Title: The Row
Author: J.R. Johannson
Published: October 11, 2016
My Rating: 3 stars/5
Synopsis: A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.
Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.
Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.
My thoughts from the Vault
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book. I chose to review it and this in no way impacts my opinion of it.
I was very interested in this novel when I saw it on Netgalley because first, the cover is very in your face and lets you know exactly what this novel will center around, and second, because I had never really read a novel that has the MC’s dad in prison and why. Not only was her dad in prison, but he was on death row.
I thought this novel was interesting, but it really didn’t grab me in the way I was hoping for. I finished it because I needed to know the truth alongside Riley, but I honestly would not have been gutted if I didn’t figure it out.
Riley’s dad ended up in prison when she was 6 years old, so for most of her life, she has only known him as the man on the other side of the visitation table. During her weekly visits, she’s allowed one hug at the beginning and one hug at the end of her visits. Due to this, I found it slightly unbelievable that she would have such love and devotion, not to mention how unwilling she is to believe that her father could be guilty of the crimes he was convicted of.
I just feel that after 12 years of only spending one day a week for two hours with this man, that she would either have some resentment for him ending up in jail or just not love him the way she does.
Other than that, it was an interesting novel and I enjoyed the character that we got to meet. The tension that starts to crop up between Riley and her mother during the novel was very believable especially as the family would be under a great deal of stress.
I recommend this novel if you’re looking for something a little different to read that has a mystery feel to it. It will keep you guessing and reading right until the end to find out the truth.