Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pinned by Charles W. Massie

I actually picked up this book after reading it's sequel Stains on the GavelStains tells the story of Mark, who has been wrongfully incarcerated.  Pinned is the back story.  It's the story of how Mark fell in love with a woman, Roxie, over the internet, moved to Kentucky, and became 'pinned'.  Keep in mind that this is all based on a true story.  It's one man's fight against a woman who 'done him wrong' and the 'good ole boys' in the Kentucky judicial system. 

For me, I was fascinated with the second book, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why.  It wasn't a bad book, but I've read better.  Something about it just kept me hooked, addicted.  I was interested in finding out Mark's back story and how he ended up in his situation in Stained, but I also was hoping for further insight on exactly what it was that made Stained so fascinating to me.  I found it!

First of all, this is an intriguing story.  If you read one of the books, you simply have to pick up the other and read either the back story or the continuation.  It really is an interesting saga.  You'll find yourself flipping page after page to find out what happens next, even though it really isn't an edge of your seat kind of thrill.

So, here's the fascination.  I've never read a character like Mark before.  The entire story is told from Mark's point of view.  The thing is, that we really get to see Mark's perception of himself, which is unusual to this degree.  For example,  Mark and Roxie will be having an argument.  Mark will say or do something that will make me cringe.  Usually, it's something that I would never put up with.  Then Roxie would retaliate and say something hateful or go off pouting.  Sounds like a normal argument, right?  The interesting thing is that Mark then can't figure out why Roxie is so upset and begins to think she's 8 crayons short of a box.  As readers, we get to see Mark from our point of view, but also from his point of view, which can be two drastically different things.

Also, once I picked up Pinned and read it, it changed how I felt about the second book.  In the second one, I felt a modicum of sympathy for Mark and just couldn't comprehend how people like Roxie get away with it, or live with themselves.  After reading the first book and finding out how everything really went down, I actually felt a little sorry for Roxie.  I'm not saying she's in the right, or the wrong, just that I didn't see her as the cold and calculating woman that I found in the second book. 

Read it for yourself and judge!  Who's at fault here?  Is Roxie a psychotic people user or did Mark really do the things he's accused of?  Though this book was originally written to warn people of what can happen, if you look at it from a fictional perspective, it turns into a fascinating 'well, who's the bad guy?' sort of book.

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