The DownEast Shopping Mall is crowded with shoppers, cinema goers, workers, all busy carrying on with their lives as usual. Three young girls meet to watch a film; a police officer patrols the area with her partner; a young lad slips out on a break to visit a pretty girl – just some of many enjoying their leisure. Until violence erupts! Three young shooters have made a dramatic entry, killing and maiming randomly while they laugh in the faces of their victims. In a matter of minutes, eighty nine die and two hundred and forty two are injured, some to die of their injuries later on; the shooters are killed by police and each other.
Nora Robert’s opening scene for her latest book, ‘Shelter in Place,’ is vividly created and terrifying in her fictional depiction of a modern event which, to America’s shame, has become all too familiar in recent years.
I have read many books based on mass shootings over the years, both fiction and non-fiction, but this one has a completely different take on an often used genre.
As the story develops we focus on a small selection of characters, Simone, Reed and Essie all connected initially by the one thing, namely the DownEast Mall shooting…and chillingly, their ordeal is not finished!
Patricia Hobart, the brains behind the mall shooting, and sister of one of the DownEast killers, wants revenge. She is out to seek, find and kill the higher profile survivors of her brothers killing spree, and Simone, Reed and Essie are all on her list!
I did thoroughly enjoy this book, although for me it did lack a little something, hence the 3 and 1/2 stars. The build up in suspense from the beginning, to a well planned conclusion is developed steadily to the climax, which although just a little predictable, did nothing to detract from the ending.