Two Girls Down

Two Girls Down
Louisa Luna, 2018

Premise: When two young sisters vanish from a parking lot, a private investigator and a retired cop might be the best hope of finding them. (Content warning: graphic violence, discussion of sexual assault and murder, including of children)

I borrowed this book from the library on a whim, based on an article that recommended it for fans of the show Broadchurch. Although l can see some superficial similarities and I think the book is well written, reading it mostly affirmed my previous belief that I don't really like thrillers.

I was pretty bored by the first main character. A single dad and former cop forced to retire under complex circumstances, he's warm and practical, pretty uncomplicated and predictable. Alice Vega the PI is much more interesting.

She's distant and analytical except when she's itching for a fight. She's good at manipulation and focused on results. It was only when l was writing this review that I realized she sounds a bit like some versions of Holmes, but she didn't feel very similar while reading. In any case, she was intriguing, and I enjoyed reading from her unique perspective.

The book as a whole though... not my cup of tea. I actually found it bizarre how (mostly) okay I was watching the first two seasons of Broadchurch (which deal with investigating child deaths) while on maternity leave, but this book, in which (spoiler) the titular kids are both found alive, was too upsetting. The descriptions of violence (toward Alice, mostly) were so tactile and the villains so deeply revolting and horrid that the pleasure I got from Alice as a character was overshadowed by the end. I also wasn't into the implied possibility of a future romance between the two main characters.

I did find the book compelling and a fast, gripping read. But the largest takeaway for me was a reminder to stay out of this subgenre!

No Rating - Can't be fair. 1-2 for my own enjoyment, maybe 4 for actual quality?


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