Wednesday, August 06, 2008
You Know, Except For Having Murdered Someone, He Was A Marvelous Guy
Gail Giles is a member of one of my listservs, and I've been interested in reading her work for some time. And now I have.
Kip McFarland was nine years old when he set a nine-year-old boy on fire and killed him. After years in an institution, he and his father start out on a new life, in a new state, with new names. Right Behind You is the story of what it's like for him to carry that kind of past around with him. It's highly suspenseful but not in the sense that readers will be waiting to see if Kip kills again. Rather, they'll wonder what he's going to do to himself.
I think Giles was better on Kip's dark and miserable side then she was on the lighter portion of his life when he's fitting into high school post-murder and post-institution. I felt that portion of the book seemed a little rushed. Or maybe I just like dark and miserable more than I like happy high school. But, all in all, I'd say Right Behind You could be described as both thought provoking and a bit of a thrill ride. A very good combination.
Take a look at Giles' other titles and covers. Do I see some kind of pattern here? Perhaps thought provoking and thrill ride is her thing.