Little Girl Gone (Afton Tangler #1)

Author: Gerry Schmitt 

Publisher: Berkley 

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon 

Type: Novel

Provided by Publisher


Blurb: 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 . . .


Review: I would call this a scary, twisted mystery, with characters who were disturbing and creepy. And I wouldn’t have been quite as squicked out if I hadn’t seen some of those reborn baby dolls on a recent family trip to Tennessee. They are really eerie and just looking at them gave me the hee bee-jee bees. The fact that they were a part of this novel made it even more chilling and sent my imagining racing, especially considering the son’s taxidermy setup. Ick ick ick.

I really liked Afton, the protagonist in this story. She’s the Minneapolis P.D. community liaison, and her job is to keep in touch with local families who’ve been involved in horrible crimes like rape, murder, and kidnapping. At heart, though, she’s a curious woman who’s very interested in helping solve these cases. Sometimes that gets her into trouble…a lot of it. And sometimes more than trouble-what she’s doing is dangerous at times.

There were so many issues that gave this book it’s overall uncomfortable feel. The kidnapper’s reborn baby dolls business, the poor woman trapped there, pregnant, who unfortunately had fallen into a relationship with her son. The missing baby and how the mother had been targeted. I usually go around feeling pretty safe but this book played into all of my insecurities about my safety, the proliferation of personal information that’s on the internet for anyone to see and find, and the underlying evil that seems to exist in even the most normal-seeming of people.

It’s a good mystery that’s going to make you look around you in public and make you even more hesitant to give your information. I think that’s great; this book stayed with me for a long time after I read it.


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