Title and Author: The Forgotten Girl, by David Bell (Uncorrected Proof)
Publisher: New American Library, part of the Penguin Group
Expected Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Target Audience/Age Group: Adult
Part of a Series? No
Will the Reviewer Keep It In His/Her Library? Maybe
We were excited to get a mystery because several of us like that genre. This one has a somewhat mundane plot revolving around the disappearance of a high school kid many years before the events in the book. The high schoolers are all grown now, with kids of their own.
Jason Danvers moved back to his hometown after losing his job in New York City. His best friend, Logan, was the kid who disappeared. Jason's sister Hayden shows up one night asking Jason & his wife to look after her teenage daughter for a couple days, but she doesn't come back to retrieve the child. Jason's good friend Regan is also involved (it's nice to see a man and woman be friends without sexual or romantic tension.)
The mystery is non-existent. Really. At least not to anyone who's read much or watched any TV. It's harder to describe the characters. They aren't cliches, though their actions are. The author makes you understand them and even care about them because they are complex, like real people. Logan's mother is a good example. It's widely assumed she knows what happened to Logan and is hiding him. I won't tell you if she did or not, but you really understand her when you've finished the book.
I gave this book the MMWR test. It flunked because it was obvious what happened to Logan. It passed because I cared enough about the characters to read the middle. I'd try another book by this author because he writes people well.