Well this was rather different to what I expected. I’ve read a lot of Charlaine Harris books, I think Goodreads said 32 at last count(!), but this was different from the other murder-mystery novels of hers that I’d read.
For a start, the main character Nickie is beautiful, a supermodel from New York in fact. But when her agent tells her that she’s past it, she decides that she will move back to her home-town,. move in with her old childhood friend and finish college before deciding what to do next.
So it’s a bit surprising that although Nickie has never experienced any violence or anything in New York, she hears that a student was raped on the college campus shortly before she arrived. And when a lecturer at the college is raped too, it looks like it wasn’t a one-off occurrence.
This is where things started to deviate from what I was used to from Harris. Usually, the main character decides to investigate the crimes herself because she has a personal connection to the victims, but Nickie isn’t too overly concerned with the crimes until she is raped too, when someone breaks into her bedroom at night. She’s understandably left traumatised, but together with Barbara, the lecturer who was also a victim, they decide to try and narrow down the list of possible culprits, convinced that the culprit knew them personal, they use a process of elimination to get the list down from a few hundred people, eventually dwindling down to just six.
But when Nickie becomes convinced that the culprit is her housemate’s father, not to mention the father of her new love, how can she possibly be sure before anyone else gets hurt?
But as with all Harris books, the ending was given a little twist, and things were not quite as straightforward as you thought they were. The only thing that niggled me was the reason that the culprit gave for committing the crimes, it just seemed very petty to me and not really in line with everything that had happened.
Regardless, I found myself turning page after page until I was finished, unable to put the book down until I found the identity of the guilty man. I think the fact that the main character was affected by the crimes made more of a connection with the book, you could feel her pain and anguish coming through the pages at you, leaving you as determined as she was to figure out what was going on, and desperate to figure it out before anyone else could feel the pain that she had.
Unfortunately, I think I’ve now read all of Harris’ books. I’ll be waiting eagerly for her next novel to be released!