Sometimes a book can try just a little bit too hard to be current and relevant and politically correct. Sometimes a book tries so hard to be those things that the book itself suffers a bit.
That happened, I think, with R.H. Herron’s STOLEN THINGS.
(I’d like to state here that I just realized I finished the book today and, other than a necklace stolen years before the actual story, I have no idea what things were stolen…)
R.H. Herron says in the Author’s Note at the end that Kevin, a pro football player who scandalizes the country by wearing a flag pin upside down to protest police brutality, is not inspired by or a stand-in for Colin Kaepernick but… it’s hard not to see it that way. R.H. Herron says that CapB in STOLEN THINGS is not meant to be a fictionalized version of BLM but… it’s a group that organizes against police brutality that targets minorities.
And it is what it is… which is fine… it was just a little too on-the-nose for my tastes.
STOLEN THINGS is one of those thriller/mysteries where everything happens and you end up wondering just how in the world everything happens to this particular character. Which is fine, just also not my favorite thing. But in this story, the things that happen to a mother, a father, and a teenage daughter are (and I guess this counts as trigger warnings too for reasons soon to be clear) – rape, underage drinking, drug use, police brutality, a heart attack, sex trafficking, corrupt cops, prostitution, sex with minors, racism (the daughter is bi-racial), theft…
There is a twist ending, and I give one star for that alone. I absolutely did not see it coming, as wild as it is, and it made me glad I saw the story through. The characters are fine. The plot was fine. The suspense factor was pretty good. The setting was fine.
It’s an entirely fine book. Nothing extra special, nothing extra terrible.
If mysteries and thrillers and suspense are your thing, give it a try. Really. I’m not at all sorry I read it and it was time well spent, even if some of that time was finding faults…
(I received a copy of STOLEN THINGS through NetGalley and Dutton in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.)
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