Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Ninth Step-Grant Jerkins

The Ninth Step

Grant Jerkins

Berkley Prime Crime, Sep 4 2012, $15.00

ISBN 9780425255988

In Mantissa Cove, driving under the influence veterinarian Helen Patrice smashes into the vehicle driven by high school geometry teacher Edgar Woolrich. Edgar’s wife dies in the accident. Panicked Helen flees the accident scene and wastes no time in having her car repaired and painted so that no signs of the crash shows on her vehicle.

Filled with guilt, Helen fails at a suicide attempt so she joins Alcoholics Anonymous. However, she considers quitting when she learns the ninth step in the AA program is to face those you hurt. At the same time the vet struggles with remorse over the vehicular homicide hit and run, obsessed mathematician Edgar applies statistical analyses to reduce the field of who probably killed his wife. When they meet, she fails to tell him the truth until she realizes it is too late. Then the note arrives asking if she told her Edgar she killed his spouse?

This is a superb dark thriller starring two characters connected by the tragedy. Helen and Edgar seem real with each coping poorly with what happened. Edgar's probability analysis enhances a strong twisting storyline. With a changing relationship between the protagonists and that stunning note; readers will appreciate The Ninth Step.

Harriet Klausner

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