Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different.
The first five gunshots ring out in a mall restaurant in suburban Savannah, Ga., where a deranged young man murders his girlfriend and her mother. Laura Oliver...and her daughter, Andy, are enjoying a chatty lunch nearby ... suddenly Laura is out of her chair, dispatching the maniac with a couple of deft moves that leave him on the floor, spouting blood from a fatal neck wound. An astonished Andy wonders, where did that come from? Does she really know her mother at all? As it happens, hardly ... Though the novel lacks some of the twists and surprises Slaughter’s readers have come to expect, and at times feels repetitious and padded, the characters keep you involved all the way..., slaughter has sometimes been criticized, including by me, for excessive blood and gore. In this novel the bloody mayhem just feels, unfortunately, like a slice of contemporary American life.
...a crazed shooter opens fire on a mother-and-daughter pair who’ve stopped to greet Laura, and Andy’s life changes in an instant. Or rather two instants, the first when the shots ring out and the second when Laura, after inviting the killer to shoot her next, coolly and dispassionately dispatches him. It takes the dazed Andy hours to realize that her mother’s not at all who she seems to be, and by the time she’s ready to accept the fact that Laura Oliver is a woman with a past, that past is already racing to catch up with both mother and daughter ... Reading anything by Slaughter is like riding a particularly scary amusement park ride. Reading this one is like booking a season ticket on a ride that never lets you off.
Slaughter moves in a new direction with this story of a woman whose past catches up with her. Mousy Laura Cooper lives a quiet life in Georgia with her twentysomething daughter, Andrea. One morning, the women are in a restaurant when a man bursts in and starts shooting. Laura leaps up and kills the man, leaving Andrea wondering where the hell Laura’s ninja-like skills came from ... Slaughter reveals the story bit by bit in chapters that leap from 1986 to the present, leading the reader from Oslo to San Francisco to Texas and back to Georgia ... Readers will find themselves totally immersed in the suspenseful, alternating story lines and won’t want either of them to end.