Reviewed by R. Read
Who can resist a dead body on the first page?
When Michelle DePalma travels back home to Two Wells, Texas, she expects to drop in for a day or two to check on her mother Lola, who has been showing early signs of Alzheimer’s. But when Michelle steps through the wide-open front door, she finds her mother standing over her bludgeoned caregiver’s body. And surprise! Lola has no idea what happened. Author Sharon Marchisello shines in Going Home (Sunbury Press, 2014), interlacing her protagonists’ quandaries with intrigue in this cliff-hanging, murder-solving who-done-it.
“She looked at me as though I had landed in a spacecraft.”
Then, shortly after this episode, her mother goes missing. With Lola as the prime suspect, Michelle struggles to get answers and is bombarded with additional surprises as the book goes on. Each time there is a knock at the door, another layer of the story is revealed. The situation in Two Wells threatens to collapse her life back home, the happy marriage and satisfying career she left behind. Can Michelle hold on to her perfect life with all that has been uncovered?
In addition to the gripping mystery, the story also touches on plenty of other issues: end-of-life decisions, long-buried family secrets, trusting caregivers, going back to a small town once called home, and plenty more. Certainly, it is a challenge to solve a mystery when the main suspect and witness can’t remember anything, but it is even more difficult when the police officers on the case are old antagonists from grade school and, even more so, when a dark secret results in the appearance of an unforeseen granddaughter.
While readers can appreciate a mystery incorporating personal and social issues, this one might have had just a bit too many. Some of the issues draw on for a touch too long and leave the occasional loose end, but in the final pages, we learn that some of them did in fact have a hand in the cryptic circumstances engulfing her return home. Which one will it be? And which will lead to the murder being solved?
“I made the right decision, and I’ve never regretted it.”
This is one of those books that grabs you on the very first page and refuses to be put down. A fast-paced, great read overall for those interested in a character’s self-discovery while searching for the answer to a mysterious, hometown murder.
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