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It’s over halfway through the year, and I’m a bit behind on my reading. I don’t remember where I picked up What Came Before He Shot Her, by Elizabeth George, but it became book eighteen. It’s also part of a series, which I didn’t know until I was almost done with reading it, but it stands well on it’s own.

What Came Before He Shot Her begins by telling you that it is going to follow a young boy, Joel, down the path that leads to him murdering a woman.  The boys parents are dead, his younger brother is mentally disabled, his older sister is a troublemaker, and his grandmother, with whom they have been living, decides to move to Jamaica and dumps all three children on their aunt’s doorstep.  Joel does his best to care for his family, protecting and teaching his younger brother, helping out around the house, and running interference for his sister. The story follows the choices he makes and the events that are forced on him.

This book was heartbreaking. Even though the book told me with the first sentence how it was going to end, Joel’s character is so loving and determined that I couldn’t help but hope for a different outcome. The British slang was a little confusing, but the book was well written and moving.

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