Hallie Ephron’s You’ll Never Know, Dear is a strange story about a family who’s daughter was kidnapped forty years ago with no trace. Janey was only four when she went missing along with her porcelain doll that was made to look like her by her mother. Her sister Lissie was only seven and her whole world changed after that. Her mother, whom everyone called Miss Sorrel, never gave up hope and kept the search alive for her beloved Janey.
Miss Sorrel was known for her dollmaking and fixing skills and ran a business out of her home. After offering a reward every year for 40 years, it seems like Janey’s doll made its way home. The police along with the family investigate to see if it truly is Janey’s doll and how it ended up with its current owner and whether is it related to the explosion and gas leak that injured Miss Sorrel and Lissie.
To find the truth, secrets from 40 years ago must come to light, along with current crimes and secrets.
Interesting read and a lot more information about doll making than I ever knew.
Read October 2017
Holy hell, The Winter Foundlings is an addictive read. Kate Rhodes takes a horrible story of a child murderer and somehow makes it worse. In The Winter Foundlings, we follow Alice Quentin, a psychologist who transfers to the high-secutrity prison to study the treatment methods for the worst criminals, outside of London. While there, Alice is hoping to meet and study the treatment for Louis Kinsella, a child killer with no remorse, when back in London a child is found murdered in a way that matches Kinsella’s murders.
Quentin must remain impartial and clearheaded as she’s pulled into Kinsella’s world and manipulated by her own mentor and premier crime psychologist.
Rhodes tells the story of Quentin’s investigation interspersed with an abducted child who’s fighting for her life in whatever way she can. The details of the murders are horrific and hard to read, but Quentin’s devotion to them and finding their killer is hypnotizing.
There’s a similarity between this novel and Silence of the Lambs, not that I’ve read that recently, but the feel is the same with a male psychotic killer manipulating a woman investigating a current crime. There’s more of a copycat killer in this novel than in the other. But it doesn’t matter. This story feels so original and is so gripping, I can overlook the similarity.
Read July 2017
In Home, two men with incredible wealth behind them are able to break into an underground sex business with a lot of death and explosions and leave completely unharmed. Harlan Coben’s characters are over the top masculine, with sensitive spots for the women they love.
Home was a quick, fun read where Myron Bolitar and his friend Win are able to rescue a boy kidnapped 10 years earlier and solve the mystery of what happened to his friend. They are able to do things outside the law without any repercussions and set things right according to what they deem is right. All the time, traveling on private jets and cars, they are whisked around the world to find out what happened to Win’s nephew and friend 10 years ago.
The whole story is so unbelievable, but an enjoyable read, even with the ridiculous masculinity oozing from the Batman-like characters.
Read April 2017
Just writing the tags for this novel makes me realize what a dark book Peter Robinson’s Aftermath really is. Almost every violent crime is represented in this novel. Very gory. Very graphic. Acting Detective Superintendent Alan Bank’s in leading the investigation into the serial killer Terence Payne’s house of horrors. Payne’s wife was found beaten and unconscious and the basement filled with bones. It seems like an open and shut case with the only complication being one of the first officers on the scene killed Payne after he killed her partner.
For this being written in 2001, not today, the topical issue of police violence takes an interesting turn in the British system. To the lay observer, it seems logical that the young police officer should not be charged, but the evidence that she killed in anger starts mounting. As does the evidence against Payne. But DS Banks compulsively investigates the murders to make sure they have the right killer.
It seems everyone has a dark past that they’d like to run away from and DS Banks starts putting all the pieces together. This was a really enjoyable and equally dark book. Robinson takes what’s dark about human nature and somehow makes it darker, in a page turning way.
Read June 2015
Chelsea Cain’s newest character is not for the faint of heart. She introduces us to Kick Lannigan in One Kick and it is a memorable meeting.
Kick has not had a normal life. She was kidnapped at a young age to be transformed into a child porn starring in her own series of films where she is known by her alter ego Beth. It took a lot of isolation and torture to transform a regular 6 year old into a pedophile’s dream. Now 21, Kick is still dealing with issues from her abuse and dedicates herself to never being powerless again. She is strong and armed, no matter where she goes.
She is recruited by Bishop, who is looking into the recent disappearance of 2 children. Bishop, who has his own messed up childhood, is focused on finding the missing children in a separate investigation from the FBI. He has resources and methods that far exceed the government’s ability and he wants Kick’s memories and instincts to help located the children.
Cain writes of brutalities against children and this might turn off many readers. This is not an easy book to read, especially since so many details of her fiction are reality for some children. It breaks my heart to think that there are children in the world who have experienced Kick’s childhood and many who are never returned home. By having Kick as the main character, Cain explores the psychological response that a child might have to regular life. All the while engaging Kick in an investigation that threatens her life but might help save a child like her.
This is a hard, but great read. Cain is a great horror writer.
Read October 2014