Book Broadcast is a post I have created to help ease the load of the books I have for review. It is a great way to spread the word, providing recognition to an author or publisher for sending me a book to review. As my reviewing and blogging duties have stepped up a notch, I don’t often have the time to complete an in depth review. I hope you can discover some new titles to read through this regular book post.
Jamie Brandt was not a bad mother. Later she would tell that to anyone who would listen: police, reporters, lawyers, her parents, her boyfriend, her dealer, the new bartender with the knuckle tattoos at Schultz’s, the investigator from California and her partner, and her own reflection in the bathroom mirror, right before cracking her forehead on the sink’s edge and passing out from the cocktail of pain, grief, and fear.
When two sisters disappear from a parking lot while their mother is in Kmart, the devastated family hires bounty hunter Alice Vega to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched too thin by budget cuts and the growing meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help, and she will not be denied.
With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.
A cover endorsement from none other than worldwide thriller sensation Lee Child and a hooking synopsis was enough to seduce me into purchasing a copy of Two Girls Down. I haven’t heard of author Louisa Luna before and with an ever increasing review pile, I have to be careful with the non review books I choose to read. A story about a mother making a mistake that I could easily commit as a parent, leaving two school age children (eight and ten) in the car while choosing a birthday present at the local shopping hub, only to return to find both children gone is the central mystery of Two Girls Down. I was quickly drawn into this thriller style crime mystery. As a mother of two children close in age to the missing girls in this book, I felt a sense of dread and utter empathy for the mother, Jamie Brandt. She was well drawn. Equally well drawn are the figures that come into question in solving this case, the folk from the small Pennsylvania based town in which the book is based. Where I felt Luna succeeds in this novel is in her sketch of small town America, the problems with lack of police resources in these areas of the US and the rising issue of drug epidemics. What didn’t work for me was the character of Alice Vega, an almost unbelievable bounty hunter from California, invited into this case due to her success in solving missing children’s cases. Pairing her up against a washed up former cop didn’t really do anything special for me. In the end, the case was a bit baffling to be honest! If you are a fan of police procedural novels, detective based fiction and missing person’s cases this may appeal, but Two Girls Down didn’t quite hit the spot for me.
** 2.5 stars
Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna was published on 8th January 2019 by Text Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.