Jove, Oct 2001, 6.99, 336 pp.
Syracuse, New York Detective Vince Donovan always keeps his professional distance during an investigation, but this one haunts him due to the desperate pleas of Sara Prague. No happy ending as Vince and his partner discover the murdered corpses of little Bobby and Kara. A few days later, Chief Rogers removes his two detectives from the case as the FBI claims jurisdiction since similar homicides in the nearby states have also occurred. The Chief informs Vince to take leave or see the shrink because he seems haunted and is acting obsessed.
Unable to drop it, Vince follows his only clue, a library book that takes him to Dilmun, New York. He meets Holly Newman, who years ago managed to escape a similar abduction, but whose sister is assumed dead. The culprit resides in prison, but Vince thinks otherwise. He believes the answer is locked inside the mind of Holly if he can only reach her, but he never expected to love her too.
THE GINGERBREAD MAN is an exciting non-stop thriller that fans of police investigations, serial killers, and romantic suspense will read in one sitting. The tone is set early as the audience will feel as haunted by the Prague siblings and their pleading mother as much as Vince. Other characters grab the audience in similar fashion as the cast adds depth and chills to this stalwart story line. Maggie Shayne deserves wider recognition for her strong portrayal of the trauma left with survivors struggling to overcome tragedy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner