Sunday, July 3, 2011

Missing Persons

Missing Persons
Clare O'Donohue
Plume (penguin)
Just finished this in the car on the way back from Orlando - it was so good I kept reading it every chance I got. It is apparently the first in a series featuring Kate Conway, a freelance true crime TV producer. O'Donohue has worked in this field and her depiction reads true. Kate, busy looking into the disappearance of a sweet, pretty young nurse for a TV show also called Missing Persons, experiences a true crime in her own life when her estranged soon to be ex-husband dies under mysterious circumstances. She soon becomes the main suspect, befriends her husband's girlfriend, and has to deal with a kooky cast of characters including her husband's crazy mother, the overbearing mother of the missing nurse, her film crew, and the police.

The story is set in Chicago but it is a kinder softer Chicago than Sara Paretsky's with less detail and color. Nonetheless, the plotting is tight and twisting - and strings you along like one of those 48-hours like TV shows. The characters are very well drawn, flawed, interesting, and complex. The solution to the crime is not at all what I expected, actually I never figured it out at all, and kept reading to the end, anticipating the solution, - a very clever - and sad one - and for the pleasure of loner Kate's company.

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