For feisty Los Angeles crime reporter Molly Blume, life is good. She is newly married (to the adoring and adorable Rabbi Zack), and her latest true-crime book is a hot seller. However, when an overardent fan’s attentions arouse Molly’s suspicion, her thoughts turn uneasily to stalkers.
But the fan, Reuben Jastrow, swears that he desperately needs Molly’s help in finding his eighteen-year-old daughter, Hadassah, who has run away from home to be with a man she met on the Internet. Molly hesitantly agrees–and immediately has regrets. For Reuben hasn’t told her the whole truth. The more Molly looks for clues to the missing girl’s fate, the more she wonders: Is Hadassah a random victim of a predator, or is the girl a pawn in a scheme of revenge against her family?
It’s a long, deadly path that stretches before Molly, a path mined with hidden passions and festering secrets. And it ends with a final twist and an unnerving truth: What we don’t see can lead to danger . . . and tragedy.
Molly Blume, crime columnist and amateur detective, has lost some of her mental crispness in Krich's lukewarm fourth suspense novel (after 2004's Grave Endings). Somewhat reluctantly, she agrees to look into the disappearance of the 18-year-old daughter of a rabbi who was once her teacher. The investigation leads her in myriad directions to dangerous Internet chat rooms, suicidal teenagers, academic cheats most of which turn out to be red herrings the size of orcas. Meanwhile, Molly fiddles endlessly with her theories, rehashing the same bits and pieces until readers are begging for some action which comes all in a rush at the end and has little to do with the information Molly uncovered. Krich's usual solid plotting suffers from overwriting and from credibility issues. After the missing teenager turns up midway through the book, Molly has no reason to continue poking around. But Krich hasn't lost what may be her greatest strength: her ability to invite readers into the world of Orthodox Judaism or to allow us to share vicariously in its rituals and the warmth of its community.