Bantam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book
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Reviewed by Martina Bexte
fter his deadly encounter with
Catherine Gagnon in
, Massachusetts police sniper Bobby Dodge joins the Boston PD as a detective. He's barely had time to assimilate his new job when he receives an early morning call to his first murder scene. Once Bobby arrives at the sprawling grounds of the abandoned Mattapan mental institution, the sheer number of personnel and emergency vehicles tells him it's bad. He doesn't get a true sense of the horror until lead detective, Didi Warren escorts Bobby into an underground burial chamber where half a dozen corpses lie in repose on metal shelves. Each of the young girls is sealed in a clear plastic bag, in a state the medical examiner calls
. It's clear that this is a decades old crime scene, where the killer returned often to view his grisly handiwork.
idi successfully keeps a lid on their discovery for a few days, but once information is leaked that a silver locket bearing the name Annabelle Granger is part of the evidence, the media frenzy begins. The real Annabelle Granger has been in hiding for as long as she can remember, her parents moving them from city to city without ever explaining what they were running from. With both her parents dead, she's come home to Boston, determined to find the answers they'd refused to share. When she walks into the police station claiming the locket is hers, Bobby is stunned. This young woman could be Catherine Gagnon's twin. His gut instincts tell him there's an important connection between the two women that could well solve this case. Neither Catherine nor Annabelle trusts easily and Bobby must work hard to learn their many secrets. But time runs out when a new threat emerges and targets Annabelle, who's more determined than ever to stand and fight and finally take charge of her life.
is vintage Gardner, filled with rich and complex characterizations, particularly leads Bobby and Annabelle - as well as the enigmatic Catherine Gagnon, who's still harboring plenty of secrets that could fill another book or two. Gardner continues displaying her uncanny knack for getting inside the heads of truly creepy villains and dissecting their chilling mindsets. Her plot is first rate; it's inventive and shocking and barrels to a riveting and unexpected conclusion thanks to Gardner's clever use of red herrings.
is a riveting story that grabs your attention from the first page and doesn't allow you to come up for air until you've regretfully turned the last one.
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