Veils of darkness fill the mind of Andrea Oliver and fear often overtakes her waking hours. Her mother whose care she administered yet never thriving on her own has relatively sheltered her life. Things changed in a flash when a killer struck at a crowded mall taking the lives of two innocent people. Rejection was the primary motive but the killer never expected any opposition but Dr. Laura Oliver posed a formidable adversary while her daughter Andrea froze and could not deal with what would be an unusual end to the killer’s life. The interaction between Laura and Jonah the killer was odd, strange and yet Laura seemed in perfect control while Andrea appeared to resemble a mannequin dressed as a human but with no ability to speak or move. What follows will alert readers that Laura might have a hidden past and connecting with Gordon her ex was the start of what would follow. The police came and Laura warned Andy to not speak while Gordon took up her defense. Did Laura mean to kill Jonah? Did she have another choice ad the police tried to coheres Andrea into telling what she saw? The video of the incident presented what happened but neither Laura nor Andrea gave any indication they would make a statement. Laura was injured sent to the hospital but when able to move or talk signed herself out and demanded Andrea leave her home, move in with Gordon and decide where she’s going next but that won’t happen either as walking in the rain she arrives at Laura’s House a killer is present and events get tangled as we want to know who this man in the hoodie was and just how he winds up dead in her house. Laura is calm and Andrea once again freezes as her mother directs her next move. Carefully and methodically she gives Andrea her instructions and how to proceed but will she?
Finding her way to the storage locker Andrea unveils information about her mother, grandparents and herself. After dealing with the pictures she finds more money than most need or have in a lifetime plus the fact she’s to remain dark until told otherwise.
The author flashes back to 1986 where we get to know the real Laura and her first alias attending an economics conference and joint a panel. Several know her ruse but what happens at the panel? The panel begins and the dramatic and unexpected discourse reveals the hidden truth why Laura took the identity of dr. Alexandra Maplecroft and her attack on Martin Queller, his principles, the Queller Heathcare Services, their funding and their true purpose. The discussion heats up as Laura/ Alex brings to light a serious issue even today that of funding cuts to state mental hospitals. Of course Queller tried to counteract what she says by claiming the cuts were temporary but she comes back with startling truths that the following year the criminal justice system saw twice as many mentally I’ll people entering into it and remaining in it. She sites how the overcrowding of the
The discourse continues with Queller and Laura arguing over patient rights, group homes and the tragic end of care when someone fights for his country gets seriously injured and cannot stand on his own two feet and is denied care. She refers to the Queller healthcare services his lucrative position, the funding and the Queller model and how his family’s fortune would grow when the model expands to the United States. But, she just got started as we learn the harsh reality behind her hijacking the conference and that is the fate and reality of one man Robert David Juneau. When you hear his story and understand her revenge and anger at the injustices did will you the reader side with Laura?
Laura has two different or distinct sides that have been hidden until now from Andrea and Gordon. Gordon does relate that he really never got that close to her and hearing what she admits and shares in the past helps to understand why she’s so overprotective of Andrea in the present. Helpless before but never again.
Andrea is in the run and at time creates plans that will bring her to safety yet when she finally reaches one temporary destination a wrong choice might change it all when someone that appears at the hospital turns up out nowhere in a bar that she happens to go to.
Thins escalate and the drift back to the past so we understand Julia nick and Andy and why Martin’s death was right and Laura’s actions justified. But is cold-blooded killing right?
Andy is being played in so many ways you wonder if she has any adult thought processes. Questions asked by the FBI sent Jane Andy and Jasper in different directions but the fork or impasse in the road lead back to Martin and his corrupt handling of Queller healthcare services. Truths unfold and line Andrea, Jane is in denial and defends nick and jasper without Really seeing the truth: Nick was the inside spy to learn about Queller and articles and papers uncovered tell a story that Jane refuses to face. Where is the real Alex Maplecroft? Who kidnapped her and why? Things are closings in as Jane learns and sees but will she accept the worst betrayals yet?
Paula Kruse was their next stop and all parties in the same place and nick rationalizes their actions leading back to Laura and stating that the murder She committed was necessary and did them a favor taking Martin out. But, over thinking was what they did and using third group army of changing the world and his plans to take out someone else in their private circle. Added in the healthcare system comes in question as money was being filtered into Queller for patients receiving treatment but are dead. How?
Paula Kruse and Andrea meet and once again she freezes and the stranger finds her again leading her to finally realize she’s being followed and she needs to reformulate her plan as in the past we learn who Paula really is, her role in the plan to deal with the Queller heathcare situation, taking out more members and then the truth about where Maplecroft is, her fate and nicks schemes and lies. Jane at times seems under his spell and although her brother Andy agrees with his methods Jane seems to be the one used by others in order to move their plans ahead never realizing her condition and remembering the abuse at her father’s hand and others.
Choices are made lines are drawn and Jane/ jinx is torn between alliances. Clair Bellamy and jinx remember their performing days as jinx saddens from the memories and her father’s lack of true pride. Living in the shadows of others and trying to find the light, Diner come and nick turns and her loyalties and trust are ripped into distant pieces and shattered.
While in the present Andrea thinks about her mother’s lies, the murders and her ties to Paula Kunde as the past just might become the present.
Camouflaged truths unseen realities and Andrea witnessed a scene that will wrench at her heart, unleash emotional discord’s as we learn Paula’s past, murders, the four aliases of her stalker and the harsh truth about who Laura really is and who’s been covering for her. Endings take time to unfold and author Karin Slaughter creates suspense, intrigue, uncertainty and fear within Jane and Andrea as their worlds blend but you won’t believe how or why?
Threats are foiled and shots are heard and live in both time periods end.
Andy faces off with a diabolical killer links to the past come forward in the present as Andy faces the truth about her mother, her lineage and the army of the changing world finds its way to the present and Andy / Jane/jinx and the Queller s unite but how and in what way?
Danger faces her square in the face, bullets hit targets and the final scene will shock readers as the ties that bind might never really be severed but one loyalty will never break. Andy Oliver and Laura are not different it far apart as the truth about Oslo, the murder of Martin Queller and just who Andy really is come forward but will she remain silent and will she ever become whole? Take everything she learned about her mother and decide if she’s ever see, learn or know all the pieces of her and will they ever turn into the real Laura? A plot so multi-faceted and a story that was so well orchestrated as one family’s history, mysterious, lies, deceptions and one man who thought that he was above it all so delusional, so charismatic, that you wonder if anyone really can say that they not only did not know the pieces of Laura, but that of Andrea and many others too.
Fran Lewis just reviews/ Mj magazine/ Mj network