Goodreads ~ When a robbery goes horribly wrong in a small town on the plains of Oklahoma, the end result is ultimately not one but two men dead.
Gayla Early claims to know who did the first killing but now she's wanted for the second ... and her supposed victim is one of the most powerful men in the county. Albert Raeder may be dead but he wields power from the grave thanks to the good-old-boys he left behind. His buddies are going to make sure someone pays for his death.
And Gayla looks good for taking the fall, since she knows no one in town, until a crotchety old recluse and a Viet Nam vet-turned-sheriff take her under their wing. The result of their unlikely alliance will change all their lives forever.
Gayla was a drug addict who owed her dealer, Randy, money. For payment, Randy, made her travel two hours away with him to rob a cabin. Things went bad when the owner of the cabin, Albert Raeder, arrived unexpectedly. Raeder shot Randy and locked Gayla in the basement of his shed, making her his sex slave for the next two years. Gayla eventually grabbed the opportunity to kill Raeder and escape.
Ever since her son, Jack, died when he was young which caused a big scandal, Willie has shunned others and lived on her own with her dog, Maxine. When she sees Gayla stumbling to her house, Willie takes her in and nurses her back to health.
Tommy is a Vietnam vet who is the local sheriff. He smokes pot to try and escape the horrors he had endured as a captive during the war. When Raeder's body is found, Tommy's stoned world becomes hectic as the murder is investigated ... not a lot of crime happens in his town.
This is the debut novel by this author and I enjoyed it.
It was a good story. The second half the book is the trial and it was interesting to see how the prosecution and defense worked against each other. Gayla's public defender rocks and does all she can to make everyone see that Gayla is the victim, not Raeder. The prosecutors are arrogant and do their best to make themselves look good.
I liked the writing style. It was well-paced and kept me wanting to read more. I liked that the chapters were fairly short and snappy. As a head's up, the language and activity in this book is for mature readers.
I liked the main characters, Gayla, Tommy and Willie. Each are dealing with their own demons and somehow this unlikely trio come together. Though each has a past that is less than stellar, I was still drawn to them and was cheering them on.
I was happy with the ending ... there was an interesting twist. I won't tell you whether Gayla gets off or not ... you'll have to read this book and find out.
I would recommend this book and look forward to others by this author.