She felt no pain
You hear people say never judge a book by its cover, but Lou Allin’s cleverly plotted She Felt No Pain could draw in a reader on looks alone.
The book is small, with a captivating cover and intriguing title. And, ultimately, the story is a storytelling gift that many readers will enjoy.
The tale is set in Sooke, and Southern Vancouver Island plays like another character in the book. There are the casual references to Monday Magazine, Times Colonist, Victoria, Sooke, Smoken Bones Cookshack (although misspelled in the book) and other local venues. But the book offers more than a gratuitous homage to the Island. Instead, Allin tells a story within a story and our lovely Island happens to be centre stage.
The protagonist, RCMP Corporal Holy Martin, is trying to solve two mysteries: the drug overdose of a homeless man and the disappearance of her mother many years previous.
Martin is the capable female protagonist who wrestles with her sense of self — moving in with her father and her duty as an officer. She senses that something is amiss among the personal effects of the homeless man, which eventually precipitates her investigations.
Things are not always what they seem, though, and Martin finds out that the passing of time does not always make any situation better.
Allin is a concise writer with a keen eye for emotions and details.
This is not one of those Tess Gerritsen detective/love interest stories — Allin throws real substance behind the tale.
She Felt No Pain is a must-read book that will be hard to put down this season.
Review by Dr. Janni Aragon
Publisher: RendezVous Crime
Page count: 280 Pages
Released: September 1, 2010