Expected publication: November 15th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Format read: ARC via publisher
Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has personal reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she investigates with Stone—the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.
In her third novel, Ashley Elston shares the tale of Kate Marino. Kate and her mom work for the local DA’s office in their small parish of Belle Terre, and have been tasked with assisting the prosecution in the death of a popular high school teen named Grant.
Grant, who was a part of a group of young men nicknamed the River Point Boys, has left behind a shocking trail of revelations, mysteries and problems. As Kate helps with research and digs deeper into the death, she quickly learns that not everything is what it seems…
There are so many things to love about This is Our Story, beginning with the fact that Kate’s story is indisputably, elegantly crafted. Ashley sets up the death of Grant with a stark and abrupt prologue, leaving readers with only minimal clues to determine the truth behind the death.
Once discovery (a.k.a. research) for the case begins and Kate jumps into the fray, Elston also makes the intriguing choice of having the story alternate between Kate’s POV, and the POV of an unknown member of the River Point Boys.
Consequently, the readers see the stakes at hand for the case, and are also in the uncomfortable position of being privy to information about the death that Kate and her team is still working to uncover. It does a considerable job of amping up the tension for the story, especially as we see Kate experience several near misses with the truth, and is also put into considerable danger – all without her knowledge and foresight.
As the case unfolds, Elston is also careful to show the ramifications of the case on the town and on Kate, specifically. Readers learn early on that Kate apparently has a connection to the victim, but Elston cleverly flips the story with an unexpected twist that not only helps drive the plot forward, but also reinforces how personal a case like this can feel.
And while the conclusion to a case with so much build-up like this can easily fall flat; it absolutely doesn’t happen in this case. Elston has Kate use logic and deductive reasoning in a manner that would do Sherlock proud, and it’s satisfying and thrilling, as Kate finally puts the pieces together.
All in all, an excellent mystery with thought provoking moments and great real-world applications.
About the author:
Ashley Elston is the daughter of an attorney and grew up surrounded by talk of court cases, crazy clients, and the law in general – all of which triggered the ideas in her legal thrillers. She has a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University and lives in Shreveport, Louisiana with her husband and three young sons.