cover image The Daughter She Used to Be

The Daughter She Used to Be

Rosalind Noonan. Kensington, $15 trade paper (378p) ISBN 978-0-7582-4168-9

Noonan (In a Heartbeat) delivers another earnest drama exploring how lives and family relationships can, in a heartbeat, change utterly. The Sullivans are a family of New York City cops. The father, now retired and running a coffee shop–“Sully’s Cup”—near their local Queens precinct, is a legend in the community. They are the type of family that expresses disappointment when youngest daughter Bernadette, rather than marrying a cop, as did her sister Mary Kate, remains single and goes to work in the DA’s office. But that disappointment pales in comparison to what comes from her decision to volunteer her legal skills to help defend a man who entered Sully’s Cup seeking vengeance and killed several cops, including her brother, the youngest son in the family. The dramatic stakes are high in Noonan’s world (her husband, like Sully, retired from the NYPD), but the Sullivan family’s dialogues on faith, grief, and loyalty are riddled with overwrought clichés, as is her portrayal of the stereotype-perpetuating African-American shooter. Not helping is Noonan’s prose, perfunctory at best, a grammatical quagmire at worst. (Nov.)