Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/
Danny Cleary is getting clean. When her twin sister was murdered and her nephews kidnapped, drug-addicted Danny crossed North America with her Brother Darren pursuing those responsible – and being pursued. Now she’s in rehab in the peace and tranquillity of rural Nova Scotia; the hardest thing she’s smoking is nicotine, and she’s taken up running. Then she finds a human hand in the mailbox and her rural idyll is shattered.
This is the second book in the Danny Cleary series, and it becomes evident that not only did rather a lot happen to her in the first book, but the events of REHAB RUN are a direct consequence of what happened in the first book. There is enough back story explained in this book for the reader to keep up, but I can’t help feeling that it would be a more satisfying experience to follow Danny’s adventures from the beginning.
In spite of that, though, there is much to like in this novel. It’s a roller coaster ride of a book – utterly compelling with no let-up in the action from beginning to end. And despite Danny’s problems, including crack addiction, she comes across as being an extremely sympathetic character. After all, at the beginning of the book she is in rehab trying to overcome her addiction, as a promise to her surviving siblings who have done nothing but show her love and support even when she was at her lowest. It is from her family that she draws her strength, and you can’t help but like her for it.
Danny Cleary is a refreshing and compelling character, adding a contemporary slant to the amateur sleuth market. And although one of the most challenging aspects of the genre for the author of the amateur sleuth series is to keep coming up with plausible reasons why an ordinary person keeps tripping over bodies, Danny’s insalubrious history offers plenty of potential motives for murder. And, as Danny comments in the novel, “addicts love drama”. It seems entirely reasonable for an addict to keep encountering corpses, thus setting up the series.
I really enjoyed being introduced to Danny Cleary in this novel, and I look forward to reading about her further adventures.