Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | January 2018 | 320 pgs
Source: Library

Jamie Brandt initially didn't have the intention of leaving her two young daughters in the car by themselves. But she had to buy some gifts for the girls' friend party and they were running late. She thought she'd be quick and that they'd be safe in the car at a strip mall parking lot, but she didn't expect that the girls would leave their car and out exploring. A few store assistants and customers had claimed they'd saw the two girls briefly but their statements were vague. The police isn't much help given they are stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemics; and with little information about the girls' disappearance, Jamie decides to hire a bounty hunter whose specialty is finding missing children. 

Alice Vega is good in her job; she is relentless and she rarely back down from challenges. The police, on the other hand, isn't pleased with Alice's involvement despite they've no leads. Alice already has someone who could hack information for her but she also needs someone who is familiar with the local community and stuff. Enter Max Caplan, who is the former police detective and had resigned from a scandal. He has his own investigative business but the cases are mainly on infidelity affairs and the likes. He didn't take on Alice's offer initially, but after some thoughts and a nudge from his 16-year-old daughter, he finally gave in. 

Alice and Max work differently and their personalities may clashes at times, but they form a dynamic duo and they are willing to go to any length to trace the girls' trails. And this is the core of the story as it takes up most of the scenes and read like a police procedural. The descriptions of their findings are quite detailed and I've to say this is the strength of the story alongside the character developments. The banter between Alice and Max was what I enjoyed most of this story and I'm hoping Louisa Luna will continue writing about them as a series. 

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10 Responses
  1. It has been awhile since I read a mystery that reads like a police procedural. This sounds like an interesting story and you have me curious about Alice and Max. I will have to add this to my wish list. Thanks for your great review, Melody.

  2. Jenny Says:

    From the sound of it this one should be made into a series. I can see it as a TV series too.

  3. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I miss reading a police procedural and I'm glad this book read like one. Alice and Max make an interesting duo and I'm definitely hoping to read more of them in Luna's future releases.

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Fingers crossed it'd be made into a series. TV series sounds good, too.

  5. jenclair Says:

    I really liked this one! I, too, want more from Louisa Luna and more of Max and Alice. :)

  6. Lark Says:

    Alice and Max do sound like interesting characters. :)

  7. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Glad we share the same sentiments. :)

  8. Melody Says:

    Lark - They are and hopefully will get to see more of them. :)

  9. Iliana Says:

    I can imagine that so many parents are always in a hurry, etc. and think it'll be ok to leave the kids in the car. So it's easy to see this happening. Sounds like a good mystery to check out!

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I totally understand about parents being in a hurry, but at times like this it's always best not to take any chances. I've also read news about some parents locked their young children in the car while they ran errands and ended up the children got heatstroke and in a case a toddler even died. :( Reading such news always sadden me.

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