Monday, May 28, 2007

The Gingerbread Man - Maggie Shayne

Aside from a short story on a paranormal anthology that I don't really remember this was my first read by Shayne. I really enjoyed her suspense.

Detective Vince O'Mally is investigating a disappearance of 2 children. Removed from the case after they are found murdered he follows a lead to a small town in search of more clues. There he finds Holly Newman, a young woman who's sister was kidnapped and is presumed dead while she managed to get away.

Holly was very traumatised by what happened to her and her sister and because she was the oldest and couldn't save Ivy. Vince's questions will make her think about the past once more and look for answers to try and save other children.

This is primarily a suspense story. There's a romantic subplot about Vince and Holly but for most of the book the important thing is their investigation. I liked that Holly was a strong character, she has to confront a few fears before she is ready to face the new facts that suggest her sister's killer is still out there but once she does it she is the one who cracks the case.

Vince is also an interesting character, he is the one who really starts the investigation and he is an experienced detective who let a difficult case get to him. At first he is a bit wary of being involved with Holly when she seemed so fragile but he is the first one to recognise her strengh.

The small town atmosphere is really well done and the set of secondary characters very interesting. I had no idea who the real killer was till it comes up and the surprise twist in the end was really well done.
A B+!

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