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Shoot the Moon    by Billie Letts order for
Shoot the Moon
by Billie Letts
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2004)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Anise Hollingshead

It's 1972, and the little town of DeClare, Oklahoma, is a typical small town with its share of eccentric characters, good 'ol boy networks, and general busybodies. Suddenly, the unexpected and shocking happens: a young girl is found murdered in a rather gruesome manner, and her young baby is missing. The only clue is a set of the baby's pajamas found near a creek. A local man is accused of the murder, and supposedly commits suicide in the jail.

Everyone in the town assumes that the case is closed and mystery solved, even though the whys and wherefores are still unanswered. The town becomes quiet again, until some thirty years later, when a man shows up looking for his birth mother, who just happens to have the same name as the murdered woman. When Mark Albright comes to DeClare, he only knows the name of his birth mother. He doesn't know anything about her, not even that she was murdered. The townspeople soon enlighten him, though, and the media is quick to hop on the story. It's hard finding the truth after so many years, especially as many of the people who knew Gaylene just want to forget it, and believe that there are no new answers. Mark, though, perseveres and ultimately discovers exactly what happened that day in DeClare.

The story is plotted fairly well, but some of the twists and turns seem a little too pat, or at times somewhat farfetched. The action is fast-paced and exciting, with plenty of shocking events to help move things along. Characters are believable, and the dialogue is good. Shoot the Moon is a decent beach read, with a good mix of mystery and thriller elements. This paperback is a readers' club edition, with a well-done discussion section for reading clubs. The author notes were very interesting, and I enjoyed reading Billie Letts' comments.

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