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Paradise Falls
     

Paradise Falls

by Jonnie Jacobs
 

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Fifteen-year-old Caitlin Whittington, last seen waiting for a ride home from school, is the second girl in Paradise Falls to disappear in five months. Fears grow that she won't be the last as the town begins to suspect a serial killer might be loose.

With her daughter's disappearance, Grace Whittington makes some surprising and unsettling discoveries about her

Overview

Fifteen-year-old Caitlin Whittington, last seen waiting for a ride home from school, is the second girl in Paradise Falls to disappear in five months. Fears grow that she won't be the last as the town begins to suspect a serial killer might be loose.

With her daughter's disappearance, Grace Whittington makes some surprising and unsettling discoveries about her stepson, Adam. When she uncovers information that seems to implicate him, the fault lines of a happily blended family crack wide open.

The case falls to Detective Rayna Godwin, who is hampered by memories of her own murdered daughter and the suspicion that there is more to the string of unsolved disappearances than meets the eye. When her ex-lover, FBI agent Jack Cody, is called in against Rayna's wishes, her job becomes even more difficult.

And Adam, scared and stung by the distrust of those closest to him, is afraid to speak the truth.

Paradise Falls is the riveting and provocative tale of a family torn apart by divided loyalties and a dedicated detective who meets her worst fears head on. The razor sharp twists and turns will hold readers captive until its final, explosive conclusion.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
When Oregon teenager Caitlin vanishes one afternoon, her family fears the worst, especially since another girl went missing just a few months earlier. Widowed police detective Rayna Godwin already suffers from similar nightmares because only four years earlier her own daughter was murdered in San Jose. Rayna thought her job would help her heal, but clearly violence is no stranger to small towns. The slow, dripping tension gains the force of a blasting fire hose when evidence points to Caitlin's stepbrother and the seemingly happy, united family collapses like a house of cards. A troubling suspicion nags Rayna until she finally acknowledges that her past factors into the current cases. Worse still is her slowly dawning realization that a copycat killer is at work. VERDICT Jacobs's (Kate Austen series; Kali O'Brien series) psychological thriller trots out an FBI connection, plenty of red herrings, and a chilling conclusion. Her strong suit is her insight into maternal anguish, though at times the characters' internal musings and despair can overwhelm and stymie the suspense. Readers who enjoy Jodi Picoult or prefer psychological suspense to pure investigation may want to try Jacobs's latest stand-alone (after The Only Suspect). [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/11.]
Kirkus Reviews
The abduction of a teenaged girl sends a happily blended family into a tailspin. It took hard work for widowed Grace Whittington to win the trust of her new husband Carl Peterson's two children, awkward, bookish Adam and needy, unattractive Lucy. But now the two have come to rely on affectionate Grace, so different from their driven professional mother Mimi. They've also bonded with Grace's daughter Caitlin, treating her as a true sibling. So when Caitlin disappears while waiting for her father, Jake, to pick her up from school, all the members of the household seem equally stricken. But as Rayna Godwin, the newcomer in Paradise Falls' tiny detective force, starts to investigate, she finds evidence that Adam's relationship with Caitlin may not have been so innocent—evidence that sets Grace at odds with Carl, who wants only to protect his son. Under pressure from local newspaper columnist Seth Robbins, who repeatedly questions her competence in print, Rayna struggles to connect Caitlin's disappearance with the murder earlier that year of her schoolmate Karen Holiday. She also struggles with her memories of her own daughter's murder and with her complicated relationship with Neal Cody, the FBI agent sent to help with what's beginning to look like the work of a serial killer. Jacobs (The Next Victim, 2007, etc.) gives her story good bones, then swathes it in layers of brooding introspection and musing on family dynamics that muffle its punch.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781481922913
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
02/16/2013
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
636,801
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

Meet the Author

Jonnie Jacobs is the author of fourteen mystery novels and several short stories.

She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from UC's Boalt Hall School of Law. She is an active member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and has served on the Edgar awards committee. She is a frequent lecturer on both the craft of writing and the world of mystery fiction.

A former practicing attorney, she lives near San Francisco with her husband and now writes full time.

KATE AUSTEN SERIES (in order)
Murder Among Neighbors
Murder Among Friends
Murder Among Us
Murder Among Strangers

KALI O'BRIEN SERIES (in order)
Shadow of Doubt
Evidence of Guilt
Motion to Dismiss
Witness for the Defense
Cold Justice
Intent to Harm
The Next Victim

NON-SERIES BOOKS
The Only Suspect
Paradise Falls
Lying With Strangers (forthcoming December 2013)

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