Denise Grover Swank – Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes

Denise Grover Swank - Twenty Eight and a Half WishesAfter the intense focus required by my last book, I needed something a little easier on the mind. Scrolling through my list of kindle books, I saw this, something which looked like a cross between the typical chick-lit and a murder mystery.

Starting the book, we are introduced to Rose, a young woman living a very sheltered life under the thumb of her overbearing and downright mean mother. She’s used to taking orders from her momma, doing what her momma wants, when her momma wants it, right down to the time she gets out of bed in the morning. And let’s not forget that she’s 24!

But Rose is not your ordinary girl, she has visions, and when she has those visions, she can’t help blurting out what she just saw. Usually, the visions are things like someone’s toilet overflowing, or their dog escaping, but one day while at work at the DMV, she has a vision of herself dead on her couch. Not wanting to end life without having experienced anything (like never wearing high heels, never eating chinese food or never being kissed), she makes a list of 28 things she wants to do before she dies. And that signifies a pretty big change for Rose, finally realising that she needs to have control over her own life, rather than letting her momma run it for her.

Little does she know that her momma isn’t going to be running anything; she gets home to find her dead on the couch, head bashed in with a rolling pin. And to make matters worse, Rose is suspect number one, having had a very loud and very emphatic argument with her mother earlier that day.

But being freed from the yoke around her neck brings about some changes in Rose, although not all the changes are helping to prove her innocence, some might say redecorating the living room the day after your mother was murdered might be a bit soon, and as for having a complete hair and clothing makeover before the funeral has even taken place, well some might see that as slightly uncaring and callous.

Helping Rose with the changes in her life is her neighbour Joe. He seems like an angel, helping her to fix the locks on her door, and keeping an eye on her to make sure she is safe, but is he really all he seems? And when a bartender that Rose met also turns up dead, what will happen when the police show up at her house with an anonymous tip-off that she has the murder weapon hidden in her shed?

There really were so many twists and turns to this plot that I really had no idea what was going to happen next, I just couldn’t stop reading to find out what happened to poor lovely Rose. And I loved how we found out more of Rose’s back-story at the same time as Rose, giving us a glimpse into why Rose’s life has been so miserable.

The plot and the style of writing reminded me a lot of Charlaine Harris (one of my favourite authors). I don’t know if it was because Rose was a nice southern girl, or if it was the murder mystery element to it, but it felt very comfortable to read. I also liked that Rose wasn’t a limp-lettuce kind of girl expecting a man to take care of her, she was fully well capable of taking care of herself, and actually pretty kick-ass as it happens!

Finding out that there are three and a half more books in this series makes this girl very happy indeed!


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