International Kittens of Mystery by Chris Dolley

International Kittens of Mystery by Chris Dolley
Publisher: Book View Cafe
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Xerantheumum

In an uncertain world there is one organization that stands head and small furry shoulders above the rest. Whenever the planet is in danger – be it from giant balls of wool or bands of renegade squirrels – only one group is guaranteed to answer the call.

The International Kittens of Mystery!

This is a journal of their stories. For the first time, cameras have been allowed into one of their top secret training camps – Training Camp Alpha. A camp where, under the supervision of pet humans, recruits are shown not only how to save the world but also how to manage their secret identities.

If you like a fun story with pictures of cute kittens saving the planet, this is the book for you.

The first few pages introduce a reader to the goal of the international kittens and their technology, like wickerbowl personal transporters, the orbiting kitten command center, and the stars of the book, Kai (Persian/Tabby), Xena (Tabby) and The Tribbles (Five Bright Orange Gingers). I was immediately charmed, enchanted and hilariously entertained.

The book is illustrated with actual photos of kittens, so this really appealed to the cat lover inside me. The imagined secret agent talents of kittens is a joyous hoot. I was tickled pink about the explanation as to why the kitten’s eyes were a funny color after flying practice and the application of the “Power of Cute”.

I cracked up about the alien death ray device and aliens from the planet, Sheep. Seriously, there are a lot of veiled pop culture references young kids may not get but their parents certainly will, making this little book a hit with kids and adults alike.

There’s even a short plot of mystery that the international kittens of mystery must solve – the president’s wife has been kidnapped! Who would do such a thing? How are they going to save the president’s wife?

This little book is too cute for words. Thank goodness for great kitten shots, secret agents and amazing feline ‘technology’ to save the day. International Kittens of Mystery was a fun read.

Fair Game by David J. Gatward

Fair Game by David J. Gatward
Publisher: Weirdstone Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Trouble in the Dales. A brutal gang of poachers. When one of the unsavories is killed, can a DCI stop a river of revenge from overflowing with blood?

Detective Harry Grimm is reaching another milestone in the Dales. As he completes the purchase of his new house, his plans for moving in are disrupted when a trespasser falls into a grisly calculated trap and bleeds out.

Tracking back to a recent violent confrontation in a local pub, Grimm and his team assemble a long list of suspects. But when a principal lead disappears in a potentially murderous payback, he fears it’s the start of an all-out slaughter across his idyllic countryside.

Can he halt a killer stalking human prey before the butchery destroys his beloved land?

DCI Harry Grimm is on the brink of making his biggest commitment yet to the Dales – signing on to purchase his own home. But life in the Dales continues along as normal, only this time some particularly grisly trouble is brewing. A small band of local poachers are roaming the area and many of the locals are taking matters into their own hands – and this ends up when a grisly trap turns deadly, and a man is left alone to bleed out in the dark night. Can Harry and his team figure everything out before more bodies are left behind in this idyllic small community?

I’ve been really enjoying the Grimm series and have found these last few books in particular to be strongly written and quite thick – with intriguing plots and numerous subplots all woven together to form a really engrossing and well layered story. Harry and his team are quite well meshed now, working well together and with solid relationships that are beginning to run really deep.

While I feel this extra depth and history between the characters would make it harder for a reader to pick this book (eleventh in the series) up by itself, I feel the story itself can stand well alone. It would be all the smaller interactions and deeper connection between the characters and their shared history that the reader would miss out on. The story itself – particularly this plotline – is very well encapsulated in this book and stands just fine by itself.

That said half the fun for me personally is seeing Harry and his team mesh and work together, and particularly Harry and his brother and how well their relationship has progressed and grown. All that is a real pleasure to read, and I feel adds a lot to the story. I feel the murder mystery is very well plotted and deep enough to keep me guessing – it’s a slower style police procedural plot but I feel the author really did an excellent job adding enough sub plots and false starts that it should keep even veteran mystery readers on their toes.

A great book with a number of linking plots and some exceptional small-town characters – this is a great British murder mystery and an excellent book I thoroughly enjoyed.

Little White Lies by Margaret Fenton

Little White Lies by Margaret Fenton
Publisher: Aakenbaaken & Kent
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Claire Conover is drawn into another mystery when the office of black mayoral candidate Dr. Marcus Freedman is bombed. Marcus is found safe, but his campaign manager Jason O’Dell is found dead in the rubble. Claire’s office gets a call about Jason’s daughter who was left at her daycare, and she becomes Claire’s latest charge. Further investigation reveals that Jason was living under an assumed name, and is really Jason Alsbrook, son of prominent local mine owner James Alsbrook. James holds many records in Alabama, including the most accidents and deaths in his mines. Any number of people would wish harm to he or his family. Claire works to keep little Maddie safe as she faces new challenges in her relationship with computer programmer Grant Summerville. She investigates Jason’s death with the help of her friend and reporter Kirk Mahoney, and they become closer, The addition of a foster child further complicates everything as she must make some decisions about her future with Grant.

There is one fatality after a Birmingham, Alabama mayoral candidate’s office was bombed. Social worker Claire Conover soon gets a call that 8-month-old Madeline O’Dell’s father did not pick her up from daycare. Claire is quickly drawn into the investigation by her reporter friend Kirk Mahoney. Will the two be able to find out who is responsible for the bombing? Was the black mayoral candidate the target?

This is book three of the social worker Claire Conover Mystery series. This is the first book I’ve read in the series, however, before I finished reading book three, I placed my order for books one and two. The story started off with a different writing style that I am not used to, but I quickly adjusted. I like to have a visual of the characters while I am reading about them. I did not get a visual of the characters and it could be that I am just starting with book three and the character opening descriptions were already told in the previous books.

The story is told from Claire’s point of view which worked well as it provided a full story. I don’t know much about Claire in the visual sense but after reading this book I feel I know her pretty well. I think I see a little bit of every woman in Claire. Her kindness, her need to help others, family oriented, focused on her job and the tendency to lose focus on having some down time for oneself. Claire is a busy woman. Claire has good intentions but does not seem like the settling down kind or it could be that she may not be settled down with the right person. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I felt sorry for Grant Summerville. He is a good guy, but it seems he takes a backseat to all that Claire has going on.

I am not judging Claire because I probably would have done the same thing. Claire mentioned early on that she has been worried and concerned about 13-year-old LaReesa so when she got the call in the middle of the night, she picked LaReese up and took her into her home, the home where Claire’s boyfriend Grant also lives. Like I said I am not judging but this makes Claire seem impulsive since there are guidelines and rules in place about social workers fostering children, not to mention she is spending a lot of time investigating baby Madeline’s case. But as I analyzed it some more, I wonder was this a subliminal way of ending a commitment Claire previously made? I also couldn’t help but wonder, is Claire’s life stable enough to foster a child? Claire is not perfect, and I think that’s why I enjoyed reading her story so much. Even though she has some faults, her intentions for LaReesa are good. She tries to give LaReesa what she needs, a home and a quality education by enrolling her in a good school system. I like that Claire listens to LaReesa and that she allows LaReesa limited freedom and explains why limitations and boundaries are necessary.

Kirk Mahoney and Claire did find out the details behind the bombing. I was confused about whether the police or FBI completed their investigation and if there will be any charges against the guilty person. The author gave enough detail and information to keep the story progressing. I liked that she included the different towns and locations in and around Birmingham so effortlessly throughout the story. My takeaway from the book is there were several forms of neglect in the book. Neglect for the lives of children, and others, neglect of business obligations, and the neglect of relationships.

This was an interesting and well told story that I really enjoyed reading. In fact, I haven’t read a book this fast in a long time. I think the reporter Kirk Mahoney and Claire make a good investigative team. I think Claire will do well with LaReesa. I am glad that LaReesa trusts and feels safe with Claire, however I wish Claire would have a talk with LaReesa about her (cursing) language. I look forward to reading book 4 to see how things progress with LaRessa and Claire.

Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris, Narrators: Janina Edwards, Shayna Small and Adam Lazarre-White

Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris, Narrators: Janina Edwards, Shayna Small and Adam Lazarre-White
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Audio)
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

It’s the summer of 1964 and three innocent men are brutally murdered for trying to help Black Mississippians secure the right to vote. Against this backdrop, twenty-one year old Violet Richards finds herself in more trouble than she’s ever been in her life. Suffering a brutal attack of her own, she kills the man responsible. But with the color of Violet’s skin, there is no way she can escape Jim Crow justice in Jackson, Mississippi. Before anyone can find the body or finger her as the killer, she decides to run. With the help of her white beau, Violet escapes. But desperation and fear leads her to hide out in the small rural town of Chillicothe, Georgia, unaware that danger may be closer than she thinks.

Back in Jackson, Marigold, Violet’s older sister, has dreams of attending law school. Working for the Mississippi Summer Project, she has been trying to use her smarts to further the cause of the Black vote. But Marigold is in a different kind of trouble: she’s pregnant and unmarried. After news of the murder brings the police to her door, Marigold sees no choice but to flee Jackson too. She heads North seeking the promise of a better life and no more segregation. But has she made a terrible choice that threatens her life and that of her unborn child?

Two sisters on the run—one from the law, the other from social shame. What they don’t realize is that there’s a man hot on their trail. This man has his own brand of dark secrets and a disturbing motive for finding the sisters that is unknown to everyone but him . . .

The sign of a good book is when you hate to get to the end because you will have to let the characters go or you are left with an emotional tie well after you have finished reading. “Anywhere You Run” is a historical suspense with in-depth characters that I got to know very well after approximately ten hours of audio play. Readers will start off knowing whodunnit but will be propelled to keep reading to know how the events unfold.

The author effortlessly delivers an enhancing reading experience that is told through alternating points-of-view. Several events set the tone in the beginning of the book. Three Civil Rights Activist (two white, one black) are killed by locals near Jackson, Mississippi and also around that time Violet Richards is raped by Huxley Broadus. Two strong sisters, Marigold (whos is 22 years of age — she’s the smart one with dreams of going to college to become a lawyer), and Violet (a year younger — she is the pretty one that makes fast decisions and does not have any dreams). While different, they are strong and determined women each with their own problems.

The author delivers a good idea of what life was like as a black woman in the South during the 60’s. The author kept history as it was including language fitting during the Jim Crow era. Violet sees the opportunity that Dewey Leonard offers to make her escape from Jackson after she kills Huxley. After Marigold confronts the father of her child and he wants nothing to do with her she settles for the proposal from her longtime admirer Roger Bonny. Both women are on the run, but can they truly escape what they are running from?

This is a masterfully scripted well paced story, and the author adds to the intensity when Mercer Buggs takes on the job of hunting down Violet. The characters and suspense of the chase kept the plot progressing. I wanted Marigold and Violet (Vera) to win, to find happiness, to turn their tragedy to triumph, for the sisters to heal and see redemption but there were so many dangers ahead of them. I loved the relationship between Marigold and Violet, they did not judge each other for their mistakes or faults, in fact each spoke highly of the other sister.

A story of loss, heartbreak but also bonds are made stronger. In a story like this I wasn’t sure how Marigold and Violet’s stories would end; I could only hope for a happy ending. No spoilers but I will confess I did not like the ending at first, but then I thought maybe in a funny way the author gave some accountability to everyone for all the wrongs that were done.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook. There is something about the author’s writing, the audio’s narration, the story in itself that I found incredibly gripping and wonderfully structured. If I could pick one word to sum up my thoughts, it would be resilience. The flower sisters, Marigold and Violet successfully withstood a difficult and challenging early life experience. I have a new favorite author and I will definitely look forward to reading more of her work. A highly recommend read for those that enjoy historical details told in a serious tone along with emotional subject matter surrounding the strength of sisters.

Capitol Secrets by Maureen Dean

Capitol Secrets by Maureen Dean
Publisher: Putnam
Genre: Recent Historical, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Laura Christen aspires to become the first female speaker of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. She and her beautiful daughter, Catsy, are in for a rough sprint. Has Laura’s past been impeccable and golden? Or are some long buried secrets about to unfold?

Lusty, dangerous and intoxicating.

I have to admit I picked up this book because I’d been watching a documentary on John Dean, Maureen Dean’s husband, and found out she was an author. I wanted to know more about what she’d written, so I looked her up at the library. This is one of the three books I found. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what I was going to get when I started reading it. Could be good. Could be bad. But why not try it?

Man, oh, man. I was blown away. This is a tawdry, intoxicating thriller of a story. It’s evident that the author moved and shook in the circles written about in this book because it hits rather closet to the bone. I have to mention this is a political thriller, but it’s not so much focused around politics and picking a side. It’s about a woman trying to be speaker, the powers that be trying to keep her from it, her past getting in the way and a whole lot more. Politics are really a sidebar.

Laura Christen wants to be speaker, but she’s made some interesting deals in the past and has some skeletons in her closet. What politician doesn’t? I liked the intrigue and thriller aspect of this story. There are tawdry bits, but I expected that and it only enhanced the story. There’s a lot of bargaining, wheeling and dealing and subterfuge in this world and the author really showed that.

This was an unexpected story that I loved. I will be reading more by this author. I suggest you do, too. Discover this hidden thriller gem.


A Question Of Guilt by Jorn Lier Horst

A Question Of Guilt by Jorn Lier Horst
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense//Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

In 1999, seventeen-year-old Tone Vaterland was killed on her way home from work.

Desperate for a conviction the police deemed the investigation an open-and-shut case and sent her spurned boyfriend, Danny Momrak, down for murder.

But twenty years later William Wisting receives a puzzling letter. It suggests the wrong man was convicted for Tone’s death.

And the real murderer is still out there.

Wisting is quickly thrown into a terrifying race against time where he must find the sender, decipher this mysterious letter and catch the real killer – before they strike again . . .

William Wisting is taking a well-earned break, staying home and getting some rest when an envelope arrives in his post. The letter inside only contains a single case-file number, one he has not seen before. Curious, Wisting finds it refers to a murder case back in 1999 of a young woman – one where the guilty party has already served his sentence of 17 years in jail. But then another envelope arrives, one that refers to a 2011 case Wisting himself was responsible for. Are the cases linked, and are they connected somehow to the current case where another woman has gone missing?

This is one of the latest novels in Jorn Lier Horst’s “William Wisting” series which I have enjoyed greatly over the years. A slightly slower paced, methodical police procedural mystery series set in Norway this Scandinavian crime series is quite exceptional. I love how it has a slightly different feel to American or British crime novels, a little more tense and slightly grittier the Scandinavian writing style is a bit of an acquired taste, but I really enjoy them.

Wisting is getting on in years – talking about retiring in a few more years – but what he lacks in youthful energy I really feel is made up for and very well writing with his seasoning and expertise. He can connect the dots faster in a case and since he’s been around the block more than a few times he can often make an intelligent guess where something is leading and show the younger officers how criminals often think and behave.

I thought this story was a good balance between the older cases and the current case being investigated. There is a bit of back-and-forth between the 1999 case and while I’d understand if some people didn’t like the time jumps, I feel they are very clearly explained and outlined and the facts and history explained in the earlier cases really helps show the bigger picture and how the current case is unequivocally tied to the previous cases – ones where innocent people have been sentenced and carried out jail terms. I thought the plotlines very well meshed, and the writing was crisp and gritty enough to really hold my attention.

An atmospheric murder mystery I found this to be an excellent book and a great addition to a series I really enjoy. Recommended.

All Or Nothing by John Carson

All Or Nothing by John Carson
Publisher: Vellum
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Practice makes perfect. Even in death.

DCI Harry McNeil is back at the helm, joined by his old friend, DI Frank Miller. He is juggling his private life with being a single father, running a new Major Investigation Team, and spending time with a woman who may or may not become more than just friends.

Edinburgh at New Year is a time for celebration, fun, and for one person, murder.

The festivities leading up to Hogmanay are tinged with fear as Harry’s team gets a shout when the murdered body of a woman is found floating in the Water of Leith near the docks.

A vicious killer has left his mark and Harry’s new team is put to the test.

But with time running out, the killer is going to be knocking on Harry McNeil’s door, in more ways than one…

It’s Christmas and DCI Harry McNeil is spending the festive season with his infant daughter, Grace, and his new “slightly more than a friend” female companion, Morgan. Just as Harry decides to go with the flow and welcome Morgan more firmly into his life, work intrudes with a particularly vicious killing that falls into the hands of his team. Can Harry juggle his many responsibilities in amongst all the craziness of the Christmas season?

This is quite a thicker book than many of the preceding Harry McNeil mysteries and I was really excited to find there were a number of solid plotlines all woven very well together. Add in Harry appears to be moving forward in his private life as well and there is quite a bit going on in this Scottish police procedural mystery/suspense novel.

Speaking personally, I do feel it’s a little too soon for Harry to be getting entangled in another woman and what appears will become yet another serious relationship for him. It’s only been about seven months since the very surprising death of his wife and ex-working-partner, Alex, and with a fairly small baby daughter (also only seven months old) and two other previously serious romantic relationships behind him a part of me strongly thought this would be a good time for Harry to focus on Grace, his work and getting the non-romantic aspects of his life on solid ground. So I found it hard to get on board with the blossoming relationship with the psychiatrist and felt this aspect to Harry’s life was a little shoe-horned into the story. I especially thought this considering his sister-in-law is living in his house as a mostly full-time career for baby Grace while Harry is off solving crimes at work. It all just didn’t really come together for me, and I didn’t feel a good connection to Morgan’s character, either.

That said – I was really impressed with the multi-layered nature of the murder mystery side of the plot. There is what appears to be an accidental death of a hiker falling off a bridge in Glasgow and body of a murdered woman floating near the docks in Edinburgh – so Harry and his team more than have their hands full as they try to uncover what’s going on and what plans the vicious killer has. I found this aspect of the two plotlines and how the Glasgow and Edinburgh teams worked solidly together was exceptionally well written and had the comfortable, familiar banter that I’ve come to expect from a Harry McNeil book. All the regular characters that a reader wants from the previous novels are present and while the banter and interactions might seem a bit much for readers who are newer to the series, I personally loved it.

Readers looking for a rambunctious romp of a Scottish police procedural mystery should find this a really good read and I thought this was a great addition to the series. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Fatal Hunt by Michelle Godard-Richer

Fatal Hunt by Michelle Godard-Richer
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

After being widowed and surviving the wrath of a serial killer, Jessica believes her misfortunes are over. She’s reunited with her first love, Jon, and together, with her son Bryce, and a baby on the way, they’re living their happily ever after on their ranch in Montana. That is until secrets, lies, and a formidable foe from Jon’s past emerge to shake the foundation of their relationship, forcing them to flee for their lives.

A decade earlier, Jon worked undercover for the FBI. He infiltrated Hugh Jones’ Kansas City Mob, and almost destroyed his empire. Unaware of the breach in his own defenses, Hugh, obsessed with revenge, unleashes every weapon in his arsenal, targeting those Jon loves the most.

All seems to finally be going well for Jessica and Jon Kent until the head of the Kansas City Mob is set on seeking revenge for Jon’s betrayal. Will the Kent family survive this fatal hunt?

Fatal Hunt has an interesting and suspenseful plot. The characters are tender and likable, yet ferocious. Jon Kent has retired from working as an FBI agent and is very familiar to violence but yet he is a loving father, husband and farm owner. Head of the Kansas City Mob, Hugh Jones holds his title very well as he has a violent reputation but soon finds a soft spot. I like that the author showed the men’s strength, but readers also get to see their gentle side. The author definitely planted an emotional hook that remains throughout the chase.

The story is told from multiple points of view which I think was a great idea. This gives the reader the full story and helps the reader understand all sides of what is happening. In addition to being hunted by the mob boss this story has a lot going on. Secrets are revealed, a mysterious woman has helped Jessica on more than one occasion, there are twists and surprises that kept me reading. I thought the story had too much going on for one book and it would be better to spread out the side stories. Jessica was stalked by a serial killer, her son Bryce was previously kidnapped, her deceased husband is now a paranormal supernatural guardian, Jessica’s friend was murdered by her husband, and Jon is also a widow and now the family is on the run for their lives. There was just too much misfortune for such nice people to have in one novel. Even though the family had a lot going on, the relationship between Jessica and Jon was very endearing to read. The plot has an edge that gives something in addition to the romance, following Jessica and Jon along the states and Canada as they run from the army of killers chasing them.

I enjoyed the author’s way of telling the story. I can actually see myself witnessing the story firsthand because of the author’s skill with words. My favorite scene would be when the men had an encounter with Jessica’s aunt. Those men did not stand a chance against Aunt Debbie. She showed them what an old lady can do.

I enjoyed the story; it is well written, and I am glad I was able to finish until the surprising end. It didn’t reach my highly recommended list, but I would definitely recommend it to readers that enjoy an intriguing suspense that revolves around the protection of family.

Death in the New Land by Kaye George

Death in the New Land by Kaye George
A People of the Wind Mystery, #3
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Historical
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Enga Dancing Flower and her tribe have reached a place they can stay in safety. Or have they?

It’s clear the groups of other settlers in the area do not want more neighbors, and this is made even more evident when a male of Enga’s tribe is murdered, and a baby is kidnapped.

The future of the tribe is immediately put into question. Can Enga and her people find the killer and rescue the baby? Or will the security and bright future the tribe has dreamed of fall to pieces?

No one can hide the truth forever.

The mystery was exciting and well done. I appreciated how much time Ms. George spent reintroducing the main characters and explaining how their lives had changed since the events of the previous book. It gave me time to connect with everyone again, remember what I’d previously learned about them, and begin wondering who might be involved in Enga Dancing Flower’s latest case. She was the sort of character who thought carefully about her actions before making decisions, so this was a great decision from a character development perspective as well. Once the pacing picked up, I only became more emotionally invested in who was responsible for the murder and the kidnapping and if they’d be brought to justice. There is so much more I want to say about this, but I don’t want to spoil anything for other readers!

World building is especially important in stories like this one that are set so far in the past. The narrator painted a vivid picture of what life was like for hunter-gatherers in prehistoric times. It was difficult to tear myself away from this world, and I often found myself staying up later than usual or putting off what I could in order to read just a few more pages. There is definitely something to be said for creating such an immersive experience for the reader, and I will eagerly anticipate whatever the author comes up with next based on how many times I’ve enjoyed her world building abilities so far.

My review of Death in the Time of Ice mentioned some trouble I had with getting to know the large cast of characters when they were first introduced. It was a thrill to revisit these characters for the third time now that I know them so well. The periodic reminders of how certain people were connected to each other were helpful, too, as I settled back into their prehistoric society and found out what they had been up to since I last heard from them. I’d like to commend Ms. George for all of the hard work she’s put into developing her characters and giving them time to shine. Her efforts truly paid off here, and they were greatly appreciated by this fan.

This is the third instalment in the People of the Wind series. It is best read in order for character and plot development reasons.

Death in the New Land was well worth the wait. I was delighted by these characters and hope to hear more from them in the future.

When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris

When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Genre: YA (ages 14+), Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Action/Adventure
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

When you look like us—brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades—everyone else thinks you’re trouble. No one even blinks twice over a missing Black girl from public housing because she must’ve brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister Nicole just got caught up with her boyfriend—a drug dealer—and his friends. But she’s been gone too long. Nic, where are you?

If I hadn’t hung up on her that night, she would be at our house, spending time with Grandma.

If I was a better brother, she’d be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list.

It’s time to step up, to do what the Newport News police department won’t.

Bring her home.

He’s determined to find his sister, and no one will stand in his way.

I’ve read a few books like this one, but this was a fresh take on the ‘find my sister’ trope. It felt real. It was like reading what a friend would be saying. I felt for Jay immediately and I liked how he was human about the whole thing–first he thought she was missing and on drugs, then he started to realize it might be worse than he expected. He’s a good younger brother and he’s determined.

This read very realistically, too, in that this isn’t an easy investigation. As the title insists, for people like Jay, it’s not easy to find your missing siblings. The cops dismiss him, even though they know his grandmother, and the people he has to talk to aren’t the greatest characters in the neighborhood. It’s tough and as I read, which I flew through, I rooted for him to find her, but I also knew stories like this don’t always end well.

I liked his interactions with Riley and Bowie. Like a regular teen, Jay dismisses them at times, but realizes he needs more than just himself to make this work. Riley was my favorite character because she was more than she seemed and so sweet, but determined as well, and not willing to give up on Jay or his sister.

The twist at the end was one I didn’t see coming and I liked it. The ending was satisfying, though life rarely is satisfying, and I’m glad it turned out how it did.

If you want a story that will make you think, make you feel and root for the characters, then this might be the one for you. Recommended.