Then, in 2003, Adrian's sister Lisa - stuck in a dead-end relationship - is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the mall's surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself.
©2007 Catherine O'Flynn; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
You "think" you know where this book is headed, but the real shock occurs just short of halfway through the text. Keep going until you hit the middle, and brace yourself for a page turner from that part onward. Clever twist on the mystery genre--with clear writing and narration.
Unusual, humorous, gut-wrenching.
O'Flynn deftly manages the switches between the present day and the past.
Skinner brings the characters to life, especially Kate.
The last few chapters were stunning. Even though I was afraid I knew what was coming, I didn't expect it to unfold as it did. It was very powerful.
Maybe this book would work better in print. Read by the excellent Catherine Skinner, it's a dense thicket of atmosphere specializing in urban rubble. There's a plucky girl who aspires to be a detective, soon an orphan and soon missing. Another girl who's a genius with a murderous dad (what happened to her?) is before long neither present nor absent. There's the inevitable patsy friend of the first girl, created to take the blame, and an array of young women. (Nancy? Who's Nancy? What happened to Kate? Oh, there's Kate, an hour later.)
Plot elements start and stop. I couldn't keep track and finally stopped before finishing, realizing that I didn't care what happened. There are murders, so I guess this is a mystery, but clues don't go anywhere and the ending, if it ever ties anything together, has to come out of nowhere.
The narrator is good, especially for aspiring to forward momentum, but frequently, since I'm an American not adept at working-class English accents, I understood her only with great effort.
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