While on suspension, detective Mark Baker gets a letter from his sister, whom he hasn't spoken to in ten years. With pregnant girlfriend in tow, Mark goes to the isolated town his sister lives to check on her. Will he be able to break Sarah from her White Picket Prison?
White Picket Prisons is a fairly short tale of a town with its own set of biblical-inspired laws. Valley Mill seems quiet, almost idyllic, at first, until Mark and Gina figure out what's actually going on. It could easily be an episode of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Dark Side.
It could have easily been a short story without a lot of meat on the bone but Mark's feelings about the ineffectiveness of the justice system he works for give the story the conflict it needs.
A few pretty chilling things happen in White Picket Prisons. Owen doesn't roll around in the gore and somehow I think that makes them that much more horrific.
This is the second Kelli Owen book I've read and won't be the last. She really has the knack for dark fiction. Three out of five stars.