Now that you’ve read my previous two suggestions (I’m SURE you have), try these on for size.
Tanya hits the road. She withdraws a wad of cash, changes her appearance and trades her husband’s Chevy Silverado for a Buick Regal. Then she calls a guy she knows to see about getting herself a new name. If she didn’t kill her husband, she sure seems guilty of something.‘Tanya’, who is not really Tanya at all, is an engaging narrator: admirable, if not particularly likeable, at least at first. She’s a woman ready and willing to do the necessary thing, but she’s not without a conscience. As the story progresses and she shucks identity after identity, the reader begins to build a picture of who this woman really is, and she’s a far cry from the cold, pragmatic person we meet looking down on her husband’s corpse on page one.
Tessa tells her story in alternating past and present chapters that describe two points in her life: as a teenager in the months leading up to the trial of Terrell Goodwin, the man accused of abducting her, and as a 34-year-old resuming her story as Goodwin faces his long-delayed execution. This is a novel replete with dread, whether for Tessa, fleeing her monster in the past and the present, or for Goodwin. Because it’s also an effective indictment of the death penalty, Heaberlin lays out the stark, appalling details that surround an execution – the campaigners, pro and anti, who stand watch outside, the grieving mother who raced to the morgue, “who hoped, for the first time in years, to touch the body of her son, a killer, while it was still warm”. Whether or not he’s innocent, we don’t want Goodwin to die.