"Never Smile at Strangers", by Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

Never Smile at Strangers - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

Do we really know the people around us?

 

The small Southern town of Grand Trespass Louisiana comes alive and slowly reveals its secrets when Tiffany Perron vanishes from her home in the bayou and in aftermath the lives of four desperate locals are changed for ever

 

This atmospheric drama recounts how their lives are affected after Tiffany’s disappearance.

 

We discover:

 

1) Why her best friend’s relationship with her boyfriend becomes strained.

 

2) Why Becky, her sister, falls for a 15 year old boy with dangerous intentions.

 

 

3) How a mother of two came to cope with her husband’s affair with Tiffany, the missing girl.

 

4) How a disturbed man traumatized by the murder of his mother has coped with raising his troubled teenage sister and slowly over the past four years manifested a fear and hate of the opposite sex.

 

 

This stand-alone thriller/mystery is Jennifer Minar-Jaynes first novel to be published and I found it to be quite entertaining. The story is told in a third person narrative at a leisurely pace, it expresses the different points of view of a good number of characters as they tell their experiences. As we progress deeper into the story emotions go into high gear when we are taken deep into the killer’s psyche, chilling moments of suspense create a black hole that slowly takes control of your thoughts. The writing is clear, the prose innovative and the characters intriguing although on a minor note I did find the plotting wandered a little and the wishy-washy conclusion was a tad on the disappointing side. A rushed ending always leaves me with an empty feeling however the writer may have a sequel in mind to tie up loose ends. Overall I enjoyed my time with this book.