Perfect match / Jodi Picoult.
LJ Reviews 2002 January #1
The child of a woman who prosecutes child molesters has been sexually abused. Now mom is out for extralegal revenge. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
LJ Reviews 2002 May #1
As an assistant district attorney in Maine, Nina Frost knows all too well that the legal system often fails to protect children from sexual predators. So when her five-year-old son, Nathaniel, suddenly refuses to speak and begins misbehaving in school, Nina and her husband, Caleb, consult a psychiatrist and learn that their son has been sexually abused. But by whom? Although Father Szyszynski strenuously denies the accusations, DNA evidence says otherwise. At the priest's arraignment, Nina shoots and kills him, only to find out later that he was innocent. Nina is found guilty of manslaughter, given probation, and loses her license to practice law. With this ripped-from-the-headlines plot, the usually reliable Picoult (Salem Falls, etc.) fails to deliver; major flaws include a cast of one-dimensional characters and an awkward mixture of first and third person that confuses rather than enlightens. In addition, Nina is a truly dislikable heroine (her justifications for the murder are both laughable and frightening), and the meaningless subplots distract from, rather than add to, the main story. Buy only for demand and then conservatively. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/02.] Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
PW Reviews 2002 May #1
One plot elementóa case of child molestation involving a Catholic priestóin Picoult's latest novel (after Salem Falls) now seems eerily prescient, but that's only part of the saga she weaves, which is primarily an indictment of the current criminal justice system. Nina Frost, an assistant district attorney in Maine, knows how hard it is to obtain a conviction for a sex crime when the victim is a juvenile, so when her five-year-old son, Nathaniel, identifies their priest as being the man who raped him, Nina's grievances with the system become personal. Frustrated by the threat of an unsatisfactory legal outcome, she takes the law into her own hands, killing the priest in open court. Awaiting her own trial, a startling fact emerges from the DNA: the priest was innocent. Will Nina be able to prove to a jury that her actions were justified, particularly since she killed the wrong man? Picoult adeptly renders Nina's feelingsóimpotence, guilt, the drive for retributionóbut Nina is herself an unsympathetic heroine, from her initial accusation of her husband to her arrogant vigilante stance, which does little to persuade the reader that an act of premeditation should be recast as maternal instinct. While the argument that the current system is flawed is solid, the only alternative offered is an iffy form of frontier justice that many readers may find unpalatable. (May) Forecast: The cover, a cozy-looking New England home surrounded by flowers at sunset, won't give browsers any hint of what's inside, but the ripped-from-the-headlines plot should generate sufficient buzz to overcome that. Major ad/promo; 11-city author tour. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.