Thursday, January 04, 2018
Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
So...why was I initially put off by Two Girls Down? Because I thought the book was going to end up blaming Jamie Brandt, the single, working class mother of two little girls who were kidnapped. My mistake.
Jamie stops at a strip mall to pick up a gift for the birthday party the girls were to attend. To make it quicker, she runs inside alone. When Jamie returns, ten-year-old Kylie and eight-year-old Bailey have disappeared.
The police department suffers from budget cuts, lack of leads, and plenty of crime related to drugs. The investigation is going nowhere, and with each day, Jamie's desperation increases and her hope for the safe return of her daughters diminishes.
Jamie's aunt calls in Alice Vega, a bounty hunter who has had uncanny luck at locating missing children. Once Alice is on the scene, the book takes a completely different direction from what I thought it would. Vega enlists Max Caplan, a former policeman who resigned in disgrace, to aid her in locating girls. At this point, I could scarcely bear to put the book down.
The chemistry between Vega and Cap is fascinating. They are both dedicated, but their approaches are distinctly different; eventually, the two are able to meld their divergent methods and make the most of the strengths they individually bring to the investigation.
Louisa Luna excels in bringing the characters and the investigation to life. I didn't so much anticipate the investigation as follow along with Vega and Cap. There were unexpected turns, certainly, but I more or less discovered things along with this engrossing pair, getting the hints from them, rather than seeing the connections and wanting to help them see where things were leading.
Boy, I am glad to have returned to Two Girls Down and hope for more of Alice and Cap, who proved uniquely human and engaging. I kept thinking about what I would have missed if I'd just let this one go because I formed a misguided initial impression.
Blog review scheduled for Jan. 4, 2018.
Mystery/Suspense/Crime. Jan. 9, 2018. Print length: 322 pages.