When Caroline Cashion goes to the doctor complaining of wrist pain, they all think it's just strain or carpal tunnel. But then an MRI reveals something strange: Caroline has a piece of metal lodged in her neck. An x ray reveals the metal is actually a bullet but with no scar or memory of any injury, Caroline has no explanation.
The discovery of that bullet forces her parents to admit that she was adopted at the age of three. Her birth parents were murdered and little Caroline was the only witness and survivor of that tragic crime. In the over thirty years since, the case has never been solved. Now, the promise of new evidence, the very bullet buried in Caroline's neck, has prompted the police to reopen the cold case. But someone else wants to make sure that evidence is never recovered.
With an intriguing premise like that, how could I resist this one? Plus, I figured this would be fast paced and suspenseful enough to distract me from the icky, nasty snow this weekend. I was right!
I really liked Caroline. I mean, her life is basically turned upside down with the discovery that not only was she adopted (she's in her late 30s and had never been told) but that her birth parents were murdered in front of her. Of course she has no memory of either event considering she was so young, but still that's a lot for anyone to handle. And of course a fictional character gets to handle it as well as the author can portray it, but I thought Mary Louise Kelly really did a great job in that regard!
When we meet Caroline she's a professor comfortable in her life and her situation. She's single, she's the youngest of three children, she has a great relationship with her parents and her siblings... She's normal in every possible way. Then she finds out she's got this HUGE thing in her past, she's got parents she can't remember, and she has very limited resources in finding out anything at all about them. But she catches two lucky breaks: first, a reporter who covered the original murders is still around and takes an interest in Caroline's story.
The paper covers Caroline's situation, prompting a handful of people to reach out and contact her. That's where Caroline's second break comes in: a detective who worked the case is still with the department and is able to answer at least a few of Caroline's questions.
Caroline doesn't really consider the killer that much. And it's understandable, why would a killer have any interest in a woman who couldn't even testify at the time of the actual murders, right? I can see how and why that would never pop into Caroline's mind. She's coming from the angle of simply wanting to learn more about her past and understands that there's very little chance the killer will ever be caught.
But that's before she realizes she'll have to get the bullet removed, and that it could be analyzed and used as new evidence in the case.
The Bullet is a crazy fast read. I'd been limiting myself to short stories and novellas for the past week just because of all the things I've been working on, but I found that The Bullet was just as perfect a fit for a busy week as any short or anthology was. I read the whole thing in almost one sitting (I had to put it on pause to run an errand but otherwise...). It was exactly what I needed!
Thanks to the publisher I have two copies of the new paperback edition of this one to give away. To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, January 4. Open US only and no PO boxes please.
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