TWO GIRLS DOWN by Louisa Luna


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A young female bounty hunter partners with a disgraced former cop to find a pair of missing girls.

Single mother Jamie Brandt is late delivering her daughters to a birthday party, so she leaves 10-year-old Kylie and 8-year-old Bailey in the car while she runs into Kmart to buy a present. When she returns, the sisters are gone. Forty-eight hours pass without any leads, so Jamie’s wealthy aunt hires renowned California bounty hunter Alice Vega to assist with the search. Vega hops the next plane to Denville, Pennsylvania, only to be frostily received by local law enforcement. Enter Max “Cap” Caplan, a private investigator who was forced to resign from the Denville PD three years prior but still has friends on the force. Vega agrees to share her fee with Cap if he’ll call in some favors, and together they launch an investigation that shines a light on the darkest corners of rural Pennsylvania. Luna (Serious as a Heart Attack, 2005, etc.) excels at creating drama and sustaining tension, but her story relies too heavily on coincidence to fully satisfy, and the final plot twist goes unearned. Cap is an engaging and realistically flawed character, but the same can't be said for Vega, who is almost comically hard-bitten. The chapters told from her perspective are overwrought, and the attraction between her and Cap feels manufactured.

What starts as a harrowing children-in-peril tale falls prey to cliché and melodrama.

Pub Date: Jan. 9th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-385-54249-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2017


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