Top critical review
This book has a bait & switch synopsis. It misleads as to the crime fiction sub-genre.
Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2020
As written, the synopsis hooked me, and I expected to read a mystery-thriller about an amnesiac mother—who learns that something terrible happened to her daughter. The neurologist believes Mrs. Amnesiac’s dramatic memory loss has psychological trauma components. From the lovely cover art of a girl, I imagined the mom would be desperate to find her teenaged daughter. Or perhaps she’s a tweeny.
THIS IS A POLICE PROCEDURAL. Yeah, I shouted it. Maybe Marketing did it, because mystery thrillers might sell better than procedurals. The police protagonists are detectives, Jo Fournier and Bob Arnett, who investigate who, what, why & when about the amnesiac. Due to the amount of blood on her clothing, a medico-legal investigator knows someone is badly injured or possibly dead. At 28% Kindle mark, at last, a crime scene is discovered.
The secondary storyline is about Mrs. Amnesiac running from a dangerous man and from the police. I revised the missing daughter’s age upwards, by a lot, because Jo Fournier notes Mrs. Amnesiac’s crow’s feet—which means she’s fifty, give or take five years.
The drama subplot is driven by Jo Fournier, who—at thirty-seven—is unmarried, has verbal tiffs with mom, memories of her dead fiancé, a persistent ex-boyfriend, and another, more complicated problem. I adore Jo Fournier, who is a strong, no nonsense female police protagonist.
This was a decent police procedural with several interesting twists, although solution(s) and villain-reveals were not surprising. There are enough hints about Mrs. Amnesiac’s character pre-head bump, and the author cunningly but patiently transfigures her personality. A stern copy editor and a sharp red pen could’ve trimmed ~50-75 pages.
3.5 Dropped one star due misleading synopsis.