Another Letts novel? Yes please! After Where the Heart Is, I knew I could go for another sweet but quirky small town setting filled with unforgettable characters. I also couldn’t refuse a title like that, as my family are big card players, with Hearts being a favorite. My mother is particularly good at shooting the moon, and my dad often lets her get away with it because they’re always partners, haha. Anyways, back to the book!
This time around, Letts introduces us to Mark Albright. He has recently learned that he was adopted, and although he had lived a charmed life in California, growing up with want for nothing, he still feels that he should learn about where he came from. After some initial investigation, he finds out that his mother, Gaylene Harjo, was murdered in DeClare, Oklahoma, and her son, Nicky Jack, went missing. Seeking that truth, he heads to DeClare and meets the locals who help him patch together his true identity and reveal the secrets of his past.
As usual, Letts has created a cast of characters that bring the fictional small town of DeClare to life. There’s Teeve and Ivy Harjo, a mother/daughter combo that will make you laugh and cry. Then there’s intimidating Ol’ Boy Daniels, the local law enforcement officer who is determined that Mark will cause trouble in chasing the past. There’s adorable Kippy Daniels and his mother Carrie, Ol’ Boy’s family and fast friends of Mark. Each of these characters have their own voices and personality quirks, as well as their own part in aiding Mark.
Between the characters, the dialogue, and the mystery behind Mark’s past, Lett’s novel moves at a rapid pace and keeps the reading involved in the suspense. I actually listened to the audiobook, and it was wonderful. At less than 7 hours of audio, it’s a short time commitment, which was a perfect choice for a refreshing read between heavier, long books. The narration is perfect, but I’d wholly recommend Shoot The Moon to anybody in any format!