Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Scottish crime series writer and novelist McDermid's (The Retribution; Trick of the Dark) new stand-alone begins with a horrific abduction. Flying to America from London for a holiday, Stephanie Harker watches helplessly as her young charge Jimmy is kidnapped from an airport security checkpoint. The backstory begins when ghostwriter Stephanie takes a job penning an autobiography for Scarlett Higgins, a seemingly self-absorbed reality television star. Stephanie feels their relationship grow from that of a professional writer interviewing a client to one of friendship. But circumstances end in tragedy for the duplicitous Scarlett, leaving Stephanie to unravel the mystery that ensues. Using British colloquialisms and local perspectives, McDermid draws readers into a country where afternoon tea and biscuits may differ from our fare, but her riveting read reaches across cultures. A delightful reference at the end of the book compares American and British phrases. Verdict Nikki French fans will relate to the English setting and psychological aspects. [This title was previewed in editors' picks from BookExpo America, "From Magick to BBQ & Backlist," LJ 7/12.-Ed.]-Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Best-selling crime novelist McDermid has written more than 25 mysteries. Her latest puts a magnifying glass on the indignities and frustrations people experience with airport security, crafting a totally credible and nightmarish situation. A young woman and her five-year-old charge are traveling from London to Chicago's O'Hare. The woman is pulled aside for a search behind the Perspex enclosure. She sees a man dressed as a TSA agent lead the young child away and is faced with the Kafkaesque plight of being stuck and suspect while the child is kidnapped. After this amazing opening, McDermid backtracks to five years earlier, to the connection that this woman, a ghostwriter, has with a British reality TV show star. The suspense loses its steam here, as far too much time is spent on the UK's celebrity culture. When we return to the search for the young child, the novel picks up again, but valuable intensity has been lost. Not McDermid at her best, but a story that will generate palpable frisson for contemporary readers.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2014 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Scottish crime series writer and novelist McDermid's (The Retribution; Trick of the Dark) new stand-alone begins with a horrific abduction. Flying to America from London for a holiday, Stephanie Harker watches helplessly as her young charge Jimmy is kidnapped from an airport security checkpoint. The backstory begins when ghostwriter Stephanie takes a job penning an autobiography for Scarlett Higgins, a seemingly self-absorbed reality television star. Stephanie feels their relationship grow from that of a professional writer interviewing a client to one of friendship. But circumstances end in tragedy for the duplicitous Scarlett, leaving Stephanie to unravel the mystery that ensues. Using British colloquialisms and local perspectives, McDermid draws readers into a country where afternoon tea and biscuits may differ from our fare, but her riveting read reaches across cultures. A delightful reference at the end of the book compares American and British phrases. Verdict Nikki French fans will relate to the English setting and psychological aspects. [This title was previewed in editors' picks from BookExpo America, "From Magick to BBQ & Backlist," LJ 7/12.-Ed.]-Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.