rating: 3 of 5 stars
Reading this book is like being frozen to the spot while you're watching a train wreck about to happen. It's an emotional wringer. Ultimately, I have to say it's 3.5 stars out of 5. (SPOILER ALERT) I did pop out of the narrative a few times, mostly due to goofy stuff (such as inaccuracies about the SF Bay Area; eg, having BART in Pacifica?!). But really, the basic premise of the novel isn't plausible. I couldn't see the county evicting somebody one day and then auctioning the place off the very next day. No govt agency is THAT efficient! Thus I was very aware I was reading fiction the whole time. On the other hand, I thought the switching narrative viewpoints were handled expertly, and I liked how each of the major characters had flaws to the point of even being dislikable, but I still found reason to pull for each of them. Or at least I understood each of them and could empathize. Another problem is the Colonel commits suicide at the end: but if he's dead, how can he be telling the story? I also found it a little unbelievable that deputy sheriff Burdon (admittedly a good name for him) unravelled to the extent that he did. I'd still recommend the book despite its flaws.
View all my reviews.