Saturday, October 04, 2014

What we're reading: Polygamy and murder

I picked up I Love You More, by first-time author Jennifer Murphy, because of the juxtaposition of that title with the photo on the cover of not one but three women--one of them holding a gun. Who wouldn't be intrigued by that?

I'm so glad I did: I loved this book more than anything I have read in a while. You know how you go through spells when you keep picking up books that sound amazing and they keep disappointing you? I have been on an extended jag of those books lately. So I was doubly delighted by finding this one.

Picasso Lane is 12 years old when her father, Oliver, is murdered at their summer beach house. As is common in most cases, the police look first at the spouse, and Picasso's mother, Diana, is the prime suspect (despite a pretty ironclad alibi) until Oliver's second wife reports him missing...shortly followed by a report from a third Mrs. Lane! Who was Oliver Lane anyway, and how did he pull off this three-way-split lifestyle? The women all tell Detective Kyle Kennedy that they have never met one another and knew nothing about the other wives...but Picasso knows better.

The thing I liked the best about the book is the alternating narrative split between the detective, "the wives" speaking as an entity (which could have been too precious but wasn't), and Picasso Lane. Kennedy knows nothing, the wives know some things, and Picasso knows other things, so the reveal is gradual and intriguing as we jump back and forth between them. What an amazing, and amazingly told, book! The pacing, the plot, the ending--everything kept me riveted to the page. Bravo for this debut novel!

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