I’m a fan of US author Charlie Donlea. I’ve very much enjoyed some of his recent books including The Suicide House and The Woman in Darkness. They all feature past crimes and long-kept secrets and have leveraged popular culture, including podcasts, true crime documentaries (or similar); uncovering missed clues and injustice. Donlea maintains the intrigue and twistiness in his latest, Twenty Years Later.
I love Charlie Donlea’s books. In fact, I gave his last, The Woman in Darkness, 4.5 stars which is a rarity for me. I make the point in that book that his titles are always standalones but that I hoped to see one of the characters introduced there (Rory), again.
And, well… he was obviously listening cos, she’s back!*
Having said that, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read The Woman in Darkness as Donlea quickly shares Rory’s quirks and the abilities her autism offers her.
I’ve read and enjoyed Charlie Donlea’s first two books, The Girl Who Was Taken and Don’t Believe It and his latest is no different. In fact, I must admit if I have one gripe it would be that it was nearing its end far sooner than I wanted it to. I really did not want it to finish. (Which is rare for me nowadays as most books are longer than I’d like).
Each of Donlea’s other books has been a standalone but featuring such well-developed characters I ALWAYS find myself checking it’s not part of a series. I’m fairly sure I’d be happy to read more featuring each of the leads we’ve met, but Donlea manages to give them a story arc that – though brief – is completely fulfilling for the reader.
In my review of Charlie Donlea’s The Girl Who Was Taken I commented that I’d assumed the author was female. I wasn’t sure why but said it was perhaps because Donlea delivered the voices of the leads – all female – with great ease and realism.
It wasn’t until I opened Goodreads I was reminded of this again and I was similarly surprised. Again I can only think it’s because he writes the female perspective well. (And I don’t know what that seems strange…)
Back in the day… and before the series took a turn for the worse (or jumped the shark as they say in TV-land) I was a fan of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series. I loved the coroner / sleuth combo. It was new at the time, though of course became increasing popular in books and on TV after Dr Scarpetta blazed that trail, leading to the likes of Silent Witness and iZombie. 😉
Although The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea isn’t really about the work of a coroner as such, it’s centred around one and I very much enjoyed the detail / research and expertise Donlea inserted into his plot and characters.