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I.O.U. by Nancy Pickard
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I.O.U. (1991)

by Nancy Pickard

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Far different from her other works as she's not investigating a murder, but rather is examining her "roots" and her mother's insanity while questioning her own. Psychologically, it's a really find read. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 21, 2014 |
Jenny Crain, Exec Director of a non-profit in her small town is dealing with her mother's death, trying to uncover the real reason mom spent years in a mental institution. As she asks questions, she becomes more and more puzzled about the reactions she gets from townspeople, including the members of her own board. Several incidents cause her to fear that someone is out to do her physical harm. Discouraged by her sister from further searching, but egged on by her friend - who happens to be her psychiatrist, and encouraged by her husband- who happens to be a police detective, she works to uncover the mystery of why her mother became ill, and why no one wants to talk about it. The inter-family dynamics, particularly with her no-good father and his second wife, make it particularly interesting. Definitely worth going back to read some of the previous ones in the series (this is #7) ( )
  tututhefirst | Jun 22, 2010 |
Not as good as the earlier Jenny Cain books but having read them in order it's a relief that her mother has been released, or at least that Jenny has been released from torturing herself over her mother & the failed family firm. Jenny got a rough deal in the parent stakes. That father of hers needs a good shaking. More a family history than a murder mystery. And as for that mongrel priest - we can only hope there are special places of torture for his sort.

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It was foggy the day of the funeral... white swirling mists that matched the thick fog of pain and confusion in Jenny's brain. Jenny's mother was dead, carried away by pneumonia after years in the Hampshire Psychiatric Hospital. As friends and family pressed round to offer condolences, a hand clutched Jenny's arm, an anonymous voice whispered, "Forgive me. It was an accident...." Jenny had no idea what it meant. And it didn't seem to matter. Nothing seemed to matter except her grief and her guilt, and the haunting questions that made her fear for her own sanity: What had really been wrong with her mother? How did it happen? And how was it all connected with the bankruptcy of the family business, a disaster her father had never been able to explain? When Jenny tried to find out, she was met with a stone wall of polite silence. But there was nothing polite about whoever shut the garage door when poor, exhausted Jenny fell asleep with the car's motor running... ( )
  catsalive | May 29, 2009 |
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In New England, we get fog that would have given Daphne du Maurier the creeps.
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Pickard explores Cain history - Jenny's mother's mental illness and death, her dad's failure with the family dynasty, his affair, and his treatment of a shy, adoring woman beset by post-partum demons. At mom's funeral, Jenny becomes unhinged, not helped by a push to her back as the coffin is lowered, and cryptic messages found on the visitor's book. The trail leads through industrial espionage to a succession of tight-lipped encounters with doctors, priests, and dad's ditzy new wife.
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Jenny Cain searches for answers surrounding her mother's death and the bankruptcy of the family business.

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