The fourth, and arguably the best, of the Kenzie-Gennaro novels. (Certainly the best known due to Ben Affleck’s very fine cinema version of the story). Patrick and Angie, much against their better judgement, are drawn into the hunt for a missing girl, Amanda McCready, by Amanda’s aunt Beatrice.
This is a book in two parts. The first two thirds of the book are a compelling procedural as Angie and Patrick are reluctantly accepted as adjuncts to the police investigation into Amanda’s disapperance. In the final third Patrick and Angie finally, and to their utter dismay, manage to unravel the layers of deceit that surround the case.
In many ways this is the most horrific of the Kenzie-Gennaro series because its subject is the shockingly commonplace matter of child abuse and violence against children. Even the warmth of the relationships between Patrick, Angie and their friend Bubba is insufficient to stave off the bleakness for either the reader or the characters themselves. It is an angry book as well as being a hugely morally complex one, peppered with some fine humour (I particularly enjoy Patrick’s occasional vitriolic asides on movies and music) and some finely drawn sequences of violence.