Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Author: Jennifer Hillier
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Date of publication: June 2018

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

I had to think about this book for a little while before figuring out what to say about it.  While Jar of Hearts is an interesting and engaging mystery, it is also kind of disturbing.  The book begins with the arrest and conviction of Georgina "Geo" for aiding her then boyfriend, Calvin in the the murder and concealment of her best friend Angela 14 years earlier.   Kaiser, who was also close friend of the girls, is now a cop and arrests Geo and Calvin.  5 years later, the bodies of women start showing dead and they may be connected to Geo and Calvin.

Given some of the content in the book, I feel a little uncomfortable saying I "enjoyed" the story.  I liked it, but I didn't love it. I was engaged from the beginning and wanted to keep reading to find out what really happened.   There were some surprises and twists.  One of the twists, I figured out about 3/4 of the way through.  Anyone paying attention would be able to as well.  I also was satisfied with the ending. 

The story is told through the eyes of Geo and Kaiser.  We get flashbacks that slowly reveal what happened to Angela and how everything went so wrong.  I will admit, for me, the characters were all pretty unlikable.  Even once I found out why Geo was involved, I still didn't like her very much.  All she ever had were excuses.  Kaiser was a cop but he wasn't that much of a hero and not someone I would respect very much.  I guess it is possible to like a book even if the characters are slimy.  

I would recommend the book.  The mystery is good and progressed at a nice even pace.  There are some uncomfortable scenes of rape/almost rape in the book, so that could potentially be a trigger for some readers.  

1 comment:

SavingsInSeconds said...

I know what you mean about struggling to say you liked this book. I thought it was disturbing in several parts, but overall it was interesting.