Low on violence, and high on classic whodunnit puzzles, this polished mystery will appeal to readers who enjoy a good crime puzzle without the gore—but with a welcome connection to the real world. As Lisa tries to find a way to escape her kidnappers, Anderson and her partner Ramon work to hunt down leads that will bring her home safely, before narrowing in on someone the reader may not suspect, all as Anderson must navigate a world where she has to state directly to people “You’re not the first to act according to stereotypes regarding women, especially women of color.”
Elustondo deftly establishes multiple motives for Lisa’s kidnapping, all of which feel plausible. A lack of cooperation, and clues that point at multiple suspects help maintain the possibility that anyone could be the kidnapper up until the very end. The storyline of Andrew’s gambling debts feels less compelling than the others, but Anderson and her partner Ramon Reyes prove compelling detectives, and Elustondo brings the twisty case to a satisfying conclusion.
Takeaway: A polished, high stakes whodunnit finds Houston detectives facing a clever kidnapping.
Great for fans of: Chevy Stevens’s Still Missing, D.J. Palmer's My Wife is Missing.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A