One cold night she disappeared....
New York Police detective Dave Strauss is haunted by the one case he couldn’t solve. A schoolgirl vanished off the streets of New York, with only a trail of blood and a series of untraceable phone calls from "the Groom" hinting at her fate. Now the cold dark night has engulfed another young girl -- but this time she is part of Dave’s family. He and his wife, Susan, know fourteen-year-old Lisa has not run away, and they know her disappearance is not just a tragic coincidence. And once the first phone call comes, they know she’s not alone....
I'm trying to figure out how to classify this book. Perhaps I'll just call it a suspense/thriller. But it seems more than that. And I'm going to state right now that I enjoyed reading it very much. It's quick and good.
The first chapter starts out with Susan, Dave's wife, deciding to finally reveal a big secret that she's kept for almost fifteen years. But since it involves Lisa the most, she tells her first. Lisa is so shocked by the news that she runs out into the night. And it is there where she is kidnapped.
I liked that Susan does tell Dave about it fairly soon. And his reaction to it felt right. A lot of what I enjoyed most about this book was how the characters grow through this experience. Susan and Dave are married, so it's not a romance in search of a happily-ever-after. They're already fairly happy, although things have been tense because of Susan's reluctance to have a baby.
The book also focuses on Susan and Lisa's reactions to everything. Susan feels so guilty over what her announcement has caused, and the hurt she's caused Dave by not telling him until now. And we also see Lisa's reactions and how she comes to terms with everything.
I suppose I just liked how it all worked together. It's more a story about how this terrifying event makes them all stronger in the end. Kate Pepper doesn't give us a lot of backstory and infodumps, but we don't need them as I think you get a good sense of the characters from their current actions. I'd say it's very character-driven.
I suppose I've mentioned more about the characters than the story, but the suspense angle was also very good. I kept thinking the worst and how on earth there'd be a happy ending. And there is, although a bit bittersweet. It all kept me wanting to read more and in fact I sat at the kitchen table reading half the book because I dind't feel like stopping to get a more comfortable seat. Definitely made me forget where I was.
I'd say if you're looking for a good suspense for a lazy spring or summer afternoon, I'd recommend this one. And for those who dislike a lot of the gory details that permeate many of the suspense out there, this will be a nice change of pace. I'm definitely going to look for more of Kate Pepper's books.