Dorothy gradually becomes acquainted with loving, supportive Scott and the other Bradleys, which is a pleasure to read. Scott and Dorothy are both determined to learn about Dorothy’s kidnapping and their mother’s disappearance, and they share their suspicions and discoveries with law enforcement. Unfortunately, the interesting premise is bogged down by repetition (for instance, readers are constantly reminded that Dorothy’s adoptive mother died of cancer, which inspired Dorothy to pursue medical school) and long paragraphs about mundane events such as rearranging furniture. Reis’s expertise in television is evident in the meticulous details of producing and filming the two reality shows, but this also slows the pace.
As secrets are revealed, the plot becomes a bit confusing. It doesn’t help that several characters have similar names: Stephen is Dorothy’s biological father, but Steve is her love interest; Dorothy’s last name is Samuels, her birth name was Samantha (nicknamed Sammy), and Sam is a television producer. Readers will wish for more development for Dorothy, who is amiable but somewhat banal. Despite a lack of depth, the central mystery will keep readers engaged.
Takeaway: Contemporary mystery fans will enjoy unburying family secrets alongside Reis’s capable protagonists.
Great for fans of Kate Hamer’s The Doll Funeral, Mary Higgins Clark.
Design and typography: A+
Marketing copy: B+