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The Devil's Backbone Hardcover – September 5, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In Wozencraft's brilliant third psychological thriller (after 2004's Wanted), Katherine "Kit" Metcalf must contend with post-traumatic stress (she was raped as a college student) and face her ultimate fear, her Texas Ranger dad, Wade, who hides immoral appetites behind a heroic image. A former realtor, Kit now pole dances for Blaze, "Austin's premier gentleman's club," though in order to do so she numbs herself with alcohol. Her sister, Jenny, an Austin police detective investigating a porn ring, is about to marry Luke Saner, an undercover cop looking into the murder of a Blaze regular. When Jenny's body later turns up in a Blanco County well, Kit seeks therapy and unwittingly puts her therapist (and herself) in danger. As the pace quickens, whom can she trust? Luke? Her dad? With eloquent prose that's unflinchingly honest, Wozencraft charts Kit's crusade for justice, revealing not only the rocky terrain of grief, addiction and rape recovery but also the smooth shores of survival. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--Barbara Parker, author of Suspicion of Rage
--Luc Sante, author of Low Life and Evidence.
"[Wozencraft] writes with equal authority and pathos about [the character's] opposing worlds…a deftly told jailbreak caper that provokes thought and goose bumps."
--People on Wanted
"Wozencraft writes with nervy brilliance…the novel switches from procedural to prison story to escape novel…without losing momentum. A chiller."
--Booklist on Wanted
"Fast and literate suspense…gripping all the way."
--Kirkus Reviews on Wanted
"For addicted crime-novel readers desperate for a fix, here's some methadone."
--San Francisco Chronicle on Wanted
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However, the dynamics change again when Austin police detective Jenny, investigating a porn ring and related murder tied to Blaze, is found dead. Needing to obtain justice for the sister she feels she let down, Kit begins to obtain therapy with psychiatrist Dr. Emily Wolfe and investigates her sibling's murder over the objections of everyone she knows. However one objector has personal reasons to prevent Kit from succeeding either with therapy or her case. That adversary attacks Dr. Wolfe and steals Kit's file. Kit ponders if it is her dad, her late sister's fiancé Luke Saner, or someone else close to her who needs the truth to remain buried perhaps in her subconscious mind.
More a psychological thriller than an amateur sleuth tale, fans of both sub-genres and anyone who appreciates a deep character study will want to read this superb candid tale. The story line is action-packed, but it is the psyche of Kit that grips the audience as she grieves with no help from her stiff upper lip family who didn't help her when her mom died. Kim Wozencraft provides an incredible look at a woman over the edge without a safety net. The Devil's Backbone is a chillingly thrilling tale.