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Monday 18 May 2020

A Life for a Life by Lynda McDaniel

I really enjoyed this book. Much as I loved the mystery side of it, what I particularly loved about it was the special relationship between the two main characters. 

There are two narrators, recounting an event from some twenty years previously. One is Della, an ex reporter who decides to give up the pressure of her Washington job and settles for country life in the Appalachian countryside. The other is Abit. Unusual name? Yes. But I won't spoil it for you! Abit is a young teenager who is best described in modern terms as 'on the spectrum'. Della and Abit share a very special relationship: no, nothing salacious. Just special. Della sees qualities in Abit his parents overlook. Watching his development over the course of the book was just lovely.

The event that binds them is Della's discovery of a dead girl whilst walking her dog. The local police dismiss it as a suicide. But Della's investigative instincts as a journalist ignite. There's more to it. With the help of young Abit, friends and her ex husband, they aim to get to the bottom of the tragedy. 

This has a solid plot cushioned by Abit and Della's friendship. Beautifully and perfectly executed and written. 

I was a smidge disappointed to get to the end, further evidence of the author's skill. She manages to pull you right into the story, into the scenery and into Appalachian life to the point that you not only feel as if you're there, but actually really want to be.

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