A mother would know

Amber Garza, 1977-

Book - 2022

"Valerie has been forgetting things. Her daughter worries about her being on her own in her big Victorian house--one rumored to be haunted after a tragedy decades earlier--and truth be told, she is a little lonely. With few options, she asks her adult son to move home, but it's not quite the reunion she hoped for. Hudson is taciturn, moody and frequently gone. The neighbors already hold a grudge against Hudson, and they aren't happy about his return. When a young woman is found mu...rdered a block away, suspicion falls on him immediately, without a shred of evidence. While Valerie fights to defend her son, she begins to wonder who she really invited into her home. It's a horrible thing for a mother to even think...but is it possible she's enabled a monster? A monster she is living with, alone? "--

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FICTION/Garza Amber
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Garza Amber Checked In
Psychological fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Detective and mystery fiction
Domestic fiction
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada : Mira [2022]
Physical Description
311 pages ; 23 cm
Main Author
Amber Garza, 1977- (author)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Widow Valerie Jacobs, the narrator of this propulsive thriller from Garza (Where I Left Her), regrets her sometimes careless parenting back when she was part of a popular band and her son, Hudson, and her daughter, Kendra, were young. That Valerie's memory begins to fail in her 50s recalls her mother's early-onset Alzheimer's. Perfectionistic Kendra is too overwhelmed by nursing school and a baby to offer hands-on care, so Valerie asks Hudson to come and live in her old Sacramento, Calif., home. She hopes to rebuild the closeness they once shared, but Hudson, an aimless drifter in his mid-20s, is more interested in partying with friends. As old tensions between Hudson and Kendra reemerge, a sexy young woman who lives nearby is strangled shortly after she and Hudson are introduced. An incident from Hudson's adolescence unites the neighborhood against him despite the lack of evidence, and Valerie struggles to balance a mother's unconditional belief in her son with fears that he was indeed involved in the crime. Combining high drama with issues--aging, sibling rivalry, the shadow of past mistakes--to which most readers can relate, Garza keeps the fast-paced plot twists going into the book's final pages. Fans of smart, female-centered thrillers will love this. Agent: Ellen Coughtrey, Gernert Co. (Dec.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

After a bad break-up, Valerie's son Hudson returns to their family home. Then a young local woman is found murdered, and Hudson was one of the last people to have seen her after a wild night on the town. Hudson has a past as well--a previous girlfriend died and many neighbors feel the young man was involved but never convicted. There's a bigger problem: Valerie has been forgetting things. She cannot remember some day-to-day actions as well as pieces of her own past. There's a history of Alzheimer's in her family, and now she may be facing the same, undiagnosed problem as well. But is her only son capable of murder, and can she trust her own mind to sort out the mystery? VERDICT Garza (Where I Left Her) deftly explores family dynamics and mental illness in this twisty, fast-paced mystery. Perfect for fans of B. A. Paris's and Camilla Way's psychological suspense.--Bill Anderson

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