I do have a thing for Joshilyn Jackson’s books. Or rather, it seems like I have a thing for every second book she writes. I loved her first one, Gods in Alabama, I did not really care for the second one Between Georgia, but when I read The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, her third book, I really liked her again. Now I have finished her fourth and newest one (published in 2010) Backseat Saints, and now I am back to not being too thrilled again.
Main chararcter in Backseat Saints is a minor character in Gods in Alabama, but since it was years ago I read that one, I didn’t really remember her at all. She is Rose Mae Lolley of pure Alabama trash, complete with a missing mother and drunk ass daddy, but when we meet her she is Ro Grandee, married to Texan football hunk Thom Grandee. Book begins with Ro going into the woods to hide and kill her husband, shooting him on his daily run with her granddaddys little gun. A psychic has told her that she has to kill him or he will kill her. Because as pretty and sexy as Ro is, Thom has loose fists, and he beats her up, nearly killing her on several occasions.
But her husband’s loose fists and the threat he poses to her isn’t all that is bad in Ro’s life. She can’t stop thinking about her high school sweetheart, who went missing, and she can’t get the psychic she met out of her head. And through some very twisted ways, Ro must face both her past, her present and her future on a long trip, bringing her from Texas to Alabama and California.
Joshilyn Jackson writes in a formidable style, the words flow easily and the characters are believable. She takes good care not to make Ro just a victim of other people’s crimes and bad behaviour, and there is a good and chilling pace through the book, and you just want to shout out loud sometimes and hand out advice to Ro, making her take the right decisions, which she seems unable to do. Her quest to make her life whole is interesting, but there was still something that kept annoying me about this book, and I am not completely sure what it was. Perhaps I just didn’t like Ro that much, but on the other hand I am not sure that liking her is one of Jackson’s aims at all. I don’t know. I can eaily recommend this one, but this was not her best. Looking forward to the next one though, which is bound to be good!