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Small-Town Secrets Refuse to Stay Buried
With a flash of blinding headlights and the scream of metal on metal, Nell McGraw’s husband, Thom, is killed and her life is shattered. Now she’s alone in Thom’s Mississippi hometown, trying to care for her grieving children while returning to work as the publisher of the newspaper Thom’s grandfather founded.
When Nell is called to a site where human bones have been found, she’s determined to see the guilty parties receive the justice they deserve. But in Pelican Bay, stories from the past are too dangerous to be told. Threatened by men who want their secrets to stay hidden, as well as the family of the drunk driver who killed Thom, Nell finds that if justice is to be served, it will come with a deadly price.
"Reid's exciting debut, filled with action and philosophical musings about the enduring weight of the past, will make you both sad and mad."Kirkus Reviews
" Roots of Murder combines a gripping mystery with well-honed literary fiction."Mystery Scene
About the Author
R. Jean Reidlives and works in New Orleans. She grew up on the Mississippi Gulf coast. As J.M. Redmann, she is the author of multi-Lambda Award-winning Micky Knight Mystery series, includingThe Intersection of Law and Desire, Death of a Dying Man and I ll Will . Her day job is in public health as thedirector of prevention at NO/AIDS Task Force.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great Book! Very well written! This adult fiction novel is so realistic it could easily be based on actual events, so much so that the disclaimer in the copyright section is well warranted. This author has found a way to work in political/social issues into each book of this series; however, I personally feel she does so with sensitivity. Within this story, the author touches on racism, both racism of the past and present. An ever present theme throughout this series is a gender gap (the difference in the way Nell is treated as a professional woman as opposed to the professional men within the story). Although these themes and issues are present, they do not overpower the story. It reads like a classic "who done it" alongside a suspenseful thriller. There are twists and turns that result in dramatic flair. I loved how each part of the multi-faceted plot fits in the end. The wit peppered throughout this story is refreshing and entertaining. The language is for the most part clean; the only profanity utilized is done so to heighten the tone. Overall, I would describe the language usage throughout the novel as expansive: R. Jean Reid writes in such a way that the overall story is easy to read and comprehend, only occasionally throwing in a "five-dollar word". In my opinion, the occasional "five-dollar word" just heightens my interest. The characters are fully developed - I found the main character, Nell McGraw, relate-able. In addition, although reading the series in order will allow a deeper understanding of the characters, I appreciate how each book within this series can be read as a stand-alone book or in whatever order the reader so chooses. I enthusiastically recommend this book. (This would be an especially great book club pick as it lends itself to so many discussion possibilities.)
Nell McGraw is a newly widowed publisher of the Pelican Bay Crier, the Mississippi town's small newspaper. She's still struggling with the loss of her husband and taking care of her grieving children. Her husband was killed in an auto accident by a drunk driver. Wasn't his first time driving drunk nor was it his first drunk driving accident. The man's wife and brothers keep calling Nell asking telling her not to testify..and threatening her family. Meanwhile, Nell is called to a site where human bones have been found and according to a Forensic Anthropologist, they've been hidden for 50 years. She's determined to identify these victims and the guilty person(s) receive their punishment. But this is a small Mississippi town .... stories of the past do not want to see the light of day. And Nell is using her front page newspaper to expose them. Men, including the local law, are threatening her. And when she connects the victims to the racial unrest of the 60s and to three missing civil rights activists, does her search become dangerous.. not only to her, but to her children, as well. Nell also stumbles across the fact that a lot of well-to-do white men were defrauding black land owners and taking their property. This was quite a good story... well-written. The author certainly did her homework on how life was back in those days. Racial tensions were high. And African Americans had no one to turn to. The characters are great. Nell is finding that she's stronger than she thought ... but she's had to be. She's a mom of a teenage girl .. enough said! Her younger son is trying to be the man of the house. And she's so mad at her husband for not being there. Nell is dealing with a mother-in-law that has never approved of her. And she's fighting the entire town in order to print the truth ... a truth that might get her killed. Her team at the newspaper, with one exception, have Nell's back. There are those, black and white, who are helping Nell, and one of them are murdered for it. The sheriff, the Mayor, the constituents who are running for mayor, are mostly corrupt. Family roots go a long way down. My thanks to the author / Midnight Ink / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.