Author: Isabel Allende
The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Yet, while their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda’s father, she’s reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her-Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco’s elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL.
While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature, like her father, the SFPD’s Deputy Chief of Homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world.
When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, discovering, before the police do, that the deaths may be connected. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother’s disappearance be linked to the serial killer? Now, with her mother’s life on the line, the young detective must solve the most complex mystery she’s ever faced before it’s too late.
So…if that wasn’t an intense blurb, I don’t know what is. I mean, you’ve got children (because they are children) involved in something so tremendously dangerous and it’s not a game. You can’t hit restart, you can’t gain an extra life or re-create a character, and yet they push on. If this isn’t mule-like stubbornness and an amazing resilience, I don’t know what is.
That aside, let’s move on to the story. It’s jam-packed, just like the blurb. But it moves pretty slowly in the beginning. All the main characters have a point of view in this story minus the kids not physically present in San Fransisco for the case. So while most of the characters are dealing with the murder and mystery in the area, Indiana goes around only seeing the good in the world and living her life without a care in the world. Ryan too leads a pretty uninteresting life as an ex-Navy SEAL in the beginning so their point of view seems redundant to the story. Boy, are you wrong if you think that!
It’s okay if you think that though-I did. This story is an amazing read. It’s pretty fast paced and the focus on multiple points of views allows you to see the occurrences from every angle. It allows you to see it from the view of an experienced cop, an enthralled teenager and worried, yet interested grandfather. It has it all. I also truly loved the author’s writing style It allowed for some beautiful descriptions and emotional connects with the protagonist as well as the other main characters.
That said, the way the plot is written can leave readers confused as to what is going on. It has that kind of effect where, as you skip from incident to incident, you struggle to keep up with all the threads that are thrown at you and for the first quarter or half of the book you are left struggling to sort out the different plotlines so that you know where each character is when you join them again. And unlike computer games, these characters don’t remain static. They have moved and continue living their life despite the reader not following them. This, to me, just made the story that much more exciting.
It’s not meant for the younger readers, it’s meant for teenagers up. It’s a page-turner and a beautifully fast paced. While it hurts no one to stop this book halfway, it’s going to grip you. It’s a very sly book that way. You start reading it and it seems like the book will let you pause in the middle. It lies! It will sneak up to you and ensnare you in its grip and by the time you realise that this book isn’t the kind of book you can start ten minutes before you have a class starting it’s too late. This book is meant for those days where it’s raining outside and you just want to grab a drink to sip and a book to curl up with. It made me want to read it in one go and while I might be singing praises for this book, it’s simply because the narrative style is excellent.
–As always, comment below to tell me what you think and whether or not you’ll read it…or have read it–
(gif from www.heathersanimations.com)