Thoughts Juckets by Joyce Keller Walsh, Infinity Publishing 2008 (first pub 2002), 224 pages.
MOTIVATION for READING: I read this book for the Literary Road Trip Hosted by Galleysmith. I had been wanting to read this for awhile – the author lives in my part of the world and I’ve seen this in local shops so it had been on my wishlist for quite awhile. Thank you to one of my former employers (LV!) who told me this was a good representation of our area and the ‘real’ locals who live here. When I heard about the Lit Road Trip idea to read books that are set in your town and/or were written by a local author, I instantly knew I had to finally get this book! Then… I was at the Somethin’ Brewin’ Book Cafe and the author was signing her books – opportunity and timing met, so I bought one. 🙂
I’ve since given to my friend Holly who still has it. So I don’t have it. so I can’t refer to it. ack. I wish I had it here but I am waffling with wanting to post this review. now. oops…
Let me distract you share a photo of a house I drive by often, usually multiple times per day.
It’s the house from the cover of the book! [Cover is reversed image.] Can’t get much more local than that, I don’t think. I snapped the photo with my camera phone while driving which is why it is slightly off-kilter. Notice the cool light house?
Back to story: The blurb on goodreads.com says this:
In Juckets, the story begins with the disappearance of the little Bradburn girl the day before a blizzard. The entire town turns out to search for her, but what they do not know (and will not know until the following Spring) is that she was brutally murdered. Psychology professor, Julia Arnault, discovers the body in Pittsley Woods. As she pursues the investigation, she begins to fear that the man she is in love with may be a serial killer. Meanwhile, veterinarian Adam Sabeski leads Julia into a Deliverance-like world of backwoods New England to find both evil and humanity in unexpected ways.
I enjoyed it. The author was extremely effective at evoking images of the area I live in. Without being cookie-cutter and sterotypical, she describes and categorizes a variety of ‘local’ people as Juckets and Swamp Yankees. I know that I would have difficulty knowing who was what but I do appreciate the perspectives of those we affectionately term “OFM’s”. Anyone who was born and raised in Middleboro (town I live in), we call OFM – – Originally From Middleboro. I would be considered (and not affectionately) an outsider – I’ve lived here 5 years and grew up in Kansas. I’m perceived as very strange. Very very strange; an odd duck. Locals cannot imagine why anyone would move away from ‘home’ where ever home might be. And I also assume that they think it odd that we chose to move to Middleboro. I’m sure many resent me moving into ‘their’ town but I have never been treated to any discourteousness for it, thankfully.
As to how I approach mystery reads, I am not one of those who try (or are good at trying) to figure out the whodunnits. I enjoy the relationships and how the clues unfold but appreciate the surprise and resulting conclusion. This was a good story and I enjoyed getting to know the main characters. The crime, however, was sad and disturbing. Of course, if you love veterinarians who love and care for dogs especially, this will not disappoint.
The book I show here actually contains TWO stories; Swamp Yankees is second in the series and a third Bog Men, a separate book, is also available. I will be reading those eventually. I was more eager to read at least one book for the Road Trip and also share with Holly because I knew she would enjoy it. She assures me that she did and so did her daughter who has read it, too.
RATING: Three Pie Slices for Juckets! I liked it.