Three children survive wholesale homicide, and Rizzoli and Isles (Silent Girl, 2011, etc.) have to find out how.
The Wards, the Yablonskis and the Clocks—what did they have in common, aside from being virtually wiped out in the same year? Not much, insists Detective Darren Crowe. Moreover, he’s quick to point out, only one of those decimated families merits attention from the Boston PD since the last time he looked, neither New York nor New Hampshire was in its jurisdiction. A fair point, Detective Jane Rizzoli has to acknowledge, much as she dislikes her cocky, ever overconfident colleague. And yet, maybe it’s just the fact that in all three cases a lone child is the escapee that niggles so persistently at the mother gene in Jane: two boys and a girl who—she can’t shake the feeling—might once again become targets in whatever unfathomable game seems to be afoot. Meanwhile, medical examiner Maura Isles is on her long-planned visit to Julian Perkins, the brave and resourceful teenager she’d bonded with recently under extreme, near-fatal circumstances, and to whom her attachment has been ongoing. Here, too, the mother gene is in play. The reunion site is a special school named Evensong, designed to serve as a harborage for children traumatized by violence. Tucked away in a remote corner of Maine, surrounded by woods, it’s further protected by a sophisticated security system. Not surprising, really, that Claire Ward, Will Yablonski and Teddy Clock should wind up under its beneficent wing. Nor is it surprising that someone clever, someone with malign intent, should also figure out Evensong’s attraction. Suddenly, even with Rizzoli and Isles on hand, that which made Evensong a haven is reversed into a potential trap.
Purplish prose and a wildly baroque ending won’t deter a devoted fan base.