Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Latest by Darlene Cox A Winner!

A tone mapped HDR image of a picnic setup on t...Image via Wikipedia
Pearl:


A Life Too Short
A Death Too Long


By Darlene Cox






Darlene Cox read a line in a novel by David Baldacci and used it as her sub-title for her latest novel. I love how imagination is stirred by a writer who then goes on to create an entirely new story! Pearl certainly fulfills the image that we might envision from Baldacci's words...

All the men in town loved Pearl Sutton; some were even in love with her and would have sought a permanent life with her, but she was married to a rich influential man in town. But her beauty and her flirty personality made any man feel just a little more special--what harm did that do? After all, if any of them got a little frisky, she just mentioned that Pappy was expecting her home and she would leave them then and there...

Except for one man...

And sometimes another...

Everybody wondered about her being with "Pappy" Sutton--after all, he was much older than she; but their relationship seemed to work and everybody knew they were very close, even if Pearl would go off alone or with some man most days.

Pearl loved speed and would get into her car to ride off from town. Sometimes she would bring a picnic basket and she would offer a ride to one certain man and they would go off into the woods together. But when she didn't go home at night or came out later in the dark, she headed for only one man's bed and he always opened his home and heart to her...

Now she was dead--murdered, found under a pile of leaves by kids who had decided it was too nice a day to be stuck in school. But when their freedom led to Pearl, they once again were responsible young men and called for help. It was too late for Pearl, but Jon Atherton, the Sheriff, did everything possible, and more, to find the man who had killed Pearl. And many times, during the investigation, his mind would seek out the warmth of his bed whenever Pearl held him close and lovingly. Even though she had told him she was not in love with him, he loved her like no other.

They had spent most of their time in bed. Now Sheriff Atherton started to learn all of the secrets in Pearl's life, some he wished he had known long before she was gone...

But then another young woman was found, burned in the bed on which she had undoubtedly been assaulted, the complexity and relationship between the two murdered women seemed so remote that it was hard to establish any basis for comparison. Jon Atherton had come out of the Marines, wondering what to do with the rest of his life. He was new to law enforcement and the town. Now he realized that he didn't know much about any of the people with whom he worked and lived.

Cox presents a tale of murder in a small town where normally everybody knows everything about everbody, but this town has held their secrets tightly and while readers will begin to solve the crime, they will realize, finally, that they were probably wrong.

But Jon Atherton loved Pearl and he wasn't going to stop until he found out who and why she had been murdered. He owed it to the woman he loved...

Readers will have fun with Pearl. Not in the sense of having murder happen, but rather in following the clues, discovering the past secrets and learning more about the woman who had been loved by all the men in town. Much of the tale is sad... but the characters are those you enjoy learning about. I found myself wishing for a different ending for Pearl...and Jon... Let me know if you agree...

Highly recommended for lovers of whodunits! Pearl: A Life Too Short; A Death Too Long

Book Received Via
Blog Linkup

G. A. Bixler