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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Little Girl Gone: An Afton Tangler Thriller by Gerry Schmitt

Setting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 5, 2016

This is the introduction to Afton Tangler, a family liaison specialist who works with the Minneapolis Police Department. For those who know the works of Laura Childs, Gerry Schmitt is her pseudonym. This book is dark, emotional, and gripping. I liked it far more than any of her cozy mysteries. I think that's because I found Afton to be incredibly likable and very tenacious in a story that seemed ripped from the headlines.

An infant girl goes missing in the middle of the evening. Her babysitter is battered and remembers very little of the man who attacked her. Parents of the infant are desperate. With that, the investigation gets underway.

Afton is called in to help the police department with the infant's parents. Both are incredibly upset and want their daughter back. As she and her fellow officers dive into what few clues exist, Afton begins to suspect that this isn't the first time. When the body of an infant is found, the case really heats up and Afton finds herself taking a deeper role in solving these crimes.

The thing you need to know right from the start is that it's no mystery as to who took the infant. The mother and son kidnapping team are identified in the opening. That said, it's the "why" that becomes compelling. When I did find out, I admit to feeling a little let down. I think it's because I've seen police drama shows take that route too many times. Despite that complaint, I was drawn in from the start.

I do have high hopes for this series. I want to see Afton grow as she works on more cases. I really want to see more from Max, the detective she works with. I'd love to seem him take on more focus and have them be equal players in future novels.

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