For a much more in-depth review of The Bullet, as well as an interview with author Mary Louise Kelly, see the February 25th edition of Maximum Shelf.
In Mary Louise Kelly's second novel, The Bullet, Caroline Cashion goes for an MRI to assess what might be causing a persistent pain in her wrist and is shocked when the technician asks her how she came to have a bullet in her neck. Though Caroline chalks it up to a mistake, further x-rays reveal that, yes, she has a bullet in her neck--and absolutely no memory of how it got there. She naturally turns to her parents, with whom she is very close, for an explanation, and is startled to learn that she is adopted, that her biological parents were murdered, and that the bullet in her neck is in fact the same bullet that killed her mother.
Perhaps even more fascinating than the story of the bullet itself, though, is seeing how Caroline interacts with those around her. Kelly's other characters are as well defined and multi-layered as her protagonist: the aging, slightly inappropriate journalist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the young, hip archivist at the same office; the doctor who listens to country music and drives a red Jeep; the Southern belle next-door neighbor who tells Caroline stories about her biological parents; and Caroline's two loving and protective older brothers.
The Bullet marks a different tack for Kelly, whose debut novel, Anonymous Sources, was a political thriller complete with terrorist threats and international spies. But the lack of political intrigue in The Bullet does not mean it lacks suspense; instead, its slow psychological build is riveting, and The Bullet is relentless in its twists and turns.
A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review.
The Bullet | Mary Louise Kelly | Gallery Books | Hardcover | March 2015