Saturday, January 13, 2018

Just Jennifer

The Girl in Times Square by Paullina Simons
Originally published thirteen years ago in Australia, this dense novel begins when Lily’s roommate Amy disappears but quickly turns into Lily’s story when she has trouble paying her rent, cannot turn to her self-absorbed, often greedy family; she then is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and her life oddly becomes intertwined with Spencer, the NYPD detective assigned to Amy’s case.  As Lily helps Spencer uncover what he needs to know to find Amy, and as she begins the battle of a lifetime, she begins to uncover things about her past, things that surprise and startle, but help pieces fall into place about her life.  It is the characters, their stories, and their souls that are important to the plot, that keep the plot moving forward.  Mystery and intrigue add additional interest in this book that deserves wide-spread readership and is sure to win more fans for Paullina Simons.

Look for Her by Emily Winslow
Annalise Wood disappeared as a teenager while riding her bicycle home from school just outside of Cambridge in 1976.  In 1992, a body was found in a shallow grave that was declared to be Annalise, though the murderer was never found.  Annalise achieved a morbid celebrity status in her town of Lilling, and decades later, several events associated with Annalise arise bringing the case back to the forefront and causing the cold case unit of the local police department to take a closer look.  Local psychologist Laura Ambrose has two young women seeking her services within a short time of each other, each claiming a connection to Annalise.  DNA evidence surfaces and gives Investigator Morris Keene hope that he may be able to restart his career; teaming up with his former partner, Chloe Forhmann, just back from maternity leave, he begins to retrace steps and clues, unearthing more questions than answers, questions that change the way everyone has thought about the Annalise Wood case for over a quarter of a century.  Is it possible she had a child during the year she was said to be in France? Is there a connection to the recent drowning of a young woman?  And why does everything keep pointing in the one direction that makes no sense?  Slowly and carefully, layers are peeled back, revealing a much different story than was first told, creating a new picture which will turn everything about the case on its heels and change everything.  Deliberate, thoughtful plotting leads readers through a twisty narrative until the final shocking conclusion.

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