Vicky Bauer's life is already complicated. Her brief career as a film scholar has been replaced by difficult stints as a substitute teacher. Vicky's husband is in a semicoma and her estranged father has suddenly become dependent on her. In the midst of this decidedly troubled existence a series of unrelated events further complicate Vicky's life. For some reason people who have caused Vicky difficulties are now the subjects of acts of violence. Moreover, Vicky has a new neighbour to whom she is extremely attracted. His young son, however, seems troubled and destructive, in stark contrast to his affectionate twin sister.
Much more than a mystery, Double Negative uses the genre to pose questions about guilt, family abuse and violence and the complexities of life's important relationships.
In this second installment of Leona Gom's Vicky Bauer series, the titular protagonist is experiencing some difficult circumstances, from her husband's coma to her new job as a substitute teacher, in addition to some mysterious acts of violence perpetrated on the people in her life.
Erin Moon has a clean and expressive style that enriches Gom's prose, which can quickly shift in tone from sardonic to suspenseful. Moon's performance extends to the characters as well, equally adept at giving voice to the increasingly put-upon Vicky as she is to her gruff father and intriguing new neighbor.
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Mysterious, but not a mystery novel