Review of ‘Blue’ by Abigail Padgett
Blue is a remarkable book, not only because it’s a good wlw murder mystery but also because it’s a story about journeys and the ways people are often unknowingly connected.
Dr. Blue McCarron is a social psychologist who works with businesses to determine the shopping behavior of potential customers, nothing flashy but she makes good money. Two years ago Misha, the love of her life, left her with nothing but a short, handwritten note saying goodbye. Since then, Blue purchased an unfinished motel in the middle of the desert. When she tells that painful story, it’s the first time that I see how events told can be viewed from different perspectives which is crucial to understanding what has taken place in the book. We wonder, did Blue leave San Diego to create a new chapter in her life or did she go to bury herself in solitude? As she travels along, the more she opens herself to alternate explanations pertaining to events and motives, the more she grows to comprehend what’s happened in her own life as well as filling in the pieces to the murder mystery.
She shouldn’t be involved at all because she is not a clinical psychologist but when 61-year-old suburban Muffin Crandall confesses to killing and dismembering a low-end criminal, Victor Camacho, the accused’s brother comes knocking on Blue’s door for help. None of it makes any sense but the author patiently spins an elaborate web of how and why the situation came into being. It’s not only the obvious steps that are involved but the big picture of classism and racism that are also convincingly laid out. Blue likens the interlacing lines to an electric grid that she innately sees, popping and crackling when everything begins to fall into place and clarity is achieved. She’s a complex character and I fell for her immediately, fiercely independent, warm and loving but also hot-tempered towards anyone trying to hurt the ones she loves.
Many people care about Blue, family and friends, a potential new romance, all are well-drawn and the dialogue is acid sharp and witty. There are serious moments but plenty of quirk and humor, too. I can also add that being a murder mystery, there’s some well-timed action that will keep you on edge. Finally, the best Doberman ever, by the name of Brontë, is always by Blue’s side. A real winner of a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is an updated version of a book originally published in 1998 and other than the no cell phone detail, I didn’t feel it was outdated at all. The updated sequel is being released in 2021 and I’m looking forward to it.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.