Little Girl Gone (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
Setting – Minnesota/Wisconsin
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Release Date – July 5, 2016
Hardcover: 336 pages
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTML2
In the first Afton Tangler thriller, the unforgiving cold of a Minnesota winter hides the truth behind an even more chilling crime…
On a frozen night in an affluent neighborhood of Minneapolis, a baby is abducted from her home after her teenage babysitter is violently assaulted. The parents are frantic, the police are baffled, and, with the perpetrator already in the wind, the trail is getting colder by the second.
As family liaison officer with the Minneapolis P.D., it’s Afton Tangler’s job to deal with the emotional aftermath of terrible crimes—but she’s never faced a case quite as brutal as this. Each development is more heartbreaking than the last and the only lead is a collection of seemingly unrelated clues.
But, most disturbing of all, Afton begins to suspect that this case is not isolated. Whoever did this has taken babies before—and if Afton doesn’t solve this crime soon, more children are sure to go missing . . .
Author Gerry Schmitt is also known as cozy mystery writer, Laura Childs. Warning – this is not a cozy mystery!
The story opens with Marjorie Sorenson at a doll show selling her “reborn dolls” (definitely not something I would buy). When Susan Darden shows her interest in the dolls she never could have imagined the terror that would follow.
Afton Tangler is a family liaison officer. She is assigned to a child abduction case, Susan and Richard Darden’s case. It turns out to be a difficult case and she works very closely with Detective Max Montgomery and the FBI to find the baby and the kidnapper/s.
I was drawn into this book immediately. The story is told from multiple points of view and for me this made the story exciting and fast paced.
I liked our introduction to Afton. She is a divorced mom, raising her two daughters, who just happened to receive some impressive vehicles as part of her settlement. She is an intelligent woman with a stick to it attitude. She and Detective Montgomery work so well together. Afton hopes to be a detective someday and working with Max may be help speed up the process. I really enjoyed the way the investigated this case and followed the leads. Sometimes into very dangerous situations. The chief of police did give them a lot of leeway in this case leading me to think he knows more about Afton that we readers do at this point. I am anxious to see where these characters go in the future and excited to learn about their families and any past they may have.
The story does have a very creepy start and Marjorie is a really creepy person and so is her son. They really did make my skin crawl. After the first chapters it turns into more of a police procedural story but they are revisited throughout the whole book.
All of the characters are well written and realistic from the Dardens to their teenage babysitter and the other officers and agents. Even the over the top, pushy reporter, seemed just like a Fox broadcaster.
I loved that the story starts in Minnesota and that clues lead them to Wisconsin, and the way the law enforcement agencies worked together.
The author is off to a great start for this series. The main characters are engaging and the story was interesting with a edge of your seat ending. I am looking forward to book #2.
About The Author
Gerry Schmitt is the author of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, and, writing under the pseudonym Laura Childs, the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy collecting art, travel, and their two Shar-Pei dogs.
Written as Laura Childs
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