4 / 5 ⭐
“ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴡᴀs ᴛʜᴇ ᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ʟɪᴇs, ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴅᴇᴍᴀɴᴅᴇᴅ ᴄᴏᴍᴍɪᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ.”
✦ A terrible explosion and fire occur at Miracle Submarine, an experimental hyperbaric oxygen therapy center owned by a Korean immigrant family. A child and woman are killed, and others are maimed and injured. Investigators concluded that the fire was intentionally set near the oxygen tanks. Who would do such an act of violence to those seeking medical treatment for their children with special needs such as autism or cerebral palsy?
✦ Elizabeth Ward, the mother of Henry, the boy fatally burned in the explosion, is arrested and put on trial. What ensues is a courtroom drama. The battle centers on whether a mother went too far. Was she trying to make her child “normal” by willingly submitting her child to questionable treatments, even verging on abusive? And then, when Henry didn’t meet her standard, did she want him dead?
✦ But as the story progresses, we discover others may have had the motive and the means for lighting the match that day. In fact, everyone is lying.
✦ Angie Kim does a wonderful job playing out this mystery. Between the courtroom scenes, we hear from several characters on where they were the days leading up to the explosion, and the tangled web of lies they spin around the fire at Miracle Submarine.
✦ I loved the writing in this book and I enjoyed how there were real-life issues at hand. The discussion of experimental and possible extreme treatments for children with special medical needs is a tough topic to debate, especially if you don’t have to live that life. The courtroom battle was very well done. I was constantly second-guessing who had committed the crime. What kept it from being a five star read for me was the pace. At times it began to slow, as the characters revisited the same topics and events.
✦ Overall, Miracle Creek is a wonderful mystery with developed characters and the heartbreaking consequences of lies and deceit.