cover image The Prodigal Daughter

The Prodigal Daughter

Mette Ivie Harrison. Soho Crime, $27.95 (264p) ISBN 978-1-64129-245-0

Harrison’s heart-wrenching fifth Linda Wallheim mystery (after 2018’s Not of This Fold) finds Linda, the wife of an LDS bishop in Draper, Utah, drawn into the role of amateur investigator by the oldest of her five grown sons, Joseph, who teaches Sunday School in nearby Ogden. Sabrina Jensen, a 15-year-old who regularly babysits for Joseph and his wife, has disappeared, but her parents appear unconcerned about her whereabouts. Linda, a self-described busybody who can’t resist helping anyone in need, throws herself into searching for Sabrina, who she eventually learns was the victim of a terrible crime committed by “good Mormon boys.” Linda winds up trekking the meaner streets of Salt Lake City in her effort to save Sabrina. Meanwhile, she struggles with the strictures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and her fraught relationship with her husband, with whom she’s in marriage therapy. Harrison adroitly raises various ethical issues as the suspenseful plot builds to a devastating climax. Those looking for a nuanced character study will be rewarded. Agent: Janet Reid, Janet Reid Literary. (May)