Author: Gerry Schmitt
Series: Afton Tangler, #1
Published: July 2016, Berkley
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
In the first Afton Tangler thriller, the unforgiving cold of a Minnesota winter hides the truth behind an even more chilling crime...
On a frozen night in an affluent neighborhood of Minneapolis, a baby is abducted from her home after her teenage babysitter is violently assaulted. The parents are frantic, the police are baffled, and, with the perpetrator already in the wind, the trail is getting colder by the second.
As family liaison officer with the Minneapolis P.D., it’s Afton Tangler’s job to deal with the emotional aftermath of terrible crimes—but she’s never faced a case quite as brutal as this. Each development is more heartbreaking than the last and the only lead is a collection of seemingly unrelated clues.
But, most disturbing of all, Afton begins to suspect that this case is not isolated. Whoever did this has taken babies before—and if Afton doesn’t solve this crime soon, more children are sure to go missing . . .
My thoughts: While this is the first book by "Gerry Schmitt" it is not actually the first book by this author, as she has written a ton of books under the pseudonym Laura Childs. Why the difference? The books written by Laura Childs are all cozy mysteries and this one is more of a thriller - there is nothing cozy about this mystery!
What I found interesting about this book is that right from the beginning we find out who did it, so there's no mystery about that - the mystery is more about why they did it. I had to actually wrap my head around that fact at first because I was so surprised when we find out right away who commits the crime, but once I got past that, I was so curious as to how the rest of the book would play out.
I love starting new series...especially ones that I think have staying power and I think this one does. I really like the main character, Afton Tangler...she's smart, willing to take chances, she's a single mom and she's not a detective yet but is working her way towards that role - she's currently the family liaison officer with the police department.
This case kept me on my toes...the twists kept me guessing as that what would happen next and I really had a hard time putting this book down until I got to the end. It did have a bit of a creep factor, but I think that only added to the intrigue of it, and differentiated it from the cozy mysteries that this author (though by a different name) is already known for. I really think this is going to be a good series and I look forward to seeing how Afton grows as a character!