By: Mary Louise Kelly
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 3/17/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars +
Top Books of 2015
From former NPR correspondent Mary Louise Kelly comes a heart-pounding story about fear, family secrets, and one woman's hunt for answers about the murder of her parents.
Caroline Cashion, a professor of French literature at Georgetown University, is stunned when an MRI reveals that she has a bullet lodged near the base of her skull. It makes no sense: she has never been shot. She has no entry wound. No scar. When she confronts her parents, they initially profess bewilderment. Then, over the course of one awful evening, she learns the truth: she was adopted when she was three years old, after her real parents were murdered in cold blood. Caroline had been there the night of the attack, and she was hit by a single gunshot to the neck. Buried too deep among vital nerves and blood vessels, the surgeons had left it, and stitched up the traumatized little girl with the bullet still inside.
That was thirty-four years ago.
Now, Caroline returns to her hometown to learn whatever she can about who her parents were and why they died. Along the way she meets a cop who worked the case, who reveals that even after all these years, the police do not have enough evidence to nail their suspect. The killer is still at large. Caroline is in danger: the bullet in her neck could identify the murderer, and he'll do anything to keep it out of the police hands. Now Caroline will have to decide: run for her life, or stay and fight?
THE BULLET by talented, Mary Louise Kelly- an outstanding psychological suspense crime thriller, dark scandalous family secrets, and revenge! Love, loved it...glued to my iPod all day and evening, daring anyone to interrupt me.
Caroline Cashion, age thirty-seven, beautiful, and single, a professor of French Literature at Georgetown University, well-traveled, cultured, a career she loves and a lovely family. She has recently been experiencing some pain in her wrist and is diagnosed with Carpal tunnel syndrome. Due to this issue she had a routine MRI; however, the news she received was anything but routine or normal. She has a bullet lodged in her neck next to her spinal cord. She is speechless, as she has never been shot.
Immediately, she goes to her parents for answers. Shocked, she finds out she was adopted at age three. Everything she has known has been a lie? Her parents, her much loved brothers--why weren’t they honest with her? They explain the events and it unfolds. Her parents were murdered in cold blood. She was shot in the same attack and left for dead. She survived, the bullet was so close to her spinal cord that they couldn't get it out. Until now no medical problems.
A murder, a break-in and no one was ever charged. The authorities were not able to find any family to care for her. Her adoptive parents already had two sons and wanted a little girl. It was a closed adoption and they were told it would be better to keep this news from their daughter, since it was such a traumatic event. Caroline is totally shocked, and needs answers. She has to learn more about her real parents and the events surrounding their death.
She becomes obsessed with finding answers surrounding this night in the late seventies. As she begins her research, she discovers her parents had moved from Charlotte, NC to Atlanta, GA and purchased a nice home in the Buckhead area. They were a good looking couple, with friends, and a beautiful daughter three years old, when one night someone breaks into their home, murdered them, and left her there to die.
She travels to Atlanta, and begins digging into the archives of the Atlanta Journal, meeting with the journalist who covered the story, and the detective who worked the case. She learns this was the late seventies and Atlanta’s crime and murders were some of the highest in the US. The Atlanta police force --good ole boys, unfortunately, not enough manpower or budget in order to keep the case open, as there happened to be murders occurring every day. What about their will? Did her mom or dad have enemies, or perhaps one having an affair?
At the time of the investigation, there were several suspects and everyone seemed to have an alibi. Carolina is tenacious, and continues to dig, as she feels there has to be something more than a typical burglary. When she meets up with a former neighbor the southern woman suspects her mom was having an affair, as she was quiet beautiful and sexy, with a married prominent attorney, an old football star at one time. However, the police say he had an alibi and he and his wife are upstanding citizens in Buckhead community, and was ruled out.
Carolina spends time in Atlanta doing some research and of course her doctor follows her, with much fun at the St. Regis-very nice, (they are total opposites--a little romance here). She stirs up the case again in the media, after thirty some years. The police in Atlanta urge her to have the surgery to remove the bullet to see they can gather more information.
In the meantime, back in Washington, the night before someone attempts to break into her home, and she is in danger. Someone knows she is getting to close to the truth. Her family is concerned for her safety; however, a picture the old neighbor later sends her is shocking and she begins putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
She sets out on a dangerous journey, taking the law into her own hands with a well laid out plan for sweet revenge. Too funny!! Travels from Washington, to southern Atlanta, to sophisticated Europe, readers are taken on a suspenseful roller coaster ride, with twists and turns around every corner.
WOW, fast-paced, a likable kick-ass heroine you root for, and some really witty humorous parts which will make you laugh out loud, especially if you are from the south—a well-written action-packed, mystery suspense page-turner, I thoroughly enjoyed.
Loved Caroline- Intelligent, intuitive, smart, multilingual, witty, able to get "down and dirty" when she needs to, putting the pretentious "Buckhead Bettys" in their place, works her magic with the good ole' boys in the south, while choosing the most elite spots in Paris, with elegance and flair.
What makes this noir crime fiction psychological suspense so unique and intriguing --the protagonist, Caroline. Her adoptive family is quite different than her southern biological family, and as the two worlds collide, you cannot imagine how this elegant calm personality will react. It was so much fun seeing her transform, using her strengths to cleverly maneuver her way through the bull with the best of them, as she risks it all to try and solve the mystery of her dark family secrets.
On a personal note: A native of Charlotte, NC, having spent my entire media career, and home in Atlanta (Buckhead, Vinings, and Midtown), I loved re-visiting all my Buckhead hot spots, and felt I was back at home--funny, could walk to Georgia Grille from my condo on Peachtree Road.
Karin Slaughter fans are assured to enjoy this scandalous Atlanta suspense thriller, especially since the crime was set in the 70s, when times were at their worst.
Highly recommend the audiobook. Cassandra Campbell delivers an extraordinary "award-winning" performance--every voice, perfectly matched--impressive!
Love Kelly's writing style and creativity. Enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind the book, and can't wait for the next. The characters are too good to end; how about a sequel? A Must . . .
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Photo Credit: Katarina Price
About the Author
Mary Louise Kelly spent two decades traveling the world as a reporter for NPR and the BBC. Her assignments have taken her from grimy Belfast bars to the glittering ports of the Persian Gulf, and from mosques in Hamburg to the ruined deserts of Iraq. As an NPR correspondent covering the intelligence beat and the Pentagon, she reported on wars, terrorism, and rising nuclear powers.
A Georgia native, her first job was working as a staff writer at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Kelly was educated at Harvard University and at Cambridge University in England. She lives in Washington, DC and Florence, Italy with her husband and their two children. Website Twitter @KellyMaryLouise