Thursday, December 25, 2014

Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin

Woman with a GunI zipped through this novel in almost a day. I love a good mystery. I love being kept in suspense. I love the idea of this story. At first it starts in 2015. A young wanna-be writer is inspired when she walks through another woman's art gallery. She determines she's going to write a book based on an unsolved murder on the coast of Oregon.

Then it goes back to 2005. Megan Cahill is found carrying a gun, staring out to sea on the beach by a photographer. The famous photo is taken, shooting the photographer to amazing career heights. Megan's husband is dead in the house behind them. Her ex-husband is found dead later that week. Everything seems to surround Megan. Surely she has something to do with it all...

It also takes us back about five years before this murder, and delves into the connection between a prosecutor investigating the Cahill case and the photographer/witness who had a drug problem.

It seems everyone is tied into the mess in some way, even if they don't realize it--a former prosecutor, a former pro football player, all kinds of interesting characters. I'd like to add that characterization was superb. Despite all the people involved and changing POVs, I always knew who was who by their distinctive personalities.

I confess I knew whodunnit a lot sooner than I would have liked, but the story still managed to keep me in suspense. While I knew who the main culprit was, I honestly thought others were involved too and was constantly trying to pinpoint just who was involved and how it was all done.

And though I really enjoyed this novel and mystery, I did find a few things that bugged me. 1. The lack of emotion/feeling/description. This was almost too much telling, not enough showing. I found it kind of funny when the novelist in the story thinks, "What did the wind off the ocean feel like when Megan Cahill stood on the shore looking out to sea? What did the sand feel like as she walked across the beach from her house?..." The writer in the book seems to realize she needs those details while the actual writer didn't.
2. It's almost 2015 now, as I write this, just a week to go...and I'm just your average computer user--nothing fancy--but even I know how to flip and reverse photos in Paint program. We have a professional photographer here who has never heard of PhotoShop or Paint? Seriously? Though I'm willing to give benefit of the doubt as she isn't that much of a pro in 2005 (programs were available then, however), by 2015 she'd def be familiar with that stuff, what with her career taking off. Just noticed this and thought it weird. It made for an odd ending that left me unsatisfied.

P.S. I love that this novel was actually inspired by a photograph--Woman with a Gun.

I received this digital ARC from Edelweiss.

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