WHAT CAME BEFORE HE SHOT HER
Followers of George's Inspector Lynley series were shocked when his wife, Helen, was killed in George's previous novel, With No One As Witness. In her latest, George approaches that devastating event from a different angle -- the tragic and twisted circumstances that lead a young boy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. George's excellent prose is vivid, and the dark circumstances surrounding the doomed lives of three mixed-race siblings makes this a sad, disturbing, and all-too-real novel.
Before long Ness develops a drug and alcohol habit, while Joel struggles to look out for Toby. The dangerous neighborhood where these kids live chews up the weak, and before long Joel is forced into a dangerous pact that leads to tragedy. (HARPERCOLLINS, Oct., 544 pp., $26.95)