Old wounds re­opened as mur­der haunts town

River used as metaphor to show schism in vet­eri­nar­ian Becca’s life

Cape Times - - LIFESTYLE - RIVER BOD­IES Karen Katchur Loot.co.za (R237) THOMAS & MECER

KAREN Katchur launches the first in her new Northamp­ton County series with a darkly rich fam­ily drama about a young woman rec­on­cil­ing her child­hood with the adult she has be­come. River Bod­ies cen­tres on vet­eri­nar­ian Becca Kings­ley, who is forced to re­turn to her home­town be­cause her es­tranged father is dy­ing.

Becca has built a life in Columbia, New Jersey, where she loves her ca­reer as a sur­geon in a suc­cess­ful ve­teri­nary clinic. She lives with Matt Goode, a lit­i­ga­tor, who, like her father, is charm­ing and hand­some. He also cheats on her and some­times doesn’t come home, just like her father, who flaunted his in­fi­deli­ties in front of her and her mother.

Becca and Matt live in a gated condo com­mu­nity, where she of­ten feels trapped. Her home­town of Port­land, Penn­syl­va­nia, is about 15 min­utes away, but light years away emo­tion­ally for Becca. Her child­hood was ad­di­tion­ally com­pli­cated be­cause her father, Clint, was the po­lice chief.

The town was di­vided be­tween law-abid­ing res­i­dents and mem­bers of the Scions mo­tor­cy­cle gang, which ruled one side of Port­land.

At the urg­ing of her mother and Clint’s lat­est live-in girl­friend, Becca re­turns to see her father, who is near death. But Becca can­not for­get past griev­ances and be­tray­als and their re­union is ten­u­ous.

While on a run along the Delaware River that sep­a­rates the two towns, Becca may have come across a mur­der that just oc­curred and that echoes back to a sim­i­lar killing that Clint in­ves­ti­gated more than 20 years ear­lier. The new mur­der puts Becca back in touch with Parker Reed, her teenage crush and best friend, who is now a de­tec­tive with the state po­lice.

River Bod­ies ex­pertly shows a town di­vided. Port­land res­i­dents like to think that if the Scions stay on their side of town, their crimes and vi­o­lence won’t af­fect the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. But the Scions have in­fected the en­tire town and just about ev­ery per­son has had some deal­ing with the mem­bers.

Katchur delves deep to ex­plore Becca’s psy­che and how she be­came the woman she is. As a child, she adored her father, but grew to de­spise his con­trol­ling, rigid per­son­al­ity and the way he treated her mother. She never knew that some of his de­mands were his way of pro­tect­ing her – and dis­tanc­ing her from the Scions.

No won­der she prefers the com­pany of an­i­mals, es­pe­cially her Ger­man shep­herd, Romy.

Katchur skil­fully uses the Delaware River as a metaphor to show the di­vi­sion in Becca’s life but doesn’t al­low this al­lu­sion to over­whelm River Bod­ies.

A re­turn visit with Becca is a must. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.