Sunday, July 31, 2022

The events in the novel go back and forth between 1994 and 2019 in the small town of Wakarusa, Indiana. In the 1994 chapters, the events and aftermath of the disappearance and murder of 6-year-old January Jacobs are described. In 2019, reporter Margot Davies returns to town to look after her uncle Luke, who is in the early stages of dementia. When Margot was a child, January was her best friend. Now working as a reporter, Margot has never gotten over the death of her friend. When another young girl goes missing in a nearby community, Margot is eager to connect the event to the still-unsolved murder of January. Her boss at the newspaper, however, has grown tired of Margot's obsession with the Jacobs case and fires her. Margot is dismayed to lose her job, but secretly thrilled, since she can now work on investigating the two cases without worrying about deadlines. Young January is obviously based on Jon-Benet Ramsey, as her provocative dance costumes quickly draw the condemnation of the media. Like Jon-Benet, January also has a brother her parents quickly come under suspicion. The family appears on a well-known true crime show after January's death, and every gesture and word are scrutinized (well, almost, the boy makes some questionable remarks that apparently are never followed up). In going back to 1994 and reading what January's mother Krissy was going through at the time, several possible explanations for events that follow are suggested. I enjoyed trying to guess what had happened to January, but I found the writing style exhausting. The author, for some reason, loves a comma, and every page has long and rambling sentences, separated by commas, that seem to go on forever, when surely a few better formed sentences, instead of all the commas, which, to be honest, are extremely annoying, would have helped the story move along faster, and therefore would have been much more enjoyable to the reader, who has to go back and re-read many of these sentences, since by the time you reach the merciful end of one, you have long since forgotten what was happening way back at the start. There are several ambiguous things that happen to major characters that are up to the reader to interpret. I also didn't understand what the author meant when she said the original name of the town, Salem, "invoked the killing of innocent girls." I'm not sure which Salem she's referring to, since the Salem Witch Trials all involved adults (girls were the perpetrators of those atrocities, not the victims).

I received a copy of All Good People Here from NetGalley


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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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