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Posted March 16, 2005
Sally Oliver has just discovered that her husband is not who she thinks he is. A mysterious phone call from a previous wife coupled with a series of savage beatings from her once-adoring husband Jimmy prompt Sally to get out of the house as quickly as possible...but not before she discovers a life insurance policy with her name on it that's scheduled to take effect in just a few days. With her best friend, Julia, by her side Sally is in a race against the clock to find out what happened to Jimmy's other wives before she becomes his latest victim. What they don't know, however, is that Jimmy is behind them every step of the way. The Deadly Thorn is an excellent read, rarely letting the pace lag for more than a page and keeping the reader enthralled chapter after chapter with her lighting-quick style. Not a word is wasted, and the eye leaps over the occasional grammatical error in its haste to get to the next juicy scene. Betty Sullivan la Pierre has effectively captured not only the frightening aspects of Jimmy's personality, but also the mindset of the battered wife. While Sally knows she has to get away from her husband, she also admits to having some feelings for him, a common bond shared by abuse survivors. She manages to create a physically strong, sensible heroine whose emotional frailty makes her more human without turning her into a 'damsel in distress.' Meanwhile, Jimmy's terrifying ability to elude the authorities and disappear into thin air is enough to make even the most seasoned mystery lover shiver with trepidation. Unlike many novels of its type, Deadly Thorn does not marginalize its supporting cast. Instead, we are given insight into each character's mind and persona, no matter how minor their role may be. This not only leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction, it also gives us room empathize just a bit with everyone from Tee, the office flirt, to Sally's abusive husband. No black and white areas in her characterization, the players are delightfully rendered in 'grayscale,' with no one person outshining any other. To make a long story short--- I thoroughly enjoyed The Deadly Thorn and will not think twice about picking up another of la Pierre's books in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.