And Then There Was One
Oceanview Publishing (2010)
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (11/10)
The Monroe family is highly successful. Scott is a former major league baseball player who currently works for the New York Yankees’ organization. Katie is a forensic pediatric psychiatrist who has been involved in some high profile criminal cases. They are the proud parents of identical nine-year-old triplets – Alex, Sammie, and Jackie. One fateful day, the girls and an older cousin go to the movies, but when the shows are over, Alex and Sammie are nowhere to be found. A massive manhunt ensues in hopes that the girls will be located before it is too late.
This is a very emotional story and the author realistically portrays the distress of the parents regarding the disappearance of their daughters. Their anguish as they try to discern who took them and for what reason emanates from the pages. As they struggle with wondering if their girls are okay, they must still focus on Jackie’s well-being as she experiences her own regrets. Jackie wonders why she was not taken too and if her sisters’ disappearance was somehow her fault.
Author Patricia Gussin does a nice job of laying out the story and establishing many potential suspects. The reader is kept guessing as to whether this was a random kidnapping or if it was done for personal reasons. Scott and Katie are an interracial couple, so perhaps it was a hate crime. Scott is a well-known figure, so maybe it was for ransom. Katie’s work often antagonizes social deviants who have physically or sexually abused their children, so possibly someone is showing her how it feels to have their children taken away from them.
I would categorize “And Then There Was One” as a psychological thriller because the reader is allowed to get inside the heads of many of the characters. It will appeal to a broad adult audience but it will resonate most with those who enjoy mystery and suspense. There are a few slightly graphic scenes which may make people who are easily offended somewhat uncomfortable with this book. There are also a few monotonous parts as the parents are continually interrogated. Otherwise, the book is excellently written and will touch the heartstrings of its readers.