Mulholland Books, ISBN 978-0316221245
October 2, 2012, 448 pages
Three years ago, two teenage girls disappeared, and although many leads were followed and extensive searches carried on, no clue of what happen to them was ever found. Did they run away, were they abducted, are they dead? No one knows.
Then the case breaks wide open. In the middle of a terrible snow storm, the body of a husband and wife are discovered murdered in their farmhouse, the same house that was the home of one of the missing girls. And a body found in a frozen pond not far away turns out to be that of one of the missing girls. Police soon have a suspect in custody, a young man with mental issues who claims his innocence but says he saw the killer, a snowman!
But what of the other girl? Is it possible she might still be alive? Can Joe find her in time?
Police are not hopeful, but pushed one by clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin, back for his 5th installment, the case is reopened. Will they possibly uncover what has happened in time to save a young girl's life?
I have read a couple of the books in this series and this one is a worthy addition. Perhaps not the best, but quite good.
It is a good plot...I did not figure out the "bad guy"...and as always, very well written.
But as with the other books, the heart of the appeal of this book is the character of Joe O'Loughlin, and the friends and family that will be making repeat appearances. Back is the story of his off again/on again marriage, his less than perfect relationship with his less than perfect teenage daughter and his always ready to come to the rescue friend and ex-cop Vincent Ruiz. Joe is a very smart man, a very clever psychologist, whose insights are a great help to the police, but of course he is also a very flawed man.
Just like we like our heroes.
He was diagnosed some time ago with Parkinson's disease and that has had a critical effect on his relationships and on his view of life. Physically, he may have his limits but he makes up for it with a very sharp mind.
And then this time around we also have Piper Hadley, one of the two missing girls and one of our narrators.
That certainly gives us a unique and very interesting perspective on the plot. A quite creepy one as well.
Why then is this not my favorite?
Well, maybe because there was a bit too much of Joe by himself and not enough interaction with his family, especially his wife and Ruiz. For some reason this one just seemed to be mostly Joe on his own and I really think the strength of this series is the interaction that was a bit lacking this time around. Not a deal breaker but for me it took this one from an excellent book, as a couple of the previous ones in the series were, to a very good one.
Still, very good is...very Good!
My thanks to Library Thing Early Reviewers and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.