Susan Lentigo – Twenty years ago Susan’s seven year old daughter Amy was brutally raped and murdered. She is stuck in a sort of limbo. She still lives in the same house, has the same poorly paid waitressing job, only now she lives with her mother instead of her husband. He divorced her after Amy’s death and has moved on to a new wife and children. Danny was her high school sweetheart, the only man she has every loved. Since the divorce she has not dated – or even been interested in moving on…
Curt Jansen – has served twenty years for raping and murdering young Amy Lentigo. He is due to be executed in a matter of days. He has recanted his confession and adamantly proclaims his innocence.
Robert Pappas – the FBI agent who was on Amy’s case. Now retired from the Bureau, the Lentigo case has always haunted him.
Kyra – a rebellious teenager who helps Susan when she needs it most.
Susan’s old car breaks down on the way to North Dakota, where the execution of Curt Jansen is to take place. From then on she takes the bus and meets several very interesting characters along her way. Also on his way to North Dakota is retired FBI agent Robert Pappas who is seeking closure on the case.
What a satisfying read! As a reader of crime novels, it is always SO very gratifying when justice is served!
This story is told in a dual timeline format, with the present day and flashbacks to the time immediately after Amy’s murder.
Susan Lentigo is an underdog – a woman with no money, no power, yet she is courageous and strong. Despite her wavering thoughts about who killed her daughter, she does want to see justice done. I thoroughly enjoyed accompanying Susan on her harrowing trek from Upstate New York to North Dakota. She was a very empathetic character.
This was one of those novels that you just don’t want to put down. The pace was fast, the characters and setting vividly portrayed, and the writing skillful.
The title was a perfect fit for the novel as Amy’s little plastic bead necklace played a pivotal role in the plot.
Although the subject matter of this novel is dark, the book itself didn’t feel dark. If anything, I found it upbeat for most of the time probably due to Susan’s focused sense of purpose. The suspense ramped up and up until the denouement. I can heartily recommend this novel to all lovers of crime fiction and psychological thrillers.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Oceanview Publishing via NetGalley
Publication date: Sept. 7, 2021 – Paperback publication date: June 21, 2022
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
ISBN: 9781608094585 ASIN: B08SR91BD4 – 321 pages
Matt Witten, a graduate of Amherst and Brandeis Universities, is a TV writer, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. His television writing includes such shows as House, Pretty Little Liars, and Law & Order. His TV scripts have been nominated for an Emmy and two Edgars, and he has written four mystery novels, winning a Malice Domestic award for best debut novel. He has also written stage plays and for national magazines.
Killer Story is his most recent novel. His previous novel, The Necklace, has been optioned for film by Appian Way and Cartel Pictures, with Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producer.