her small county. At least one kid in Megís class is an addict, and there may well be others. How did Krista, known for her anti-drug stance, come to a place where she would (or could) ingest meth? A fervent plea from her father at the funeral has some results, although not what he expected.

The sub-plots are interwoven nicely, and all have some connection with the central mystery. One woman tries to figure out how to keep her son away from the meth, while he's trying very hard to find some. Will Krista's father find the meth dealer before the police do, and how might that scenario play out? Claire Watkins wants to be a good mother, and how will being a good deputy sheriff complicate that process? None of these plots is superfluous, all advance the story, and none are out of character. Author May Logue does a good job all around.

She writes about people and emotions familiar to most of us: parents, teenagers, the angst of adolescence, grief, anger, frustration, and abiding love. She takes circumstances most of us know of, if we havenít experienced them: families dealing with addiction, dealing with death, first love, doing oneís job in the face of terror and worry. She shows us what methamphetamines are doing to the heart of America, the small towns, and does it without preaching or talking down. All the while, she convinces us that these people are worth caring about. Good for her. And it's good reading for us.

Reviewed by P. J. Coldren, September 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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