A reluctant 4 stars. Fascinating tough woman "child finder," but ugly descriptions of pedophilia that stay with you. Vega and Cap form one of those interesting partnerships -- two flawed people working against myopic police as well as distraught parents in a race to save two missing girls. I would have read the next in what promises a series, but the evil described against young girls is too mind lingering.
In this freshman novel by Louisa Luna she introduces readers to Alice Vega. Alice is a California based bounty hunter who becomes a specialist in finding missing children. When two young sisters are apparently abducted in a seedy Pennsylvania town Alice is brought in by the family to try and recover the girls. Operating away from her home base she seeks out local assistance and recruits Max "Cap" Caplan, a former police detective who left the force under a cloud. Cap's reluctant to join Vega but when she clear up his latest case for him (he's a private investigator) he is on board. It doesn't hurt that the divorced Cap finds the single Alice attractive giving him some more motivation besides rescuing the missing kids.
The story is well told and Luna does a good job of building suspense as Vega and Cap follow very thin leads as the case grows increasingly colder. The ending came as a surprise and though it seemed a bit abrupt to me but clearly set up for a sequel. Like a couple other reviewers here I agree that the character development of Vega could be better- I get that Luna wants her protagonist to be somewhat of an enigma but failing to give us much background makes her hard to relate to as a reader. Still, there's plenty of room for growth in the next book and I look forward to reading it.
I read a review of this book on the NPR site, and I'm glad I followed Nancy Pearl's recommendation. This book grabs your attention from the beginning and does not let up. I finished it in a little over a day. The lead protagonists absolutely make this book. You'll find that you're interested in them from the very beginning. My only criticism is that the narrative lost a little bit of its punch at the end. I thought the ending was a little improbable, but overall, it didn't detract from my reading experience. One of the best thrillers that I've read in some time.
What a joy to find this novel, and what a delight Louisa Luna’s two oddball detectives are. I do hope we will be treated to a lot more Cap and Vega thrillers. The start of the book is not unusual - two little girls disappear while supposedly waiting for their mother. No one has seen anything; the police are baffled. The girls’ great-aunt, seizing control, calls in Alice Vega, who has had considerable success in finding missing persons. Vega in turn reaches out to retired cop Cap, who doesn’t want anything to do with Vega or his former colleagues. But Vega has her way of getting people hooked. Louisa Luna is an outstanding writer, and her main strength lies in the characterisation of Vega, Cap, and his sharp-as-a-needle daughter. Cap and Vega are very much the opposites of each other, which leads to clashes but also a growing trust in each other as they find themselves in murkier and murkier waters. Thoroughly recommended.
A beautifully written, complex, dense, character-driven mystery with indelible protagonists and no shortage of bad guys. In some stories the criminal's motivation seems trite or implausible to me. This one was deeply twisted but believable ~ I did not have an inkling what was coming! By turns hilarious, poignant, suspenseful, and ultimately ~ deeply satisfying. My ONLY regret is that I have to wait for the next book ~ please write as fast as you can, Ms. Luna!
This is a fantastic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages to the very end. Extremely well written with gritty, but loveable, main characters, the story takes you on a journey that makes you want to know what happens, but at the same time you don't want the book to end. I rarely leave book reviews, but this one was good enough that I needed to log in and leave my positive feedback. Buy this book today!
One of the best suspense novels I've read in a VERY long time. I found this on a list of books to read for the summer (maybe through NPR?) and wow! It was fantastic. I couldn't put it down. Thanks to the author for such a wonderful read!