“It all started when I saw myself dead.”
For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.
Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen– do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.
Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.
My first thought when I finished this book was, "I'm glad it says "A Rose Gardner Mystery" on the front, because that makes me think there might be more!"
Denise Grover Swank has really set the standard high for herself with her debut novel! I was hooked right from the beginning; who wouldn't be? Seeing a vision of yourself dead is enough to get anyone's attention. But Swank didn't stop there. The action picked up quickly and never slowed down. I found myself reading at the weirdest times, like while I washed dishes or folded laundry.
One of my favorite things was how down-to-earth the main character, Rose, is. She seems like someone I could just call up and hang out with. But at the same time, she has quite a unique past, and it plays an intriguing part in the story.
A fabulous debut, and I hope to see more from this author!