by Lauren Layne.
Grand Central paperback, 323 pages. 2015.
Contemporary. New York City.
“’The truth is, sometimes I look at my life. I really look at it . . . and I wish that all of the bad stuff would just go away and I could start over. Go back to when I was eighteen, back before my family got in the habit of relying on me for money. Back before I let Eddie trick me into thinking he was a good guy. Back before I gave up on the idea of college and started waiting tables because my dad finally decided to get clean and needed money for rehab, stint one . . . ‘
He didn’t interrupt her. Just kept up the soothing motion of his palm against her scalp and let her continue.
So she did.
She kept talking.
‘Every time something happens with Cory or with my dad . . . every time, I tell myself that it’s the last time. But it never is. I just keep making these same mistakes over and over again, and then I have to wonder . . . am I even capable pf making different choices? What if I’m just . . . pathetic? ‘
They were silent for several seconds, until finally Maggie let out a little laugh. ‘So, Captain, this is the point where you tell me I’m not pathetic.’
He cleared his throat. ‘Well, here’s what I know. I know that I’m pretty fucking great. And since I’m, basically, the greatest guy around, I can tell you for an absolute fact that I wouldn’t be here if you were pathetic.’”
Maggie Walker’s life is being a waitress 40 hours a week and writing her fictional YA novel in her spare time. She has only her pet dog as a companion, being divorced two years now. And, to top it all off, when a certain family comes for their weekly breakfast at her diner, she is sure to spill something in a certain Captain Anthony’s lap. It’s become inevitable.
Anthony Moretti, on the other hand, is a very serious, good cop. The case he has been working on involves a petty thief with a rash of robberies and who always leaves a smiley sticker at the scene. The police are feeling foolish because there are no clues and he only gets bolder and bolder. Meanwhile, Maggie spots her ex-husband spying on her and now he is suspected as being “Smiley.” There is reason to believe harm may come to Maggie and so the police set up a watch on her.
This is an interesting story and fun to read, but marked down a little because the threat to Maggie seemed so trivial and not worth all the attention. I enjoyed the two main characters and the whole Moretti family and hope to read more about them.