Taken to the Grave by M. M. Chouinard
I enjoy M.M. Chouinard’s writing style. She can tell a story most compellingly. I loved this continuation featuring Jo; I am a big Josette Fournier fan.
Chouinard writes her female characters with such depth and sincerely. Jo is such a dynamic character. She is easy to relate to. She is smart, brave, and has incredible integrity.
This storyline was really great and posed some ethical dilemmas that I’ll dive into later. I enjoyed the references to The Dancing Girls (if you haven’t read that book, seriously do it!), letting us know that that story isn’t finished yet. Which I am pumped about because the ending of that novel completely blew my mind.
We get to know more of the characters within this novel, and that was great. I enjoyed the dynamic and obvious respect they all have for each other. We get to know Jo quite a bit more, seeing more intimate glimpses into who she is, which added another layer to who Jo is and gives me another reason to like her.
This is a fast-paced storyline, and the way the story is woven and how the crumb trail is dangled leaves you thinking you’ve solved the case at least five times before the lightbulb comes on. Chouinard executes her twists brilliantly. It’s like she knows just how to dangle the truth in front of our faces without letting us actually figure anything out.
The amount of research Chouinard obviously does is incredible. She writes such detailed, well-formulated plots. The majority of this storyline danced around science and academia, and the details were immaculate.
I really enjoy that you can see each character’s vulnerability, strength, and compassion. MINOR SPOILER if you have not read this book, STOP READING THIS REVIEW NOW.
In the scene where Jo and Bob are interrogating Terry and Jo can completely empathize with why Terry did the things he did… the compassion she showed, even if she was putting it on to get his partner, was brilliant. And the way Terry empathized with Jo’s emotional baggage… the flip flop of good vs. bad was so well played. After Terry tells Jo why he did what he did and how he justified his reasoning, poetic justice, and Jo tells him that personally she agrees with what he did poses such an excellent discussion point… is vigilante justice ever truly justified? While this isn’t answered for you in the book, it is left to the reader to decide if these crimes were justified. I thoroughly appreciate how the themes were presented and how poetically the concept of vigilante justice was written. Poetic justice, the ultimate of irony.
I recommend this book. It is a fast read, an intense story and the ethical questions posed really make you think. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
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