"Little Lamb Lost" by Margaret Fenton

 

Genre:  Mystery

Rating:  4 WaterTowers

Two year old Michael Hennessy, son of Ashley Hennessy, is dead.

There is no apparent reason for his death, but, before the police can move forward they will need the results of an autopsy.

Claire Conover,  the social worker assigned to the Hennessy’s case,  could be in trouble.  She has never experienced the death of one of her clients and her handling of the case will be under the microscope.  If she missed any steps, or made a wrong decision about placing Michael back with his recovering (drugs) mother, Claire may lose her job.

On the bright side, Ashley has done a superb job during her recovery.  There is no sign of  current drug abuse (in fact, the drug tests have all been negative), she loved Michael with all her heart, was holding down two jobs,  and doing well in both.

Claire, likewise, did everything she needed to do.  All the paperwork was in order, and, barring only a couple of  minor issues, her bosses do not think she has anything to worry about.

When the autopsy comes back, everyone is shocked to find out that Michael was the victim of  an overdose of gama hydroxybutyrate or GHB.  The police found enough GBH in Michael’s sippy cup, and a pitcher of orange juice, to kill several people.  And they promptly arrested Ashley for negligent homicide.

Unfortunately, a firestorm of press (so what else is new?) erupts and the Department of Human Services (DHS), where Claire works, is now under fire.  To make matters worse, Claire talked (angrily) to one of the reporters who quoted her in the paper!  Arrrghhh…

Claire was told to stop work on the case, and not to talk to anyone, but, she cannot let it go.  She knows in her heart that Ashley is innocent and drug free.

Proving that, however, becomes dangerous.

A cast of suspects emerge as Claire and her new friend, Grant (the computer geek who fixed her computer, “Geek God”) pick at the clues and suspects.

  • Al was Michael’s step-grandpa.  Claire finds out that he abused his own child many years ago.
  • Zander was a friend of Ashley’s and drug addict with a rich family who could have motive.
  • Jimmy is Ashley’s new boyfriend and has been following, and threatening, Claire.
  • Flash is Ashley’s old boyfriend with a mean streak.
  • Others include people who work in a local nightclub or are drugged out friends of Ashley.

“Little Lamb Lost” moves linearly following the path of the clues as Claire (and Grant and a few others) uncover the information they need to find out who killed Michael.

It is a dangerous undertaking that leaves Claire…..oh, I won’t ruin it for you.  But let me say this:  geeks rock!  🙂

“Little Lamb Lost” is an absolutely terrific book that I started reading on Saturday afternoon and finished Monday afternoon.  I am a slow reader, but, I could not stop reading.  I consider it a compliment to Margaret Fenton that his book reminds me of Sue Grafton.  The pacing is leisurely but exciting.  Claire is a very likeable character (29 and single, very intelligent) and the clues appear one by one until a solution is found.  The only advantage Kinsey has over Claire is that Kinsey is a PI and knows how to search for clues (as well as protect herself).

I am hoping more books by Margaret Fenton follow (now she has a goal: 26)….I will certainly read them…

This was an ARC sent to me by Margaret Fenton and will be in stores in June 2009.

Pick up a copy, you will love it!

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