This pedometer geek reader discovered a new author in Merry Jones when the opportunity presented itself with the receipt of a Goodreads giveaway copy of her novel, The Trouble with Charlie. While it was the first of hers to have been read, it probably won’t be the last. Here is the extended review.
The Trouble with Charlie
by Merry Jones
Published by Oceanview Publishing, 2013
A suspenseful thriller from page one on, elementary school teacher Elle Harrison is in the process of a divorce from Charlie when he ends up being murdered on the same night she finally is convinced to go out to a bar with friends Jen, Becky, and Susan.
Returning to her home (formerly their home), Elle finds the body of her soon-to-be ex-husband Charlie on her sofa, stabbed to death with a kitchen knife…actually the same knife with which she sliced her own hand open.
Elle’s close friends stand by her through the difficult funeral, but Elle alone must face the loss of the man she’d loved. Except that the loss is not total; Charlie is still around. She feels his presence; she smells his aftershave; and she hears his voice. In particular, she hears him accuse her of killing him, and even though she doesn’t believe in ghosts, she argues with him, asserting her innocence. Yet, Elle has a huge gap in her memory; she can’t account for her activity during the time of his murder so not surprisingly the police consider her a person of interest as the police investigates his death.
Her friends continue to stand by her as the police suspect her of murdering him. Susan becomes her lawyer; Jen and Becky give her both comfort and shelter until her place is restored because they all know she couldn’t have killed him. Frankly, Elle isn’t positive of anything as she does what she does best: “pulling an Elle,” her friends’ term for completely spacing out, losing track of time. Added to that a new man in her life, Joel, complicates things.
While she tries to prove herself innocent (even Charlie continues to make himself known to her…asking why she killed him), more bodies pile up and surprises and secrets about Charlie emerge. The more she learns about his life, the more danger she faces, leaving her questioning herself. Questions like these go through her mind: Did she kill him? Does her memory losses cover up murders? Does what she discovers about Charlie play into his murder? Why does she continue to hear him even after she has buried him? Will she remember enough to solve his murder, or will she end up in prison?
There are lots of twists and turns in this story, which makes for a satisfying, creepy read. This reader raced toward the last page of this suspenseful tale to find out the answers. Consider this novel highly recommended especially for all who enjoy reading thrillers. Further, this is the first Elle Harrison thriller, but this pedometer geek is looking forward to checking out the second one, Elective Procedures, as well as others by Merry Jones.