Recently, I was lucky enough to read 'Shoeless Child' by J A Schneider. I got my copy through TBC Reviewers Request Group on Facebook, and I thank them for the opportunity to read it. This is the fourth book in a series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.
A little boy has seen a horrific murder but is too traumatized to speak. Detective Kerri Blasco struggles to connect with him... Charlie Sparkes peeks out to see his mother and another young woman brutally shot. Hysterical, the brave child bolts into the cold November night for help. He screams and cries, only to fall into more trauma. Homicide Detective Kerri Blasco is called to the murder scene. One woman lies dead next to the blood soaked rug where Rachel Sparkes was seriously wounded. With little memory of the attack, she has been taken to the hospital - but where is her child? He too, Kerri discovers, now lies in a hospital bed, mute and traumatized in a fetal position, refusing even food and water. Charlie must have seen what happened. Kerri's heart aches for this piteous little boy and she struggles to help him; struggles, too to find the monster who did this horrible crime. "It's your kind of case," Sergeant Alex Brand, Kerri's boss and partner tells her, stepping up police urgency when another innocent is shot, and then another... Kerri Blasco finds herself more emotionally obsessed with this case than with any other, despite clear and onrushing danger to herself...
OMG, I loved this book. It broke my heart at times, mind. Charlie sees the attacker who injured his mother and killed her best friend, but is too traumatised to talk about it. Kerri Blasco and Alex Brand are the police tasked with solving the murder, and trying to get Charlie to open up about what he saw.
I could have cried for wee Charlie (and his poor mother) and celebrated every little breakthrough that Kerri made with him. He is absolutely the heart of this story.
With pressure from their boss, Kerri, Alex and the team work long frustrating hours trying to break the case. Bodies mount up and so do suspects. But I was completely shocked by who the 'baddie' turned out to be, and their reasons.
The characters are beautifully drawn - I felt I was really getting to know them. There was a real sense of atmosphere - I could picture myself in the apartment block where the attack happened. I loved Kerri and Alex, but was a little confused by their relationship,work not personal. Alex is Kerri's superior, but it mainly seemed to be Kerri calling the shots. But this is a teeny tiny niggle.
This was the fourth book in a series, but my first, and it read brilliantly as a standalone. That said, I certainly want to read the others now! Highly recommended.
To Buy 'Shoeless Child':
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