She Had It Coming
Mary Monroe, . . Kensington/Dafina, $24 (298pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-1219-1
The question in Monroe's steamy but seedy shocker is who should suffer the most: the unreliable narrator or her BFF who commits murder on the night of their senior prom? Dolores Reese, a foster child, and her best friend, Valerie Proctor, get caught in a web of deadly secrets after “LoReese” witnesses Valerie killing her stepfather, Zeke Proctor, to protect her mother. The friends drift apart but stay in sporadic touch, and 16 years later, Lo, now married, confides her own secret: she's jailhouse married to her first love, Floyd Watson, who's been locked up for years on a bogus rape/murder charge. When Floyd is belatedly cleared of the charges, Lo's determined to stay married to both men, and Valerie agrees to help her. Monroe draws a bleak picture of how secrets can wreck friendships, but she fails to create much sympathy for either the sometimes sarcastic and conceited Lo or Valerie. Readers might find Lo's bigamy lifestyle a little too unbelievable and a late-breaking affair too out-of-left-field, but those who can sit back and go along with the chain of double-crosses and deception should enjoy the ride.
Reviewed on: 06/23/2008