Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Beyond Reach, Karin Slaughter
I give a general spoiler warning in the blog intro/description, but I still try to be conscientious of what I give away. I only usually call them out in my reviews if they're pretty obvious and I'm being facetious.
However, as I also say in my review, these aren't meant to be a synopsis of the book, but I do have to give some sort of run down in order to make the parts I want to talk about make sense.
But, in order to discuss this amazeballs book honestly, I need to reveal a huge spoiler.
Which brings me to the different part. Normally, I put the page break in mostly for space and try to place it where it makes you want to read the rest of the review. Because of this major spoiler, I'm placing the break after this intro.
This really was a great book (with and without spoilers), and I absolutely would tell you to read this and the whole Grant County series (in order). But, if you're not like me and a major spoiler ruins it for you, makes you want to not read something, do yourself a favor: Read this book, then come back and read my review.
If not....keep reading....if you dare...
HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT!!!!
JEFFERY IS DEAD!!!! D-E-A-D!!!!!!
ok. *deep breath* ok
I kept trying to think my way out of it. Kept trying to look for the loophole to show it was a fake death. Cause it's not like he hasn't been "dead" before. In Indelible, we're told he's dead. We see Sara unable to find a pulse and we see Frank telling Lena it's confirmed he's dead. But of course he's not. And lots of authors do that, making cliff hangers, but they rarely kill off such a main character.
But I just couldn't find the loophole. There was just no way for Slaughter to write her way out of this. So, I was looking on Slaughter's website for another reason and found a Bonus Chapter and a Letter to her readers (which you should read after you read this book). It's confirmed. :`(
And you know who I blame (well, besides my friend who got me hooked and therefore make me love the characters *ahem*)?
Let me 'splain.
Ok, so this book takes place 6 years after Blindsighted. The intervening books fall at various places in between, but this book was about 3 years after Faithless. Sara and Jeffery are married again and planning to adopt a child. (Slaughter really knows how to twist the knife, am I right?!) Lena has been without Ethan for a 3 years now, working as a detective, and seems to be doing well. She's stopped living with Nan and rents Jeffery's house now that he and Sara are living together.
Until she gets a phone call from a woman telling her she needs to check on her Uncle Hank. She drives out to her hometown to see her uncle and finds him back on drugs and trying to kill himself. Quite intentionally. While high, Hank lets slip that his dealer killed her mother. Lena had always been told her mother died from an infection 2 weeks after she and her sister were born. So, she decides to find out more about her mothers death.
And gets wrapped up into a neo-nazi meth ring. *eye roll*
Jeffery and Sara get involved when they get a call from that county's sheriff telling Jeffery his detective is in the hospital, and under arrest, after being found with a gas can at the site of a car fire. A body was found in the car.
Here's where I start getting pissed off. See, the cops are in on it. Lena can't trust them. But she has several opportunities to tell Jeffery what was going on. But she doesn't. She says she's trying to protect him - but they're like siblings, so she knows that the more she tells him to go away, the more he's going to stay to try to fix it. It's her pride. Protecting him is just a rationalization. She's really just too proud to ask for help and to risk losing Jeffery's respect. (Which never would have happened, he's shown that time and time again.) If she had just let him in....
Ok, look. She takes some pictures and makes a deal with the neo-nazi's to exchange her silence for the safety of Jeffery, Sara, and herself. Of course they don't keep their end. But she still doesn't tell anyone about the one suspect only she knows about and the proof against him. Meanwhile, Jeffery thinks it's all wrapped up - except for the masterminds in another state no one will roll on.
Now, would he have ever thought to approach his mailbox with suspicion, even if he had known? I don't know. I think it's unlikely. We feel safe in our own space, in our homes. But if he had known, he could have. There would have been the opportunity. But he didn't so we'll never know.
So, yes, I blame Lena.
I'm also irritated with her because Ethan's back. *eye roll*
I told you in my Faithless review how skeptical I was about there being a real break there. Looks like I was right to be skeptical. There's still 7 years on his sentence - IF he doesn't get parole. She could get a restraining order. She could burn his letters; refuse to take his calls. She could move somewhere else to make harder for him to find her. She could bring Hank with her. Not that I think he'd leave. But I don't think she'll do any of those things.
I guess the thing that made me skeptical in the first place was that she participated in the most minor way. Look, abuse victims need help getting out of those relationships. I don't want to make it sound like she didn't need help, or shouldn't have asked for it. I've been saying since book 1 that she needs help. But...it's like an addict (a real one, not a book addict ;)). They have to do it for themselves. They have to participate in their own recovery. No matter how many times you make them go to rehab, if they don't want to quit, they won't. I had hoped that by planting the gun, she was participating in her recovery, but I just felt like it was such a passive role, like she wasn't fully committed.
I've given Lena a lot of slack. I understand abusive relationships aren't as easy to get out of as outsiders tend to think. I understand she had a shitty childhood (so did Jeffery). But I have said time and time again she needs therapy. She just has too much working against her. I'm just disgusted with her. I'm sure I'll cool down by the next book (which will be a while, as I will explain in my next review), but right now, I'm just done.
Which is of course what she always expects from people: for them to be done with her. However, luckily, she's not a real person, so I can give into my frustration. :)
In all seriousness, since I've been talking about abuse so much, it's appropriate to include a PSA here for people who are not just characters in a book. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can go to http://www.thehotline.org/ or call 1800-799-SAFE (7233). If you visit the website, you will be warned about activity being monitored and provided information to avoid it. If you use google chrome for a browser, you can also use the incognito window which is designed to hide activity.
Anyway. So, Sara's a widow. Just as she's about to be a mother, she's a widow.
As I intimated in the beginning: MOTHERFUCKER!!
Beyond Reach, Karin Slaughter