STRAWGIRL by Abigail Padgett


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 Another nasty case for manic-depressive San Diego child-abuse investigator Bo Bradley (Child of Silence, 1993): the rape-murder of three-year-old Samantha Franer, whose distraught mother Bonnie commits suicide hours after her lover, French Canadian Paul Massieu, takes off for the Adironidacks with her surviving daughter Hannah. Amid the feeding frenzy of anti-Satanist investigators led by self-promoting pop psychologist Dr. Cynthia Gamage, Bo, catching up with Massieu and Hannah atop Shadow Mountain (home of the Seekers, an enclave of people convinced they've had or will have contact with extraterrestrials), elects to buck the system by pretending they've escaped to Canada and returning them secretly to San Diego in the interest of Hannah's fragile sanity--even as the killer, whom Hannah identified only as ``Goody'' before she lapsed into muteness, plots further violence under cover of the Satanist paranoia. Painful, powerful, and wholly original. Even more radically than in her striking debut, Bo's gutsy work redefines the role of the detective in a darkly contemporary society.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-89296-489-8
Page count: 256pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993


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