Green Girls
Michael Kimball
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Green Girls

Michael Kimball
William Morrow
384 pages
December 2002
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Green Girls is the kind of suspense novel that gives readers chills, goosebumps, or whatever it is that happens when you read something so eerie you seriously consider sleeping with the lights on. Michael Kimball is a literary talent with a natural gift for unleashing unforgettable mystery. Throughout Green Girls there is a sense of constant dark storm clouds overhead.

Jacob Winter and his wife have a wonderful teenage son, Max. When Winter arrives home unexpectedly to find his wife with their son's psychiatrist, an expensive dinner spread before them, he suspects that she is having an affair and viciously attacks the doctor. He blacks out during the attack and cannot later recall much of anything. Everything spins out of control for Jacob Winter and his family from that moment on.

Alix is an old acquaintance of Winter's from college. For reasons unknown to him, she bails him out of prison. She introduces him to her lesbian lover, the sensuous and exotic July. But then Winter and July feel threatened by Alix and July is forced to shoot Alix during a confrontation on a bridge. Alix falls from the bridge, but no body is recovered from the river. Coupled with the violent attack on his wife's lover, the incident has police and the district attorney hot to arrest Winter.

July's past is as exotic as her looks. She met Alix back when she once was married to a crazy shaman named Sereno. The Indian doctor tried to kill her; Alix showed up and saved July's life. Sereno was sent to prison while July was placed in a witness protection program. Now Sereno has escaped from prison, a manhunt is underway, and July knows she and Winter are in serious life-threatening danger.

Winter needs to figure out what is happening in his life or risk losing what is most important to him -- his son Max. Why did Alix bail him out of jail? Why is July so obsessive and jealous? What is the psychiatrist's motive for moving in on his family? Is Sereno looking for revenge? Does he want to kill July, or him?

Kimball knows how to create memorable characters, build suspense and tension in his short chapters, and piece together a masterful mystery that will keep readers guessing, turning pages, and, yes, contemplating sleeping with the lights on.

© 2003 by Phillip Tomasso III for Curled Up With a Good Book

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