She's Not There

She's Not There

5.0 2
by Mary-Ann Smith

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In Poppy Rice's second venture, the smart, outspoken FBI agent's vacation is rudely interrupted by a sinister murder

FBI agent Poppy Rice is, rather unwillingly, taking time off to recuperate from injuries sustained on the job. A few days into her ill-conceived vacation on Block Island with Joe, her sometime-lover and soul mate, she happens upon a corpse


In Poppy Rice's second venture, the smart, outspoken FBI agent's vacation is rudely interrupted by a sinister murder

FBI agent Poppy Rice is, rather unwillingly, taking time off to recuperate from injuries sustained on the job. A few days into her ill-conceived vacation on Block Island with Joe, her sometime-lover and soul mate, she happens upon a corpse dumped in the middle of the road.

The body of the victim, a young girl from a summer camp for overweight teenagers, is painfully contorted, her face frozen in a death scream. There are no visible wounds and the cause of death is a mystery. Although Poppy is no stranger to gruesome scenes, she is so disturbed by the murder that she can't help but defy her orders to rest. Then, just as she begins poking around, another body is found in the same condition as the first; this time, the pathologist reveals another similarity-the eardrums of both girls were ruptured.

Now Poppy must get to the killer before the killer gets to any more girls. With no clue as to the murderer's method or motive, she's going to need all the help she can get. But in the close-knit, tight-lipped Block Island community, secrets are kept-even deadly ones.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
FBI agent Poppy and her ATF field adviser boyfriend, Joe Barnow, encounter murder where they least expect it-on tranquil Block Island, where they've come for a much-deserved and long-awaited respite-in Smith's unsettling second Poppy Rice whodunit (after 2002's Love Her Madly). The strangely convulsed bodies of first one, then a second camper from the island's isolated camp for overweight teenage girls turn up, and a shockingly different view of paradise emerges-that of a tight community of old families whose legacy includes shipwrecks, slaves, hard times and buried secrets. Smith vividly illustrates that victims can come in all sizes and ages and that individual prejudices and inability to deal with the tough stuff of life can lead to devastating consequences. Author tour. (Feb. 3) FYI: Love Her Madly was chosen as a People magazine Page-Turner of the Week. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Smith's seventh novel and second Poppy Rice adventure takes place on Block Island, where our heroine is recuperating at paramour Joe Barnow's cottage from injuries sustained while working for the FBI. Poppy's light mood fades when she discovers the violently ravaged corpse of an obese young woman lying near the road. A recently established "fat farm" called Camp Guinevere has drawn several hefty young women to the island; when Poppy investigates, she discovers that the camp's director is barely trying to conceal his scam to soak wealthy parents who want thinner daughters. The mystery deepens as other heavy young females fall prey to the serial murderer, and Poppy and others restore morale to the camp by preparing huge quantities of food for the girls. Both the writing and the character development are weak, and the plot veers too often toward the patently ridiculous. Fans of Poppy Rice might enjoy this latest installment, but otherwise it is not recommended.-Michelle Foyt, Russell Lib., Middletown, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Somebody should warn law-enforcement personnel against vacations. Poppy Rice's escape to quaint, idyllic Block Island turns predictably into something much darker than her FBI work back in Washington when she discovers the body of ugly duckling Dana Ganzi, 17, in the crossroads just a stone's throw from the quiet B&B where Poppy's staying with her sweetie, ATF field advisor Joe Barnow. The girl must have been given some bad drugs, mutters Demerol-addicted Dr. Brisbane, and certainly Dana, who's been incarcerated along with two dozen unlucky plus-size misses in Camp Guinevere, had every motive for looking for trouble. When a postmortem finds the dead girl's system as clean of drugs as her body seems to be of external wounds, however, and any theories of a fatal accident are quashed by the death three days later of her fellow-camper Rachel Shaw, the mystery-which Poppy's decided to work on with sozzled Francis X. Fitzgerald, of the Rhode Island State Police-heats up. How and why were the two inoffensive junior league fat-farmers killed, and why did they rip their own clothes off before they died? Poppy amuses herself in crossing swords with Camp Guinevere's slippery, smiling director, Blair Irwin. But it's no joke when Brisbane-stoked rumors of plague clamp the island under quarantine and threaten her with a vacation that may never end-unless she's carried out in her own body bag. Ingenious stuff, though both Poppy and her supporting cast shine less brightly than in Love Her Madly (2002). Author tour

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4.32(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.95(d)

Read an Excerpt

Praise for Love Her Madly:

"You won't anticipate any of the surprise plot twists in this smart, sassy, good thriller." -The Philadelphia Inquirer

Meet the Author

Mary-Ann Tirone Smith is the author of six previous novels, including Love Her Madly (0-8050-6648-9), the first of the Poppy Rice Mysteries, which was chosen as a People Page-Turner of the Week. She has lived all her life in Connecticut, except for the two years she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

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She's Not There 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has great characters, gripping story line, and a surprise ending.
harstan More than 1 year ago
DC based FBI Agent Poppy Rice and her boyfriend ATF Field Advisor Joe Barnow go on a ¿required¿ vacation on Block Island, Rhode Island after her harrowing war in Texas (see LOVE HER MADLY). While riding a bike, Poppy finds the corpse of a teen. Poppy performs her civil duty by calling the police. A local physician concludes that the female victim died from using bad drugs, but an autopsy proves Dana was clean plus there were external injuries on the body. Three days later, a second teen is found dead. The two share in common attendance at Camp Guinevere, a camp for the obese. Police Officer Francis X. Fitzgerald investigates the homicides, but Poppy finds him and the ¿medical examiner lacking as the former spends most of his time drinking and the latter under the influence of a prescription drug. Thus Poppy does what she does best, conducting her own inquiries as to whom killed the two overweight farm campers even as the island is quarantined due to a reported plague epidemic. In her second engagement Poppy Rice remains a wonderful law enforcement investigator who cannot resist involvement even when it could cost her life. The ¿dual¿ investigations (local vs. Poppy) are fun to compare as one seems indifferently amateurish while the other passionately professionalism. Joe enables the reader to see the feminine side Of Poppy while the islanders add quirky amusing peculiarities to an enjoyable tale that means forty-eight states and several territories to go. Harriet Klausner