Thanks to Darlene Cox for letting me review her book.
About the Book
When Pearl Sutton's brutally beaten body is found in Jacobs Gully by two young boys playing hooky that day, it uncovers secrets of the small town of Faircloth, Virginia. Was Pearl a "loose" woman? Or merely a flirt. While many men tried to tame her, it was only one who had--in her words--knocked her socks off. But, she was married to a man almost twenty years older than she. That didn't stop her, though. Every red-blooded man between the ages of 17 and 47 wanted to "get to first base" with her. Before Sheriff Atherton and his deputies could identify the person who killed Pearl, the body of another young woman is found. One homicide in a town as small as Faircloth was a plate-full, two was over-kill. This homicide will be more difficult to solve because of lack of identity of the victim. There are clues galore, but none that highlight the perpetrator. It's said that trouble comes in threes -- which it did when an assault occurred in the home of Deputy Aikens. The deputy himself is so traumatized that he has no memory of the event, and can't say what happened. His wife is missing. When she's finally found beside a remote highway early in the morning, by a motorist on his way to work, she's in what the doctors call "catatonic" state, Sheriff Atherton has to reach for another plate. And,he has no suspect in sight for any of the incidents. It is when secrets of the small town and its inhabitants come together, that all three incidents are solved.
I've actually read another of Darlene Cox's books before. The book I was privileged to read was Web of Deceit. After flipping through it real quick I thought I saw my name in the back of the book. So I look more closely and sure enough, there my name is in print! My review was printed in the back... I was so excited. I've worn the spine out of my copy showing it to people! But back to the review of Pearl.
I liked Web of Deceit, but it has a few things that didn't sit well with me. So when I got Pearl in the mail I wasn't sure what I should expect from it. When I finished I can honestly say I was very glad I read it. Cox's execution of certain elements really came together in this one.
There are a few mysteries going on in this one. Not only was I trying to figure out who killed Pearl, but I was also trying to figure out who Pearl was. After all knowing why Pearl was killed is as important and knowing who did it. As the story unfolds it becomes apparent that although everyone knew Pearl, there was very little that they really knew about her. Which I think makes the mystery that much more enjoyable.
I can say I figured out most (not all) of this one pretty early on. But there were so many twists and turns that I would never have been able to guess it all. And with the other mysteries that are laced into the story it really kept me on my toes.
I have to say that this was much better than Cox's first book. I really think she hit the nail on the head with this one. It was very enjoyable to read and all the elements came together to make a really interesting story.
Pearl: A Life Too Short; A Death Too Long