SHINE by Lauren Myracle
Cat Robinson lives in Black Creek, North Carolina, a small rural town way off the beaten path, where everyone knows everyone and your choice of friends is limited. Her friend Patrick is viciously attacked early one morning while working at the Come “N Go, and left for dead, brutally tied to a gasoline pump. A week after the attack, Sheriff Doyle has done little to solve the crime believing that outsiders are to blame. He refuses to believe anyone in Black Creek could be capable of such brutality. Furious, Cat decides to solve it herself, accompanied by a local college boy who is interested in finding the attacker for reasons of his own.
Believing someone in her community attacked Patrick, Cat begins snooping around town, listening to every conversation she can. She learns of a drug trade that is devouring some of the locals, getting too close to the answer she seeks. While most in town warn her to stop snooping, one unknown person sends Cat a personalized message “to stop flapping your tongue,” similar to one seen in The Godfather movie.
This is a wickedly disturbing story told unflinchingly yet compassionately. The story takes place over the course of about a month while Patrick lays unconscious in the hospital clinging to life. Each time Cat thinks she has found the clue that will lead her to the culprit a curveball is thrown her way. The author, Ms. Myracle, does a fantastic job leading Cat and the reader with sleight of hand wording, which leads down one path while pointing at the true path. The twists and turns will keep readers guessing but never sure who Patrick’s late night attacker is until near the very end. The final pages will shock some and bewilder others as Ms. Myracle ends the journey with the same brutality in which it began.
This is a story for young adults and adults who love a good mystery, told expertly without all the gruesome details spelled out. If you read only one book in 2011, read Shine. If you like masterfully told stories, read Shine. Lauren Myracle has written an award-winning book that you do not want to miss.
Note: received from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher