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Karen Harrington

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Member Since: Aug, 2007

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JANEOLOGY - a novel about the cause and effect of nature and nurture
by Karen Harrington   

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Category: 

Mystery/Suspense

Publisher:  Kunati Books Type: 
Pages: 

256

ISBN-13:  9781601640208
Fiction

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Kunati Books


Harrington begins with a fascinating premise and develops it fully. Tom and his wife (Jane) emerge as compelling, complexly developed individuals. This debut novel is as much a character
study as a legal thriller.
-- Booklist

 Tom Nelson is struggling after the death of his son at the hands of his wife Jane. While Jane sits in a Texas mental hospital for her part in the crime, prosecutors turn their focus to Tom. They believe Tom should have known Jane was on the cusp of a breakdown and protected his children from her illness. As a result, he is charged with “failure to protect.” Enter attorney, Dave Frontella, who employs a radical defense strategy – one that lays the blame at the feet of Jane’s nature and nurture. To gather evidence about Jane’s forbears, Frontella hires a woman with the power of retrocognition – the ability to use a person’s belongings to re-create their past. An unforgettable journey through the troubled minds and souls of Jane's ancestors, spanning decades and continents, this debut novel deftly illustrates the ways nature and nurture weave the fabric of one woman's life, and renders a portrait of one man left in its tragic wake.

Excerpt
Here’s what I remember about that day. What I can’t forget about that day. It was hot and humid. My sweat-soaked shirt clung to my skin under the oppressive June heat. There are dozens of photos showing me like that. Dozens more of me as I was led away by an officer, my tie flapping up as I stumbled over the plastic toys in our front yard.

And then they led me to the jail where I found myself with Jane. We were alone in a cold room and I kept plucking the shirt material from my chest, still overcome by heat and shock.

There were no attorneys then. Funny, it’s hard now to remember my life before attorneys. That day, we were just two people sitting in a room waiting to have a conversation. You would never know that hours before Jane had turned on the kitchen faucet, filled the sink with water and killed our son Simon.


Professional Reviews

From Booklist
From Booklist in the Feb 15 issue

College professor Tom Nelson has it bad in the wake of a devastating tragedy: the death of his son at the
hands of his own wife, Jane, who evaded punishment by being declared insane. Tom, on the other hand,
might not get off so easy. The prosecutors, believing that Tom should have known his wife’s tendencies
and shielded his children, are charging him with “failure to protect.” As Tom wallows in his misery, his
mother hires him an attorney, Dave Frontella, who adopts some unusual defense strategies, arguing that
Jane’s genealogy is to blame for her problems and that no husband could have predicted her actions. He
even goes so far as to hire for his defense team a woman with “retrocognition,” that is, the ability to use a person’s belongings to re-create their past. Although the psychic-powers element might turn skeptical readers off, Harrington begins with a fascinating premise and develops it fully. In addition, Tom and his wife emerge as compelling, complexly developed individuals. This debut novel is as much a character
study as a legal thriller.



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