Social worker Ellen Moore is a busy, busy woman. Married, with two young children and an infant, her time and her sleep is precious. When she gets a call in the early hours, she knows that the day won’t end well. He friend on the police force, Detective Joe Gaddey wants her to talk to a four year old boy who was found in a park near the body of his dead mother.
Just like a similar murder thirteen years ago, the mother was killed by blunt force trauma to the head. Her young son, distraught beside her.
Between them, Ellen and Joe discern the boy’s name and begin to investigate the murder.In the mood for a short read as I transition from one novel to the next, I thought I’d pick up one that I had purchased some time ago. The prequel to the author’s “Little Mercies“, this novella introduces social worker Ellen Moore.
A quick read, it was nonetheless compelling with a lot of ground covered in only 45 pages. It certainly held my interest, and I would eagerly read the following novel to learn more about the characters.
If I have one quibble, it is that Ellen’s life seems just too perfect. Although tired, she doesn’t seem otherwise stressed about her work/life balance. Her husband, without griping, delivers the children to school and the baby to the babysitters, washes, diapers, and feeds the children, never knowing exactly when Ellen will arrive home – if at all. This just didn’t seem realistic to me. Perhaps the family will fall short of perfection in the next book?
The story was interesting, and the killer a real surprise. Recommended!
Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eight novels. Her most recent novel “This Is How I Lied” is available now.Heather was born in Wagner, South Dakota and now lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running. She is currently working on her next novel.