January 29, 2020
Two Girls Down
Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
Alice Vega #1
Finished on January 24, 2020
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)
It's a mother's worst nightmare. Jamie Brandt's two young daughters, Kylie and Bailey, disappear without a trace from a strip mall parking lot in their hometown of Denville, Pennsylvania. The devastated family hires Alice Vega, a former bounty hunter whose intellect is matched only by her relentless determination to get results.
Immediately shut out by a contentious police department stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemics, Vega partners with a former cop, Max Caplan, to help her navigate the local scene. She will go to any length to follow the slippery trail of the missing girls no matter where it leads and to bring them home before they are lost forever.
Louisa Luna is a masterful, fearless storyteller. Intense, suspenseful, and deeply resonant from the first line to its riveting conclusion, Two Girls Down is a thrilling work about how far people will go to protect and save their family.
Wow. What a great book! I hadn't heard of Louisa Luna until recently and then it was as if she was everywhere. I first heard her name mentioned on a literary podcast as the host was referencing Luna's second book, The Janes. Shortly after that, my interest was further piqued when I read about The Janes on Jenclair's blog (A Garden Carried in the Pocket). I quickly placed a library request for Two Girls Down, which is the first in this series.
To say I devoured this book is an understatement. I read 150 pages the first night and had to force myself to turn out the light well after midnight. I couldn't stop reading! I managed to draw it out a little longer over the course of the next few days, but it's such a compelling page-turner, one could easily finish it in a single day. Alice Vega and Max Caplan are a great team, reminiscent of Dennis Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro duo. I love their chemistry and the humorous one-liners had me laughing out loud. Vega reminds me of Marvel's Jessica Jones with her kick-ass, no-nonsense personality. The only reason I didn't give this book a perfect 5-star rating is that the ending got very confusing and I had to flip back and forth, reacquainting myself with characters whose names were briefly mentioned early on. There were a lot of secondary characters and red herrings and I wasn't able to identify the kidnapper until revealed by the author. I can't wait to get my hands on The Janes and I hope Luna is busy writing a third installment in this series. If you enjoy an evenly-paced, tension-packed crime novel with not only believable, but lovable characters, I strongly recommend Two Girls Down. As soon as I finished, I passed it on to my husband who agrees that it's a winner. I love discovering a new series!