Savvy law student Sarah Wasser returns to her apartment to find two telephone messages: She has not been chosen for a coveted summer internship, and her best friend from high school has just murdered her two children. Unwilling to admit the internship failure to family and friends, the quick thinking Sarah secures a position on JoBeth’s defense team and returns to her sleepy hometown in South Carolina. But Sarah is not well-prepared for working in a community rife with duplicity and betrayal, and her efforts are met with the benevolent amusement of the senior law partner, the resentment of the trial attorney, the rush to judgement by the folks of Eight Mile Junction, and discovery of her father’s role in the degradation of JoBeth.
|Publisher:||Stephen F. Austin University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
DOROTHY PLACE lives and works in Davis, California. Since submitting her first short story for publication in 2008, she has had nine stories accepted for publication, one of which won first prize in the Mendocino Coast Writers Short Story Contest and the prestigious Estelle Frank Fellowship (2010). Her debut novel, The Heart to Kill, inspired by Euripides play, Medea, as well as the many newspaper accounts of women who have taken the lives of her children, searches for the underlying causes of these horrendous crimes. When not writing, she works on her bonsai collection, travels, and hikes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
To say Sarah Wasser’s life was turned on its heels in the time it took to listen to two phone messages would be a gross understatement. Those messages would leave her with only one option, to go home to Eight Mile Junction to privately lick her wounds and to publicly defend an old best friend for the murder of her two small children in whatever way she could. What Sarah wasn’t prepared for was how different her small town seemed now that she has grown up and seen both life in the big city and life as a determined law student. The Eight Mile Junction she returned to was too small, in mind, compassion and forgiveness. As she secures a position on JoBeth’s defense team, Sarah will face more than an uphill battle both at the office and in the eyes of her very domineering, judgmental father, the epitome of ego, control and brutal condescension. When the ugly truths behind why JoBeth did what she did comes to the surface, demons will be uncovered, deceit will be exposed and pillars of the community will topple. Through it all, Sarah will learn who she is and what she stands for, as well as the frail human condition of being flawed, that it will always show when the foundations of lie is built on lies. Dorothy Place’s THE HEART TO KILL is a raw look at the lies we will perpetrate to save ourselves when it suits our own purposes and the fallout that can destroy lives, love and an entire town. Filled with subplots that sometimes begged for more attention, this tale of one woman’s greatest sin becomes the sins of a town that would rather keep things swept under the rug. I received this copy from Dorothy Place in exchange for my honest and voluntary review.
Sarah Wesser, a high achiever in the middle of her law degree, decides to return home for the summer after two life-changing phone calls. One phone call is a rejection from an internship and the other is the terrible news the children of her high school friend JoBeth have been kidnapped. Sarah returns to her hometown of Eight Mile Junction to be involved in a law case that will shock the county. Between trying to please her father who is determined to mould Sarah into an image of perfection and working with lawyers to save the fate of JoBeth, Sarah learns that the people and life she left behind may not be what it seems. The Heart to Kill, written by Dorothy Place, is an edge of your seat crime novel based around Sarah, a high-flying law student, who returns to her hometown of Eight Mile Junction- a place where red clay is born under your nails and will stain your hands, no matter how far or wide you travel. The reader will be kept on their toes as Sarah dives in to assist lawyers who are trying to save her friend JoBeth from the wrath of small town mentality. An emotive story line will leave the reader feeling mixed emotions of empathy and horror whilst determining whether JoBeth is innocent or guilty of such a horrific crime. At times, you feel as though you are part of the jury as the story delves into the intricate details that have lead to the terrible tragedy involving the two children. JoBeth seemingly had it all. Married within months of leaving high school, to her sweetheart Phillip, she soon follows the small town trend by having two beautiful children. However, this soon falls apart and JoBeth is left divorced, lonely and obsessed with chasing a Cinderella fantasy. When Sarah returns home, she discovers there is more to JoBeth then the sweet, lovable high school girl she left behind. JoBeth appears as a broken shadow of herself which leaves the reader to wonder- what events impacted JoBeth severely enough to break her soul? Meet the lawyers- a group of men who are banding together to try and save the fate of JoBeth. The lawyers are built around a “boys club” mentality, meeting for golf and chortling with the DA before heading to the courtrooms. Suave but mysterious, one of the lawyers is Al Westfall whom is a private man that many find difficult to read or engage with. He can appear callous and cold however catches the eye of someone you would least expect. Meanwhile, Sam Wesser, (Sarah’s father) is a powerful, dominant character who controls the family in the same way a conductor controls an orchestra. Desperate to seek his approval, Sarah and her mother bend and heed to his every demand. His methods of parenting and his relationship with his wife teeter on the edge of emotional abuse and leave the reader feeling empathetic to Sarah’s desire to rebel. I would recommend The Heart to Kill to anyone who enjoys a court/crime style novel. My only qualm was that I wished the novel was longer!