I've followed Michael Robotham's Joe O'Loughlin series for years, attached to the characters and appreciative of the well-written narratives. Last year, Robotham introduced a new series with forensic psychologist Cyrus Vance.
A child discovered in a secret room, filthy and emaciated, is taken into care. The girl refuses to give her name, and when there are no records of a missing child, the state gives her the name Evie Cormac. After the failure of several foster placements, Evie is placed in a secure facility care home. Six years later, she is seeking emancipation. Problem...no one knows for sure when she was born, although she claims to be eighteen there are those who don't believe she should be released.
Because Cyrus Vance once wrote a paper on truth wizards, a former classmate asks him to observe Evie. The man believes Evie falls into that tiny category of people who can tell if a person is lying with at least 80% accuracy. Cyrus is doubtful, but he is naturally curious about Evie and about why she reveals nothing about her past, not even her name. From his experience with those who have endured traumatic experiences, he believes he understands her reluctance. Cyrus, however, doesn't know what Evie knows.
Cyrus is also involved in a case that involves the murder of Jodie Sheehan, a fifteen-year-old Olympic figure skater hopeful. The two plot lines pull together and the reader alternates between the two view points, from Cyrus to Evie and back again. Some of the background of each is revealed, but secrets and questions remain.
A gripping read with complex characters; both Cyrus and Evie have trauma in their past and both are survivors. Although toward the end, the author allows you to get a hint of the reason behind the murder of the young skater, the conclusion is unexpected.
(I actually read When She Was Good, the next book, before this one. The review for that one is scheduled for later.)
I am really pleased with this new series, but hope the author doesn't forget about Joe O'Loughlin.
Psychological Suspense. 2019. Print length: 368 pages.