A Secret Rage by Charlaine Harris is one of her few stand-alone novels. (The new Sookie Stackhouse book comes out May 5!) I find myself having a harder time connecting with her characters that are not in a series.
Nickie Callahan is a former model who’s returning to her Southern roots, and leaving New York City to move in with her best friend to go back to college in Tennessee. A lot of this book is about what it’s like to come back to the South after having been away for a long time. Part of you loves to be home, to see the familiar plants and trees growing, hear the familiar accents, but part of you is appalled at how much it hasn’t changed, and how small minded the rural South can be.
Upon moving back to Tennessee, Nickie hears about the recent rape that occurred on the college campus that she’ll be attending. Before she knows it, there are more and more victims, herself included. But Nickie decides that she doesn’t just feel victimized, and scared, she also feels enraged. She joins up with one of the other victims and they start making lists of all of the men they both know (both of them convinced the attacker knew them) and they begin investigating on their own.
Nickie slowly begins to get her life back, and embarks on a new romance, but she knows she’ll never be the same person she was. The ending was realistic, but somewhat unsatisfying. I guess I don’t like too much reality intruding in my stories.