In Reede’s (Blinked, 2017, etc.) thriller, a Texan private investigator makes headway in her search for her missing sister, who vanished three years ago.
Lana Madison has never stopped looking for her identical twin, Dania, even if the police evidently have. The 23-year-old has such a strong spiritual connection to her sibling that she’s certain that Dania is still alive. After dropping out of college, Lana consulted private investigator Ben Collins, who later hired and trained her. She’s skilled in self-defense tactics, which come in handy when two men abduct her; fortunately, it turns out that the perpetrators may be connected to Dania’s disappearance. Lana investigates them with help from “The Boys”—her computer-savvy pals Kit and James—as well as EJ, who was Dania’s prom date back in high school. One of the traffickers possesses bondage-torture videos, and although the images are blurry, Lana and EJ suspect that Dania is the victim pictured in the footage. Lana also works with fellow private eye Oscar “Oz” Cooke, whose teenage stepdaughter, Cassie, disappeared around the same time as Dania did. Meanwhile, a creepy, unknown stalker is watching Lana as her determination to find her sis puts her, and possibly her friends, in further peril. Reede’s flawed but resolute private eye is an exceptional protagonist. “I’m nobody’s punching bag,” she says—a statement that applies both to social settings and physical confrontations. At the same time, the author shows Lana to be emotionally conflicted, particularly when it comes to romance; she resists her attraction to multiple men (including EJ; Oz; her friend/personal trainer, Favor; and local police detective Samuel Norris), resulting in occasionally awkward—and funny—situations. Scenes from the unnerving stalker’s perspective offer memorable moments, and Lana’s investigation progresses at a steady pace throughout. The plot relies too heavily on coincidence at times, but the extraordinary ending is one that readers won’t easily forget.
An absorbing tale with a capable and complex detective.