Tuesday, November 3, 2020

And Now She’s Gone

Author: Rachel Howzell Hall

Publisher: Forge Books

Year: 2020


This is a well plotted mystery with lots of twists and turns. But with Grayson Sykes, Author Rachel Howzell Hall has created a very real and endearing character and that is a triumph. 

We’re used to preternaturally smart or observant detectives in crime fiction. Think Sherlock or Poirot. They can look at some clues and put the pieces of the puzzle all together. But Gray Sykes solves her first case through dogged determination. She is such a very real character. Her pen runs out of ink while interviewing her client. She forgets to record a witness statement. She gets chocolate icing on her clothes. She doesn’t think to wear an outfit that helps her blend in on surveillance. She’s a rookie P.I. on her first case making rookie mistakes. And yet she persists. She’s determined to find Isabel Lincoln and a dog named Kenny G. 

Gray’s backstory also makes her an interesting character. She spent years in the foster care system until she was adopted by loving parents. She escapes an abusive marriage but is still haunted and hunted by her abuser. All that makes Gray a very complex, strong, smart, and very real character. 

The mystery itself has enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. It’s well plotted and keeps moving along with only a few slow spots. I’m a sucker for mysteries set in L.A. and I’m a fan of the author’s Detective Lou Norton series. (Check out that series if you haven’t yet.) So I was really looking forward to this book and I was not disappointed. I hope we see more of Gray Sykes in the future! 

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