Monday, December 31, 2018

Handwriting Analysis Mystery a Meh Kind of Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Handwriting analyst Anna Winger has only been in Parks, Indiana, for a few months when a shocking crime rocks the small community.  The body of a 24-year-old nanny has been discovered in a park restroom, her young charge missing.  It's assumed that the toddler was taken by his mother, perhaps to get him away from an abusive father.  To help determine what actually happened, Anna is called in to consult with local sheriff Russ Keller.  The single mother knows a lot about running away to protect a child from a violent parent—if the missing woman is running from an abusive ex, more power to her.

It's not long, however, before Anna's own son disappears.  Joshua has been unhappy in Parks.  Has he run back to their old town?  Or has something more sinister happened?  With two boys missing from town, the latter looks more likely.  Can Anna use her unique skill to help the police root out a murder and find the children?  What really happened to the kids?  Desperate to find Joshua, Anna will do anything she can to locate him, even reveal the secrets that could get her and her son killed.

After really enjoying Lori Rader-Day's newest novel, I found The Day I Died—the author's third—a bit of a disappointment.  While I enjoyed reading about the science of handwriting analysis, that wasn't enough to save this one from a meandering plot, unlikable characters, and a number of contrived story twists.  I finished the book because I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen, but in the end, I felt very meh about The Day I Died.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a few F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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