By Jonnie Jacobs
Caitlin Whittington is the second girl to go missing in five months. Her mother, Grace, now married to a second husband, is of course devastated. When Grace discovers a possible connection between Caitlin’s disappearance and her stepson, Adam, things go from bad to worse.
Meanwhile, Rayna Godwin, lead investigator on both cases has her own problems. Her desired laid back life in small town Paradise Falls, Oregon, is ruined by the girls’ disappearances. They bring up memories of her own daughter’s kidnapping and murder years before. Adding to the problem–her ex lover, FBI agent Neal Cody has been assigned to help out.
Grace Whittington: works as an administrative assistant at the college
Adam Whittington: Grace’s stepson, gangly, likes history, Straight A student, introverted
Rayna Godwin: detective, slender, short honey-colored hair, green eyes, her daughter was murdered, former detective with the San Jose PD, her husband died of cancer, owns a hamster, snacks when nervous
Neal Cody: FBI agent, was assigned to the case of Rayna’s daughter’s murder, now divorced but married at the time he was lover of Rayna’s, soft voice, long legs, middle brother of three, played high school baseball
Jacobs tries to have two main characters (Grace and Rayna) with a third (Adam) also seeking the spotlight. Because of this I didn’t get a deep feeling about anybody. Both Rayna and Grace exhibit emotion, but because of the similarity of their situations, the differences are difficult to spot. Cody isn’t as strong as I expected and I wanted to see more depth in the main suspect, Adam.
Nothing too unexpected. Voices vary minimally except, surprisingly, with the minor characters of Adam’s mother Caitlin’s father.
Chapter lengths vary. Most mysteries will give you a rollercoaster of highs and lows. In this story, the crests weren’t very high and the lows were too long. Just about the time I was starting to drag, the next phase of the mystery was revealed but each was sort of expected. It did speed up near the end but not quite enough to up…