Mar 2, 2017

Book Review: A Short Time To Die

In this electrifying thriller, two women from opposite sides of the country find their lives inextricably bound by blood, by fear, and by a merciless, murderous revenge . . . 

Walking home from a dance on a foggy autumn night in rural New York, Marly Shaw sees a flash of approaching headlights. A pickup truck stops and two men get out. One of them is her stepfather. She runs. They follow. Minutes later, gunshots ring out. Two men are dead, and one terrified girl is running for the rest of her life . . . 

Thirteen years later, human bones are discovered in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.
DNA tests reveal they belong to a mother and son from Central New York. Both have criminal records. Assault. Involuntary manslaughter. Maybe more. Santa Clara County Sheriff Detective Vanessa Alba wants to know how these backwater felons ended up so far from home. 

Vanessa and her partner, Jack Wong, head to the icy terrain of the Finger Lakes to uncover the secrets of a powerful family whose crimes are too horrifying to comprehend. Whose grip over a frightened community is too strong to break. And whose twisted ideas of blood and honor are a neverending nightmare for the one family member who thought she got away . . ."

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Wow!  I am still trying to come up with the words to describe this book.  It has to be one of the more unusual books that I have ever read.  And one that will suck you in from the very first scene.

This book focuses on two women, Detective Vanessa Alba  and Marly Shaw.  Vanessa is investigating the discovery of two sets of bones that were discovered in California in 2013.  Marley is trying to overcome her past and provide safety for herself and her family.  Her story begins back in 2000 in a tiny town in New York.

In Charon Springs, everything depends on who you are and who you are related too.  It's a poor town known locally for its crime and brutality to the extent that even the police are afraid to get on the wrong side of the reigning Harris family.  Marly has dreams of escaping to college if she survives that long.  I will admit to being horrified at the things the Harris family was able to get away with.

In an attempt to find out just why the bones of a couple of the members of the Harris family was found in California, Vanessa and her partner travel to Charon Springs.  They uncover bits and pieces of what Marly went through to survive.

Incredible writing!  Each page is inundated with a sense of dread and horror which will have the reader shuddering while crossing their fingers for Marly.  And for Vanessa as she feels rather threatened when she is investigating in New York.  It's hard to believe that there are still places like Charon Springs in this century while at the same time, it all too easy to see these events occurring.  That both saddens and enrages me.  No one should go through what Marly and others did just to live let alone thrive.

I really recommend A SHORT TIME TO DIE to any of my readers who enjoy suspense.  There are scenes of violence against both adults and children so be forewarned.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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