Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why Didn't You Come For Me? / by Diane Janes

It's been twelve years since her infant daughter Lauren's abduction and Jo Ashton continues to receive photographs of her baby in the mail, the words "I still have her" scribbled across the back. Even though she's remarried and moved with her new husband and stepson to an isolated part of the country, she still gets them. The police insist it's just a cruel joke, a creepy but harmless taunt by someone just wanting to stir things up. But Jo knows it's not just a prank. She knows that whoever sent them has monitored her every move and is at least sincere about letting her know it. And though she can't be sure of who or where the kidnapper is or even if they're telling the truth about Lauren, Jo has a gut feeling that her daughter's out there somewhere, still alive. There's another side to the story though, an even more sinister element reaching further back into Jo's past even before the birth of her daughter to a scarred, repressed childhood marked by horror, abuse and murder. As things in her life start to unravel, Jo's deepest hopes and darkest fears begin converging in ways she could never have foreseen.

Janes was nominated for a CWA (Crime Writer's Association) and Dagger award for her novel Pull of the Moon, a story of long hidden secrets in which a deathbed confession leads the protagonist down a path of intrigue and betrayal. It was a book critically acclaimed by both readers and critics for its psychological suspense and marked Janes as a noteworthy new author in the genre. Why Didn't You Come For Me? is another solid story concept with Janes effortlessly erecting a lurid, creepy tale. The demented premise of a woman being taunted by her child's kidnapper, a sordid past of the protagonist and a wonderfully situated setting all contribute to the book's appeal. The story is so good that the character of Jo doesn't quite measure up to the gravity of her situation. There are times where she seems as much a fish out of water as a heady protagonist and in certain instances, she's largely outweighed by the magnitude of the conflict. (MYS JANES)

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