This week I planned to read Lisa Brackmann’s sophomore novel, Getaway (Soho Press, 2012), but it was such a page-turner that I finished it in two and a half days. I should have been prepared, because I loved Brackmann’s debut novel, Rock Paper Tiger (Soho Press, 2010).
Getaway takes place halfway across the world from Rock Paper Tiger‘s China and Iraq setting in the relaxing vacation town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Sounds tame, right?
The heroine, Michelle, is a forty-something American housewife who recently lost her husband, Tom, to a heart attack. Tom not only leaves Michelle alone (they had no children), but also with burgeoning debt and the very real possibility of foreclosure. Before his death, Tom had booked a trip for the couple to visit Puerto Vallarta. So Michelle decides to go anyway. A short getaway.
Soon after she arrives in Puerto Vallarta, she finds herself in a terrible mess. What starts as an innocent date with another American turns into much more than Michelle bargained for: a hotel break-in, drug arrest, fly-infested pig’s head, murdered Americans, narcotics cartels, corrupt police and much more (I don’t want to give away too much!).
With the exception of Michelle, the other characters seem both sketchy and upstanding at the same time, so it’s impossible until the very end to know who to trust. Michelle herself evolves from an overwhelmed, naive American to a bad-ass broad who can hold her own.
Getaway is the perfect summer read.