Expected publication: October 8th 2013 by Greenleaf Book Group Press
In the summer of 1952, Lillian Johnson was found dead in her home, slumped in the wheelchair that had become her cage due to multiple sclerosis. An overdose of barbiturate had triggered a heart attack, but the scene was not quite right. It looked as though someone other than Lillian herself had injected the fatal dose.
Dr. Kate Marlow, Lillian’s physician and best friend, now sits in the Round Rock city jail. The only country doctor for miles, Kate cannot remember her whereabouts at the time of Lillian’s death?and the small Tennessee town buzzes with judgment.
As Dr. Kate’s trial approaches, another woman is determined to uncover the truth about the night of Lillian’s death. Memphis reporter Shenandoah Coleman grew up in Round Rock on the wrong side of the tracks, but unlike the rest of her unsavory clan, escaped her destiny. Now, back in the town she grew up in, she’ll have to turn every stone to keep Kate from a guilty verdict.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Not an altogether terrible book, but I knew at 20% in that I didn’t have much interest in finishing it. I made myself finish it because it’s on my shelf at NetGalley and didn’t want to NOT turn in a review for this.
The Trial of Dr Kate is set in 1950’s Tennessee. Reporter Shenandoah (what a name)has traveled back to Round Rock to cover the trial of her childhood friend Dr. Kate Marlow. While I enjoyed certain character depictions like Hattie Mae, I found most of the characters difficult to connect with. We learn details about them, learn how everyone in town owes some sort of debt to Dr. Kate and don’t believe she committed the murder that she’s being held in jail on, and yet she is still in jail? I just had a hard time feeling like the characters were deep and well rounded– I typically feel like characters are people I’ve known my whole life.
There’s a completely unnecessary love story in this book. It was… distracting, and knowing how it ends, and how the concluding details are simply glossed over, the book could have been published with out it.
When Shenandoah is stalked, finding out who the stalker was and why was anticlimactic. I expected her stalker to be avenging Lillian’s death.
For the most part, I simply had a difficult time connecting with the main character, caring about the story.
Also, I was not a fan of the ending… there was really simply no deep, compelling reason for it to have ended that way. And as another reviewer noted, there was little outrage and retrospect and promises to appeal and avenge the verdict. It was simply, oh well, that happened. The epilogue could have been a couple more chapters that would have made the ending of the story entirely more meaningful. Sadness for the sake of sadness doesn’t make a read compelling to me.