Boyle’s characterization of Sofia as a talented, caring young woman magnifies the tragedy of her death. The use of flashbacks within the novel, beginning with Ellie’s presence in 2014 San Francisco and traveling back to the circumstances surrounding the catalyzing event in 1999, expertly captures the devastating impact on Sofia’s family and those who loved her. The author capably moves between the two time periods, which are clearly delineated in the narrative.
Despite occasionally awkward prose (“He’s worse than criminal, for he only masqueraded as law enforcement, Nicole cogitated” about a shady cop), the portrayal of emotional turmoil experienced by a mother facing her daughter's untimely death is spot-on, highlighting Ellie’s quest to find justice for her daughter while noting the impact it has on her own physical and mental health. The suspense surrounding Ellie’s plans to shoot Sofia’s killers if justice is not forthcoming via legal means propels the novel swiftly forward toward the climactic conclusion. This tragic book brings to painful life the ripple effects of a death.
Takeaway: In this tragic novel, a mother pursues justice for her daughter, killed by GHB poisoning.
Great for fans of: R. Read She Too, Lois Duncan’s Who Killed My Daughter?.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A