We started our meeting with a review of the characters. Since some of our group read this book a while ago, this approach seemed to bring the story back to life for all of us. The characters were in two camps. They were the "bad guys" and the "good guys." Ms. Hoag kept us guessing about to which category some of them should belong. With twists and turns, and characters who were well drawn, the read was always interesting. Even the title provided an interesting line. This is a book that sends us one direction while creating an undertow to suck us back. The character at the center of the plot at the beginning is a teenage girl who is brutally murdered and disfigured with acid thrown on her to cloak her identity. With a serial killer on the loose, the detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska work on piecing together what happened to this socially challenged girl. Along the way we meet people in different parts of her life as the detectives unravel her story. But, stay tuned to the end. While most all is finally revealed, as in real life, there were still a few places for Sam and Nikki to go in a new installment. This was the fourth book in the series. The previous titles are: Prior Bad Acts, The 1st Victim and Dust to Dust. The 9th Girl will appeal to young adults as well as adults for its quick prose and its pulse on current day teens. Tami Hoag has a web site with other titles listed and bio information on this 55 year old sportswoman and author. http://tamihoag.com/
COMING UP:Tara Road by Maeve Binchy - Northside Grill on March 25th at Noon
Having read and enjoyed Circle of Friends, I am looking forward to traveling along with Ms. Binchy on this new journey. Unfortunately, Maeve Binchy died in July, 2012. After a long and successful career, she finished her last novel, A Week in Winter just days before passing away. Here is an excerpt form her web site about Tara Road:
Ria Lynch and Marilyn Vine have never met. Their lives have almost nothing in common. Ria lives in a big ramshackle house in Tara Road, Dublin, which is filled day and night with the family and friends on whom she depends. Marilyn lives in a college town in Connecticut, New England, absorbed in her career, an independent and private woman who is very much her own person.
Two more unlikely friends would be hard to find. Yet a chance phone call brings them together and they decide to exchange homes for the summer. Ria goes to America in the hope that the change will give her space and courage to sort out the huge crisis in her life that is threatening to destroy her. Marilyn goes to Ireland to recover in peace and quiet from the tragedy which she keeps secret from the world, little realising that Tara Road will prove to be the least quiet place on earth.
They borrow each other's houses, and during the course of that magical summer they find themselves borrowing something of each other's lives, until a story which began with loss and suffering grows into a story of discovery, unexpected friendship and new hope. By the time Ria and Marilyn eventually meet, they find that they have altered the course of each other's lives for ever.