I don’t usually like mystery/thriller books that have to do with the disappearance and/or murder of children. It’s not for any principled reason; these books just usually make me uncomfortable. Perhaps because the trope of the missing/killed kid still fuels the 1980s paranoia about random strangers who just drive around and scoop up children. Or maybe because it’s just tired and exploitative.
Either way, Louise Luna’s Two Girls Down, came highly recommended. It helps that it was written by a woman than a man. Not that women are incapable of internalized misogyny but men tend to write their protagonists with a Messianic air, as if they are the protector of the weak and meek. Considering this, I decided to give it a shot.
And it worked for me, probably for two reasons. The first of which is the main character Alice Vega. She’s a Sherlock type who makes deductions in order to identify patterns and problems. Luna gives her an interesting enough back story but it’s fun just to watch her operate. I enjoyed the chemistry she had with Cap, though I could’ve done without the cloying romantic angle.
The second of which is the plot. Luna builds it well. I wouldn’t say I had no idea where it was going but I was pleasantly surprised a few times. It made me want to keep plowing through to find out what happened where a lesser writer would have lost me due to boredom.
I don’t know that I’m going to race out to purchase book two but I do like Alice Vega so if we get more of these, I’ll probably try another at some point.