Though this is Gregg's first fiction book, you'd never realize it if you were to pick it up and read it without knowing so.
Without giving away the entire plot, Hannah, devoted wife, mother & "county" (as she likes to say) investigator has been living her own personal hell since her traumatic childhood experience. Though she never has been able to live a 'normal' life, she's perhaps accomplished much more than she thought possible. Those who were there in her time of need as a child are there for her NOW, when her past comes back to reclaim her life. Also there at this time are those who are intent on making sure her nightmare never ends.
I rarely read fiction now, since discovering the true crime genre, but hope that Gregg continues with a novel every so often. It's a nice break, especially when written by someone who has the knowledge and experience to make it read like a true crime book. High 5 Gregg!
Gregg Olsen is a true crime writer; this is his first novel, he said. The book is well written, has good plot & characters... but it's too tense for me. I like light, funny cozies. Even so, the story was strong enough that I finished it the book.
Not as good as true crime. I tried this book because I liked the true crime books this author had written. I will stick to true crime. Truth is stranger than fiction. It is just more interesting reading about what happened to real people than something someone made up.
In his first novel, true crime writer Olsen (The Deep Dark) brings complex mystery and crackling authenticity to bear on a cold case police procedural. Hannah Griffin has spent most of her life trying to forget the notorious Christmas Eve house fire that claimed her family and turned up almost two dozen other bodies buried in their yard; though the case remained unsolved, Hannah's mother became, posthumously, the de facto prime suspect. Twenty years later, Hannah's a happily married mother of one, a crime scene investigator for Santa Louisa, Calif., and a lifetime away from her traumatic Oregon childhoodÂ¿until a series of mysterious events indicates that her mother may still be alive. Hannah reopens the case, as well as old wounds, after enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Jeff Bauer, the still-haunted chief officer from the original investigation. Thanks to Olsen's true-crime work, the case's particulars both grisly and mundane all carry genuine weight, though his characters can be cloying: Hannah's neuroses occasionally seem more dingbat than damaged, and Agent Bauer's tough-but-tender act is a familiar one. That said, Olsen's flashback narrative shines with lurid, carefully distributed details, and if it ultimately overshadows the present-day plot, his bizarre, many-layered mystery will keep fans of crime fiction hooked.
After coming across this book mentioned in the Paperbackswap newsletter I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. This was what a murder/mystery should be. Deliciously engrossing, it was the first book in quite some time that I literally could not put down. I think I have found a new favorite in Gregg Olsen.
Excellent story line and good writing, and characters were well developed. However, if you're looking for a good twist at the end or an explosive ending, this book is not for you. The book just ended. A little disappointing.
This book was just okay for me. I read a lot of this genre, and what captures my imagination is when it feels like the author is telling me a story, rather than making up a story. This felt like a made up story (which of course it is, but you know what I mean). It felt forced and contrived. If you want to read a great suspense thriller, go for Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. Outstanding.
Hmmm... I haven't completely made up my mind whether or not I liked this one. It was certainly pretty exciting, but it wasn't terribly well executed. The main character had a lot of issues, or not enough of them to be really intersting... And while the whole physique of most of the characters wouldn't have stuck out that much to me if Ndugu hadn't have pointed it out, it did become a little distracting the way that "good" people were pretty and the bad were very ugly. Mostly, the book was a big crack against mothers, as there wasn't a good one to be found in the whole book! The killings were rather unmotivated to me, other than I suppose, greed... On top of that, the whole thing was a rather a let down from its very exciting premise. Another female serial killer was a nice change for the drama, however.
Hannah Griffin was a girl when tragedy struck on her family's farm. She still remembers the flames reflected against the newly fallen snow and the bodies the police dug up-one of them her mother's. It was the nation's worst murder scene in decades and the killer was never found...Twenty years later Hannah is a talented CSI investigating a case of child abuse when the past comes hurtling back. Years of buried questions are brought to life. A killer with unfinished business is on the hunt. And an anonymous message turns Hannah's blood cold: YOUR MOM CALLED...
One of the unique things about this author is that you know, up front, who the "bad guy" is. His stories then are about how that person(s) is captured.
This is a my second book by this author and it felt a little slower to read than the first one I chose. Nonetheless, it was still a good story.
Because of his style, it doesn't feel as compelling to keep reading, unable to put it down. However, the way he delves into the personalities of the victims, the perpetrator(s) and the legal unit personnel make it a good read.