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Judas Child (1998)
by Carol O'Connell
Books Read in 2000 (54)
Books with Twins (93)
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She has a way of getting into a character's head that just gets to me. Even when you shouldn't like them.
Engrossing right up to the end.
Several days before Christmas, in a small, bucolic, tightly knit town, two ten year old girls, best friends, Sadie Green and Gwen Hubble, suddenly disappear. One of the local cops, Rouge Kendall, becomes involved in the investigation and manhunt that ensues. The case calls to mind his own brush with a madman, when fifteen years earlier his own ten year old, twin sister, Susan, had likewise been abducted. She was found murdered on Christmas Day, and his family never fully recovered from the blow they were dealt by Susan's untimely and grisly death.
Carol O'Connell's adult characters are well drawn and sympathetic, but the little girls steal the show. Be warned--you will be late for work, stay up past your bedtime, let dinner burn on the stove, just to find out what happens to these engaging children. The tension is sometimes almost painful, but delicious at the same time. I thought I knew where the story was headed and how it was going to finish but, as it turned out, I was so far off base. It's pleasing to find a story that can continue to provoke thought long after you've closed it on the last page.
Enjoyable mystery even if it is a dark topic. For some reason I had trouble keeping up with all of the character names, though.
Very visual novel. Could imagine this as a film, if the bizarre 'truffle' location could be built. Especially liked the girls' characters, really made me root for them. And the end was a complete surprise.
It is three days before Christmas, and two young girls have disappeared from the local academy. This hasn't happened for fifteen years, since Rouge Kendall's twin sister was murdered. The killer was found, but now Rouge, twenty-five and a policeman, is forced to wonder: was he really the one? Also wondering is a former classmate named Ali Cray, a forensic psychologist with scars of her own. The pattern is the same, she says: a child called out to meet a friend. The friend is the bait, the Judas child, and is quickly killed. But the primary victim lives longer...until Christmas day. Rouge doesn't want to hear this. He's spent the last fifteen years trying to avoid the memories. A little girl has haunted his dreams all these years--and he has three days to finally put her to rest. Filled with rich prose, resonant characters, and knife-edged suspense that have won so many fans, Judas Child is Carol O'Connell's most powerful novel yet.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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Sharply drawn characters that evoke strong emotions. A well developed and thought provoking plot with an interesting twist at the end. A great read. ( )