The upcoming execution of Rona Leigh Glueck induces Poppy Rice to go to the prison in Texas where the now-religious Rona Leigh calmly awaits her death. Poppy wants to prove that Rona Leigh is innocent--she doesn't feel Rona Leigh with her tiny stature could have wielded the ax that killed two people twenty years before. On the day of the planned execution, Rona Leigh's followers which include several employees of the state, arrange for an escape and the law enforcement society is thrown into a massive manhunt.
This report prepared by Sarrah
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
Henry Holt, Jan 2002, 24.30 307 pp.
She is a sassy, fresh and feisty independent thinker who goes her own way in the tightly structured organization of the FBI because she's quick to get the job done. After reorganizing a whole department in the FBI, the upcoming execution of Rona Leigh Gloeck catches Poppy Rice's interest. She digs up the case file and sees that the woman might not have gotten a proper trial. Poppy wants to investigate because it is only ten days until the execution and her supervisor gives her permission.
She flies to Texas and starts asking questions about people who were involved with the case and quickly comes to the conclusion that Rona Leigh was railroaded. All legal and political avenues that could grant the condemned woman a stay of thirty days disappear and Poppy witnesses the state-sponsored death of Rona Leigh. The lethal injection fails to kill the prisoner and she is taken by ambulance to the hospital, but the patient disappears into thin air. Now Poppy must discover who the conspirators are who took the prisoner away while seeing that justice is served this time.
LOVE HER MADLY is a police procedural that actually has moments when it turns into a humorously dark macabre tale. The heroine is a breath of fresh air taking herself seriously enough to get the job done without it killing her spirit. This is the first book in what looks to be an innovative series and this reviewer can't wait for BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY to be published.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner