Title: A Killer Past
Author: Maris Soule
Review: When two teen-age punks try to rob seventy-four-year-old Mary Harrington, they are in for a surprise. Mary takes them on and leaves one with dislocated shoulder and the other with a broken nose and other injuries. Thus begins Killer Past by Maris Soule. The police don’t believe the punks’ story about an old woman. However, the gang members do and begin a vendetta against her.
Once as a teen-age call girl, Mary was recruited by a secret government agency and trained as an assassin. After a number of years and the killing of an innocent woman because of false information, she wanted out. To the surprise of some in the agency, she was allowed to retire, given a new identity, and relocated. Eventually she married and had a family.
Now forty-four years later, her past training allowed her to defeat the two punks, but brought unwanted attention. She told no one about her past, but an enterprising police officer, Jack Rossini, becomes suspicious about her. Mary tries to convince him her bruises from the fight were incurred when she accidently fell down the stairs.
Jack begins digging into Mary’s past, but can find nothing about her until she opened a bookstore forty-four years ago. Suspicious, he asks his son who works for the FBI to see what he can find. Both are told to cease such efforts by superiors.
Meanwhile, the gang knows Mary attacked the two hoods, and begins to harass her. Then an old colleague from the government agency shows up. Once they were almost lovers, but now Mary suspects he has come to terminate her. He provides useful information on the gang and tells Mary if she wants to survive, she’ll have to kill the head of the gang. He also says the son of the woman she killed in error in the past is hunting for her. He then departs for Washington.
Readers will admire feisty Mary Harrington despite her violent past. Intelligent and persistent, she is determined to protect herself and her loved ones. Soule has created a fabulous character in Mary. The novel provides plenty to hold the reader’s interest.
Upon finishing the book, I reflected on it. I realized that this novel not only conveys one woman’s amazing life story but it also makes up look upon ourselves. Are we Mary? The punks? The gang members? Or the nosy cop? It made me think about what I would do in certain situations in the book like when the punks try to rob Mary, I would just hide and let them take what they wanted like most of us.It seems society has conditioned us to be clones of one another and there are only a BRAVE few that dare to swim against the tide, and Maris Soule is one of these brave fish in an ocean of conformity.
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