Friday, November 4, 2011

Good Girls-Karen Young

Good Girls

Karen Young

Mira, Nov 15 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780373062461

In 1981 Mississippi, Taylor Stafford has finally earned the approval of her powerful mother, Judge Lily Stafford because she is marrying the golden boy of the moment, Jack Sullivan. However, the night of the wedding party, Jack rapes Taylor's sister Suzanne. Afterward, he warns her to keep quiet if she knows what is good for her sister. The violent act leaves her pregnant.

Fifteen years later, Suzanne is a judge, Jack is the governor-elect, and Taylor pretends to be happy to the outside world. Suzanne's world collapses when Jack, wanting a political favor, threatens to reveal the identity of their teenage child. However, Suzanne refuses. At a reception, Jack is assassinated. Did Suzanne do it to hide the truth? Did Taylor do it because she could no longer abide being the victim of a masterful manipulator? Or perhaps their cousin Annie did it out of love for her two closest friends? The one thing Jack's murder does do to the three women, is force them to depend on each other like they did as children.

Good Girls is a reprint of a late 1997 thriller that superbly blends a character study with a murder mystery. All three leading ladies are wonderful, empathetic characters even when they accept being victims to protect one another. However, it is the vile Jack who steals the show as he beguiles the media with his charismatic charm and manipulates the sisterly love that the three women have for each other in order to further his own ambition. The well designed who-done-it adds suspense to the fabulous intriguing take on the down side of loving someone.

Harriet Klausner

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