Firstly I need to get something off my chest; the by-line is “you think she’s a bad mother, but is she a killer?” And I don’t like it one bit. Within the last few pages there’s a conversation that states people can get away with murder but they can never get away from it, and I feel
That THIS should have been the by-line as it would have likely changed my thoughts on my dragging feet when it came to finishing this book.
It was well written and my heart went out to Mercer for having lost the people she loves the most and then feeling that she has to cover the Ashlyn Bryant trial. I was frankly enraged when Mercer found her home being invaded by this young woman in order to write a true crime novel.
As time went on I literally wanted to shake Ashlyn; it really felt like she was giving Mercer the run around and leading her merry dance in all the wrong directions. Then after the 3/4 mark, I did wonder if Mercer would actually give Ashlyn the clean slate she desperately and eagerly wanted, only to discover Ashlyn was guilty all along and had actually gotten away with murder.
Not long after that, I thought maybe Ashlyn was innocent? And maybe Katherine wasn’t a very nice friend to Mercer at all. Didn’t believe for a second that Joe was involved in any way-it just didn’t read right to me; as if it was a blatantly obvious red herring with a sign above its head saying “I’m too much of a weak link and unbelievable to be true”.
The ending was perfect, and I feel that if the by-line was different then I wouldn’t have felt so restless reading this book at the moments I did. The characters were good and Mercer was a strong lead (despite her grieving and loss) and Ashlyn was written so well that I thought her an awful villain and the worst type of young woman to ever become a mother. Georgia annoyed me a bit as she couldn’t seem to put her finger on the pulse in the courtroom so was a bit of a miss for me (but I think I’d be the same if it were me in her shoes).
Overall it’s worth read and worth sticking with. I’d be interested in reading more of Ryan’s titles in the future.