The Lullaby Girl by Loreth Anne White
On probation from her job after the takedown of a serial killer went bad, Detective Angie Pallorino turns her attention to the cold case which most haunts her… her own. Found in an ‘angel’s cradle’ as a wounded, mute four-year-old, the resurgence of buried memories sends her on a quest to dig into her own past and find out what happened to not just her, but the red-haired girl in a pink dress who haunts her dreams, waking and sleeping. With her lover James Maddocks still on the case of trafficked sex slaves and unable to call on her usual backup, Angie is forced to conduct her investigation alone.
Angie is an extremely sympathetic character, despite her abrasive personality. I truly felt for her as she was pushed into a corner by her bosses after doing what anyone among us would have wanted to; taking a brutal serial killer down for good. Her desperation to find out what happened in her past will resonate with anyone who has ever lost a memory or a loved one unexpectedly, the burning need to know WHY a motivation anyone can understand.
The way the author wove the past and present cases together was absolutely riveting. I knew it had to be coming, but couldn’t figure out how it would be done; it was so neatly done I was honestly awed.
There is a lot of forensic detail and police procedure in this book, and the author has clearly done her research very thoroughly into both. It would take someone a lot more expert than I am to spot any errors, that’s for sure. If you like police procedurals, crime thrillers, action thrillers and strong female protagonists - Angie’s determination to be called a survivor rather than a victim really resonates - you’ll love this series, though I do recommend starting with The Drowned Girls. Five stars.