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Jamie Brandt was not a bad mother. Later she would tell that to anyone who would listen: police, reporters, lawyers, her parents, her boyfriend, her dealer, the new bartender with the knuckle tattoos at Schultz’s, the investigator from California and her partner, and her own reflection in the bathroom mirror, right before cracking her forehead on the sink’s edge and passing out from the cocktail of pain, grief, and fear.
When two sisters disappear from a parking lot while their mother is in Kmart, the devastated family hires bounty hunter Alice Vega to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched too thin by budget cuts and the growing meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help, and she will not be denied.
With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.
‘Opening this book is like arming a bomb—the suspense is relentless and the payoff is spectacular. Lead character Alice Vega is sensational—I want to see lots more of her.’
‘Not only suspenseful but with some real embedded truths about how hard it is to be a mother.’
‘Sensational…One of the book’s great pleasures is seeing Caplan and Vega’s initially testy entanglement develop into a true partnership. But there are many other aspects in Ms. Luna’s story to savour as well…quick psychological revelations that pierce the heart.’
‘This is such a terrific read. High stakes, relationship-driven, perfectly paced [and] three-dimensional female characters. Alice Vega could give Jack Reacher a run for his money. Maybe Louisa Luna should write all the thrillers.’
‘Vega springs to life in the hands of this immensely talented writer…This is a must-read for fans of strong female protagonists.’
‘This tautly written thriller balances suspense with strong characterisations and insightful reflections on motherhood. The story unfolds quickly, and it will hold your attention until the end.’
‘[A] turbulent, razor-sharp book…this is a beautifully taut firecracker of a read.’
‘An engrossing mystery bulging with so many memorable characters…the writing is superb and the witty repartee between Vega and Cap, even as they deal with society’s lowest, is a delight. The ending is as shocking as it is unexpected. It’s a truly gripping read.’
‘This was so good, unforgettable characters (Alice Vega is brilliant), couldn’t put it down.’
‘Loved Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna. Tense, measured, spare writing, badass but relatable heroes, and a payoff that’s worth every word of the wait. Whoever this Lee Child fella is on the cover, he’s not wrong.’