Child’s Play: A DI Sarah Quinn Mystery

Maureen Carter. Severn/Creme de la Crime, $28.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-78029-058-4

British author Carter’s gripping fourth Det. Insp. Sarah Quinn mystery (after 2013’s Dying Bad) interweaves two crime stories. The first involves the 1960 murder in Moss Pit, Leicestershire, of five-year-old Pauline Bolton by her 10-year-old friend, Susan Bailey. The murder cripples the families of both girls. Pauline’s mother never is able to function again, and subsequently Pauline’s brother is forced into foster care. Pauline’s sister, feeling guilty for not having watched Pauline properly on the day of the murder, later destroys her life with drugs and promiscuous sex. More than 50 years after Pauline’s murder, 16-year-old Caitlin Reynolds is kidnapped on her way home from school in Birmingham. There are no eyewitnesses; Sarah’s long-standing rival, journalist Caroline King, fails to pass on communications from the kidnapper; and Caitlin’s mother and grandmother withhold crucial information. How the two crimes connect will shock most readers. (Apr.)
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