Little, Brown & Co., 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
race Bagshaw Vance vehemently loved and protected Harper Vance since she was a young girl. She adored and stood up for the quiet, emotionally damaged young boy when no one else would. Eventually they made a life together. Then Grace's world shattered the day her husband (a GBI agent) died in a nationally televised fight-to-the-death with the Turn Key Bomber, moments before he blew up a hospital full of hundreds of people.
ven in death she continues to protect Harp -- no one but Grace knows that he lies buried amidst a field of rare lady slipper orchids that he loved since childhood. Grace is beyond outraged when Stone Senterra, a '
thick-necked Hollywood has-been
' wants to produce and star in a movie about Harp. If Senterra's past
' and '
Death Squad Patrol
') are any indication, the end result of his latest venture will lampoon rather than pay homage to Harp's life. Armed with a shotgun, a load of gravel and the legendary Bagshaw grit, Grace has every intention of stopping Senterra and his entourage in their tracks before production begins.
hat Grace doesn't expect is her reaction to Senterra's personal bodyguard, Boone Noleen. The charming, glib ex-con is dispatched to talk her down. He manages to do so even with a gun pointed at his head. While he respects Grace's position, his loyalties lie with his boss, Stone, who believed in him when no one else did, and who's willing to help Boone's older brother once he's done his time in a Louisiana prison. Boone can't afford to let his overpowering attraction to Grace get in the way of his job. And Grace quickly comes to realize that to fall in love with someone from the enemy camp would taint the memory of Harper Vance forever.
, Deborah Smith again uses dual points of view (those of Grace and Boone) to tell her story. The resulting novel teems with one-of-a-kind characters and situations that often border on the absurd. Smith deftly jibes at Hollywood's movie business, where the
story is often left on the cutting room floor in favour of a re-tooled version to appeal to the masses. But for all the laugh-out-loud scenes, there are just as many that are raw and insightful, with a level of emotion that only Smith can achieve.
is another winner, a story that will play over and over again in your mind long after the final scene.
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