This crime novel is a tale of vengeance sought by Stella Hardesty for her clients, women who have suffered abuse at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends. The setting is present-day rural Missouri. Stella’s clients are locals as well as women from neighboring states. The story might take place nearly anywhere in the U.S. as domestic violence occurs in relationships when a bad attitude and a lack of respect for others combine with low impulse control. Perpetrators and victims come in all sizes, races and backgrounds, regardless of economic circumstances.
Stella and Chrissy Shaw, a young woman who is the victim of physical abuse and the mother of an 18-month-old boy, form an unlikely team that sets out to take care of business when Chrissy’s child is kidnapped. They begin their mission in a business relationship and grow it into a strong and respectful friendship.
Stella is fifty and she prides herself on being alert, observant and willing to wade into a dangerous situation. She works out, practices martial arts and carries weapons of all types. Knowing one’s own strengths and assets can be powerful. In the midst of a tense situation, one of many in this book, Stella says to a perpetrator, “You know what your mistake was, you hesitated. You thought you had me because you’re young. But badass comes in all ages.”
Bad Day is not for the faint of heart. But it is quite funny, offering the humor that comes with justifiable vindictiveness against those who have harmed us. Sophie Littlefield likely had a great time putting together this well written, tongue-in-cheek, story. The author’s photograph is of someone who appears to be far more innocent than the characters in her tale. (Author Littlefield lives near San Francisco.)
A fun read. Well recommended.
Review by Ruta Arellano