Friday, January 1, 2021

Review: No One Saw by Beverly Long

by Beverly Long
Release Date: June 30th 2020
2020 MIRA
Softcover Edition; 384 Pages
ISBN: 978-1488056130
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

Baywood police department detective A.L. McKittridge is no stranger to tough cases, but when five-year-old Emma Whitman disappears from her day care, there isn’t a single shred of evidence to go on. Neither the grandmother who dropped her off, nor the teacher whose care she was supposed to be in, can account for the missing child. There are no witnesses. No trace of where she might have gone. There’s only one thing A.L. and his partner, Rena Morgan, are sure of—somebody is lying.

With the clock ticking, A.L. and Rena are under extreme pressure as they discover their instincts are correct: all is not as it seems. The Whitmans are a family with many secrets, and A.L. and Rena will have to race to untangle a growing web of lies if they’re going to find the thread that leads them to Emma…before it’s too late.
My Thoughts
No One Saw is the second entry in the McKittridge series and I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than the first book in the series.  There was much more depth to this book, both in the story and in the character development, and since this is a book about child abduction, I definitely appreciated how the author handled the sensitivity of the topic in this book.  Murder mystery books about children always make me apprehensive.
First of all, I really enjoyed the character development in this book, much more than in the first book.  A.L. was a much more developed and interesting character who finally found something to enjoy outside of his job, and even enjoyed himself on a trip.  The secondary story line with his daughter about that whole trip was fun and I liked the exploration into family units and family dynamics that went into that little story as it gave you a chance to learn more about A.L. and the relationships he has with his ex-wife, his daughter and his new girlfriend.  That whole story line also led into one of the main themes of this book, lying.  It was lies and untruths that led many of these characters to do some of the things they did and I found the unweaving of all of that quite fascinating.
However, I do wish the author spent time developing her secondary characters  and giving them more of a personality.  Furthermore, the main detectives could be a bit egotistical at times, and I did start to get irritated with the female detective, or rather the author's development of her character and the whole 'baby' issue. I have no issue with her wanting to have a baby and the desperation she feels, but she is definitely much more than that and that is where I have a problem, when the author decides her value lies in that.  
This book had many more layers to it than the previous book and I appreciate the effort the author put into developing a more complex story.  The story line was interesting and I really do enjoy police procedurals as it's like peeling back the layers of an onion. However, while there were a few surprises in terms of certain characters' motivations, I wasn't surprised when it came to the unveiling.  And while the first half of the book was suspenseful, the second half felt like the author had to throw in a bunch of red herrings to keep the reader off the scent of the trail and lead the detectives on a merry chase, and this is sort of where she lost me a little bit.  I definitely like it when an author leaves it up to the reader to try to figure things out and doesn't try to explain everything, but when you get frustrated over detectives making stupid choices, it leaves a bad feeling in your mouth.  
No One Saw was much more thought-provoking and interesting than the first book in this series, and while the main characters were more developed, I wish the author had spent time developing her secondary characters a bit more.  And while I enjoy this author's writing style as she doesn't give away a lot of information and leaves it to the reader to figure things out, the second half of the book really slowed it down for me as if the author understood the reader could figure out who did it and needed some red herrings to stop the reader from figuring it out, but it didn't work.  You could read this as a standalone if you wish, and I will definitely be taking a look at the next book in the series when it is released as there was enough of interest in it for me to continue the series.    



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