Safe House Review
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On a cold night in November, the police find Elissa Pappas dead in an open field. The victim had been beaten and most likely raped. From the evidence, it looks like she’s been murdered, and Kaye Berreano’s son, RJ, seems to be the prime suspect.

Recently divorced from her husband of twenty years, Kaye is trying to put her life back together and finish raising her two children, both teenagers with attitude problems. Her daughter, Hannah, keeps secrets and defies rules, insisting that, at fifteen, she’s all grown up. And her son, RJ…well, he’s in more serious trouble. Not only is he a suspect in a murder but he’s also on drugs.

Kaye has a lot to deal with, and if she doesn’t figure out how to handle it, she just might lose her children forever—both physically and emotionally.

  
 
Though Safe House is a murder mystery, the murder seems to be thrown in as a backdrop to the real problem of teens and drugs—what it does to them and what it causes them to do. As she builds her characters, Ms. Duncan brings out their human nature quite nicely. Throughout the story, Kaye struggles with the guilt of forcing her son into rehab. Though he doesn’t want to be there, she just wants to do what’s right for him. At the same time, she also has to deal with the real possibility that her son might also be a murderer. Everyone else seems to think so, but the mother in her just can’t accept that.

Safe House is a short, straightforward mystery. There aren’t a lot of surprises here—just a story that wends its way to a logical conclusion. In fact, the mystery could have been solved a whole lot sooner if everyone involved had just told the truth—but how often does that really happen?

The next time you have a lazy Sunday afternoon all to yourself, pick up a copy of Safe House and enjoy a light mystery with a touch of family drama in the midst of murder. It may not be hold-your-breath suspense, but you’ll still want to keep reading to find out how it all comes together in the end.

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