Saturday, 13 March 2010

Quick Review - Alone

Published 2005

Part police procedural, part dark psychological suspense, this well-written chiller kept me turning the pages. (Through most of the book.)

The two main characters dragged huge amounts of baggage through the story.

Massachusetts State Trooper Bobby Dodge is a member of the elite Boston STOP team. An on-the-wagon alcoholic, he's been struggling for thirty years with mother abandonment issues, brought on by his violent, hard-drinking father.

Catherine Gagnon was at the age twelve kidnapped and kept for weeks in a dark hole by a sick rapist. The experience shattered her young life and haunts her more than twenty years later, when she is trapped in marriage to a physically abusive man.

Called out to a domestic incident in a posh Boston neighborhood, Bobby shoots Catherine's husband Jimmy as he is about to kill her.

Bad move. Jimmy Gagnon's father, a wealthy supreme court judge, charges Bobby with murder. The resulting investigation probes deeply into Bobby's life and has him questioning his existence and his actions.

Despised by her father-in-law, Catherine is accused of using Bobby to get rid of her husband. Making matters worse, the judge also accuses her of trying to gain attention and sympathy by poisoning her four year old son, who has been mysteriously ill since birth

Making matters worser (sic) the man who terrorized Catherine as a child has been released from prison. Using the name Mr. Bosu, he receives a list of names and a sum of money and gleefully embarks on a murder spree, systematically disposing of everyone close to Catherine.

The gripping story unfolds, bad piled upon bad, almost depressingly so.
But as secrets are revealed my fascination with the story fell flat, and when I learned the why of it all, I was underwhelmed. I could not believe in the story any more. Nor did I believe in the characters any longer, except for Mr. Bosu, one of the better villains I've come across. His motives were clear; everyone else's made no sense to me.

Conclusion: taut, well-paced thriller that falls apart at the end.