"A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Cicero

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Unintended Consequences by Marti Green

Nineteen years ago, Indiana police found the body of a young girl, burned beyond recognition and buried in the woods. They arrested George Calhoun for murdering his daughter, and his wife testified against him at the trial. The jury convicted him. Now his appeals have been exhausted, and his execution is just a few weeks away.

George said he didn’t do it. That the body isn’t his little Angelina. But that’s all he’s ever said – no other defense, no other explanation.

Dani Trumball, an attorney for the Help Innocent Prisoners Project, wants to believe him. After all, there was no forensic evidence that the body in the woods was George’s daughter. But if the girl isn’t Angelina, then who is it? And what happened to the Calhouns’ missing daughter?

For nineteen years, George Calhoun has stayed silent. But that’s about to change, and the story he tells Dani—if it’s true—changes everything.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was very intrigued - guy on death row for 17 years, accused of murdering his 4 year-old daughter, has just 6 weeks left before he gets the lethal injection. All these years he has claimed that the little girl's body they found was not his daughter...but that's all he would say. Nobody knew where little Angelina Calhoun ended up, so if she wasn't the dead girl, where was she? I had to find out if this guy was telling the truth or not. A big part of me believed even before going into this book that he was telling the truth. Another, darker part of me wanted him to be lying; to get someone to believe him and do the impossible: exonerate him, only to find out he really did do it. I wasn't sure how this story was going to end up. And I'm not going to tell you how it end. You'll just have to read yourselves.

I will say a few things about the delivery: It is a bit slow, not always in a bad way though. The author prolongs a lot of things which I actually liked because you kind of feel the same type of frustration as the characters. You know what's going on just like the characters do, and you want a resolution, and every time you think it's coming something happens to delay everything. I had to keep looking to see how many pages I had left to kind of tell myself not to get my hopes up because the ending was nowhere near. That being said, there was a lot of the beginning that I wasn't too keen on. Specifically the main character's son. I understand that there's a need for background information and for character development because it gets the reader invested in the main character; and I understand that we needed to know that Dani was a mother and that she had a special needs child and that she wrestled with understanding and not understanding the actions of George Calhoun. But I feel that some of it wasn't relevant, even though I did like that character...he wasn't important to the story, so I don't feel there should have been so much of him.

Another thing that kind of took me out of the story a few times during the first half of the book was the constant popping in and out of people's heads. The first few chapters were all about Dani, and then it randomly jumps to one of her co-workers that's on the case with her, and then it jumps to a new mysterious male character, and then to a new mysterious female character, then back to Dani, then back to the mystery female, and so on and so forth. I don't know if Marti Green just did a better job of  head jumping in the second half of the book, or if I just kind of got used to it and got to know the characters, but it did eventually stop bothering me and in fact I was glad to get those character's perspective as well.

So overall, I enjoyed it. I liked the story, the premise, the way it was drawn out, the directions that were taken. I was very satisfied.

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