Playing Dead–Julia Heaberlin

For one of the first times this political season, I was pleased to read about guns, crime, and rich white guys in Texas.  Tommie McCloud, a former bull-rider turned child psychologist using horses for therapy, finds out on the death of her father that her childhood was built on a lie.  Her parents may not have been the people who raised her and she may not have been born in Texas (gasp!).

Tommie and her ex-beau (soon becomes re-beau) Hudson, as well as nearly everyone around her, carry pistols on their hips, in their socks and their boots, and they are not afraid to use them.  This is fortunate when crime bosses send goons after Tommie, who repeatedly has to defend herself even with the manly protection of Hudson on offer.

From small-town Texas to Chicago (with requisite mentions of the Bean and American Girl), the story draws out the tale with solid pacing and just enough side story in the relationship with Hudson, health issues with Tommie’s niece and dilemmas over her mother’s Alzheimer’s and care, that this was a very pleasant read.  Strangely enough, while I was reading Playing Dead my family watched the Taylor Lautner movie, Abduction, which has a similar premise, but none of the joy of this novel.  (How did they talk Signourney Weaver into joining the cast?)

Finished 9/20/15

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