Saturday, May 9, 2020

Some Days are Dark

As a woman it's hard not to love a book that begins with "I was happy my husband died."  I loved this novel where the main character is accused of killing or trying to kill 2 husbands and another man who was supposedly helping her solve the second husband's death. Olivia Miller is a likable character who just happens to have no skills in picking friends. It's not her fault people around her die. It's their lifestyles, not hers.

The novel takes place in 2018 in Whitaker, TN and opens with Olivia being interviewed on a true crime TV station by the book's version of Nancy Grace. Interviewer Vanessa Hardgrave asks Olivia questions that were not agreed upon when they discussed Olivia appearing on the show. Vanessa then distorts Olivia's answers on subsequent programs where she discusses the death of Olivia's 2nd husband Dane Miller. The novel is written with chapters that alternate from before the murder and after the murder.

The publisher's summary:

Olivia knows she is lucky.  She has a loving husband, Frank, an adorable son, Jake, and a beautiful new home.  It couldn't be more different from her childhood on the outskirts of Whitaker, dirt poor and dreaming of getting out.  But at the end of long days with no one to talk to, always feeling like she's not quite good enough, she starts to wonder if there's a better life waiting... 
Everyone in Whitaker knows who Olivia is.  She's the woman who left her family for no-good Dane Miller, and the one who most likely shot him.  Now, there's gossip about her everywhere she goes, she's too scared to leave the house most days, and she barely gets to see her beloved son. 
But if the police and the world think she's guilty, there's only one thing she can do - prove her innocence herself.  Even if that means putting her own life in danger.

This was a gripping suspense novel that had me hooked from the first page. The opening line is one of the best that I have ever seen. There are a number of biting comments just like it so you know that the author is a woman. While the plot was packed with twists and turns, I chuckled throughout the book at the author's sarcastic commentary, through her characters, on the male species.  There is a modern flair to the story as well as Olivia becomes addicted to prescription pain killers after an injury in an automobile accident. She struggles to get through the pain of her boring life with the assistance of the pills.

It's amazing that this is Miranda Smith's first novel. I look forward to reading more from her.  5 out of 5 stars.

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