Veteran novelist Joyce Maynard has returned with a coming of age story woven into a serial killer investigation that is both evocative and captivating.
[F]ar from a simple whodunit... [Maynard] deftly conveys that we are never truly safe, but that we can’t let fear stand in the way of our becoming who we want to be.
Maynard writes great characters and craft a story that will not let you go.
[T]he story of a broken family rocked by a real-life Bay Area serial killer. Rachel Torricelli and her younger sister, Patty, idolized their father, a homicide detective.... [I]n the summer of 1979, when murders begin occurring....[t]he girls’ father is on the case...putting [Rachel] and her sister in harm’s way. Maynard captures the way that memory works in fragments....a testament to Maynard’s narrative dexterity. This cinematic coming-of-age murder mystery satisfyingly blends suspense with nostalgia.
This title is loosely based on the Trailside Killer case that terrified Marin in the 1970s. Here the case is seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old, giving Maynard's thriller an interesting twist on what would otherwise be a simple reworking of a cold case of serial murder. Rachel is so focused on saving her father and her parents' failed marriage that everything else in the world around her is merely a blur. —Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA
The plot of Maynard’s eighth novel, although based on the story of the real-life Trailside Killer, strains credulity at times; it is less a thriller than an affecting portrait of the relationship between a father and his daughters. —Joanne Wilkinson
Cycling through big themes—love for a flawed father and a loyal sister; the pursuit of a serial killer; coming-of-age/receiving of family wisdom—Maynard's latest starts strong but fades....in a speedy, decades-later wrap-up that offers more tidiness than conviction. There's fluency and insight here but also a shortage of subtlety, with the book's underpinnings too visible through its skin.
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