Hell or High Water
by Joy Castro
This book is more of a psychological study of sex offenders and of the main character, reporter Nola Cespedes than it is a mystery. Nola desperately wants move from writing fluffy social articles to reporting hard news. Her editor finally gives her the chance, and one would think that Nola would jump at it but he practically has to force her take it. He wants her write an article on the problems registered sex offenders have reintegrating into society after being paroled. The parolees come from all walks of life – those who struggle on daily basis to a wealthy man who lives an isolated life with his mother in their garden district mansion. The book spends as much time exploring Nola's psyche as it does on the sex offenders. Nola grew up poor with a single mother and still feels that she does not measure up to her friends who grew up in comfortable middle class homes with two parents. The mystery comes in the form of the search for an au pair who disappeared from a restaurant while dining with her charges and their father. Even though I didn't always like Nola, I felt compassion for her as I kept turning the pages intrigued by the story that unfolded before me. Castro teaches creative writing and literature that the University of Nebraska. The sequel to this book, Nearer Home, will be published soon. -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Hank Phillipi Ryan and Jan Burke.]
[Also available in downloadable audio format.]
[ official Hell or High Water page on the official Joy Castro web site ]
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