By Katie Gutierrez
Cassie Bowman is working as a part-time blogger for a television network featuring true crime stories when she first discovers Delores “Lore” Riviera.
Searching for shocking, bizarre crime stories to put on the blog, she finds a Laredo Morning Times story headlined “Her Secret Lives: How One Woman’s Double Marriage Led to the Murder of an Innocent Man.”
For the newspaper, it’s a periodic revisiting of a terrible local tragedy. They depicted Delores Riviera, once a successful international banker, as a wanton, self-centered woman who destroyed lives without penalty. One husband, Andres Russo, ended up dead. The other, Fabian Rivera, was in prison.
But for Cassie the question was: how did this happen? How could Lore end up married to her high school sweetheart (Fabian) and raising twin sons in Laredo — and also be married to an Argentine university professor (Andres) in Mexico City, being a stepmother to his daughter and son?
This story had all the makings of a true crime book in Cassie’s eyes. She approaches Lore by saying that by agreeing to talk to Cassie, Lore would have a chance to tell her own story.
Against the wishes of her sons, Gabriel and Mateo, Lore agrees. But she has a condition: she will not discuss the day of the murder. Lore tells her sons this way she can maintain control of the story.
Author Katie Gutierrez weaves her story between Cassie’s world and Lore’s world and between 1983 and 2017. Gutierrez’s prose slides gracefully from English to Spanish, easy to infer meaning and an intimate invitation into Lore’s mind. Readers have a chance to see Lore’s life unfold — and Cassie’s search for what happened the day that Lore won’t talk about.
After weeks and months of talking to Lore, Cassie learns that the roles of asker and listener easily reverse themselves. Lore’s questions force Cassie to look more carefully at her own life: her alcoholic and once violent father; her fiance Duke Murphy and the wedding she can never get around to planning; and her brother Andrew, whose phone calls Cassie returns erratically.
Ultimately, Cassie is faced with deciding whether the possibility of a best-selling book is more important than detonating the lives of Lore and her family. What does integrity demand of Cassie as a journalist? What is the just path in this situation?
This is a haunting story. Lore Rivera is an appealing character living into two worlds separated by a fragile wall of deception and denial. When it tears, the consequences are deadly and tragic.
The Author: Katie Gutierrez
Katie Gutierrez was born and raised in Laredo, TX. MORE THAN YOU’LL EVER KNOW is her first novel. She has written for Harper’s Bazaar, the Washington Post, Longreads, Texas Monthly and other publications.
She earn a master’s of fine arts degree from Texas State University.
She now lives in San Antonio with her husband and their two children
Sounds interesting. Thanks for the review!