Sunday, February 27, 2011

“She Said/She Saw”

By Norah McClintock
ISBN No. 978-1-55469-335-1

By the time you get to the line “…if you want to get the whole story…you need to pull the pieces together,” that comes maybe two pages into this book about the faulty memory of a witness to a gangland-style slaying, you realize you’re in the grip of a serious storyteller. When the narrator finishes her introduction with: “Here are the pieces,” we’re hooked. The “She Saw” part of this book is Tegan, the witness/survivor of a shooting that claimed two of her friends. The “She Said” part of this book is Tegan’s shaky recollection about the shooting. She says she doesn’t know why her friends were targeted, why she was spared or even who did the shooting. She also worries that the killer might come back to finish her off. No one believes her, of course. Even her sister, Kelly, is suspicious. She details and catalogues the facts in an effort to learn the truth – even if it incriminates Tegan. Because Kelly sees life “like a movie or a TV drama, or, sometimes, a comedy” parts of the story are told in the form of a screenplay. No spoiler alert here! All I’m going to say is that “She Said/She Saw” a triple good read of a suspenseful thriller – for kids (the book’s audience is aged 12+) and adults. Its topic is timely, its characters flawed but smart, and the screenplay format a great introduction to the discipline.