Title: Woman with a Gun
Author: Phillip Margolin
Author: Phillip Margolin
Publication Information: Harper Collins, Hardcover, December 2014
Plot: This is a story within a story inspired by an unusual photograph of a woman in wedding dress approaching the ocean, holding a gun. Stacey Kim is working as a receptionist at a law firm in New York to pay the bills while she nurses literary ambitions:
"Stacey’s nonexistent social life and mind-numbing job would not have mattered if she was making progress on her novel, but she wasn’t . . . Each time Stacey stared at the blank page on her laptop she tried to rekindle the hope and excitement she had felt during her first days in New York, but all she felt was despair.
Bored and frustrated, Stacey visits MOMA at lunch one day where she sees and is fascinated by this iconic photograph, learning that the subject, Megan Cahill, is suspected of killing her husband on their wedding night. Stacey is convinced the photograph should be the basis of her novel, and impulsively quits her job and heads to the Oregon to interview as many of those involved in the investigation as possible, including the legal team and the photographer, Kathy Moran.
Audience: Fans of suspense, thrillers. I was trying to remember other books that have a photo as a focal point and temporarily cannot come up with any, although Robert Goddard’s Caught in the Light is about a photographer who becomes obsessed and Portraits in an Album is about a family photo album and its secrets.
What I liked: I had read and enjoyed some of Margolin’s more traditional legal thrillers about Dana Cutler, so was curious about this one. After a slow start, I found it very unusual and entertaining. I liked the character of Stacey and admired her determination to interview everyone involved in the original murder of Megan Cahill’s husband, and was pleased when she began to connect in a personal way with some of these individuals. Margolin manages to pull all the storylines from the past and present together in a satisfying conclusion.
In another book of his I read recently, he mentioned having lost his wife. I am glad he has kept writing and hope it has distracted him from his grief.
What I disliked: Some of the characters were so unpleasant I didn’t want to read about them, so I was on the fence until Stacey began to appeal to me. While I think I prefer his more traditional thrillers, I admire an author willing to try something new.
: I received this book from TLC Book Tours and I invite you to visit other stops on the blog tour listed below:
Tuesday, December 2nd: The Steadfast Reader
Wednesday, December 3rd: Books in the Burbs
Thursday, December 4th: Under My Apple Tree
Friday, December 5th: BoundbyWords
Monday, December 8th: The Daily Dosage
Tuesday, December 9th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, December 10th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, December 10th: Great Minds Read Alike
Thursday, December 11th: Bibliotica
Friday, December 12th: FictionZeal
Monday, December 15th: Fuelled by Fiction
Tuesday, December 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, December 17th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Thursday, December 18th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Friday, December 19th: Reading in Black & White
Monday, December 22nd: Ace and Hoser Blook
Tuesday, December 23rd: Living in the Kitchen
This sounds like just the kind of book I would like--about writing, imaginative, and focused. There's a subgenre of books that are the backstory to a painting (Tracy Chevalier writes these), and extending it to photos seems like a logical extension. I tend to like these stories, with an object as the springboard.
I haven't read anything by Margolin, but I will definitely check this one out.
The photo IS very fascinating - I can understand why Stacey was so drawn to it and invested in finding out the truth.
Thanks for being a part of the tour!
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