Little, Brown, Oct 2003, 23.95, 327 pp.
Lennie, wife and mother of two, left the PTA meeting to go home late that night. However, she never made it back. Instead, she is found dead in a parking garage, the victim of a vicious mutilation.
Lennie's neighbor Tess is mortified with what happened, but hides her feelings to take care of the two kids and help her best friend's husband Alex copes with this tragedy. The police question Lennie's friends including Tess and her boyfriend, but find no clues as to motive and identity of the culprit. Family Liaison Investigator Ted Lacey makes inquiries, but soon after meeting Tess, they begin a secret tryst. However, her daughter Rosa vanishes without a trace leaving behind a hysterical mother and a baffled police force.
Though the story line travels at a deliberately slow pace, fans receive an insightful look at an English town on the verge of mass hysteria out of fear that they could be next. Readers who enjoy a leisurely pace will be hooked with the depth and understanding that the murder of a mom following an innocent event and then the disappearance of a young child does to the locals. Action fans need to go to California not England, but anyone who appreciates a slowly simmering police procedural cozy will want to read Julie Myerson's latest tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner