Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Ugh. This book has two major structural problems:
1. Jackman and Evans (**minor SPOILERS**) have no personal growth as characters. They do their job and then the book is over. They barely even speak to one another, and then only about the details of the case. They’re both like detective-robots. Jackman’s only personal detail is that he likes his cozy house. Evans’s only characterization is that she loves her mum and had a friend, once, who was harassed by an old boss. I think I know the friend better than I know Marie herself.
2. The murderer (**BIGGER SPOILER**) never appears live on the page. Jackman and Evans never meet him or interact with him in any way. ???? Weird and unsatisfying.
The narration by Richard Armitage was superb. He created distinct voices for probably two dozen characters, and Evans’s voice in particular imparted more detail to her character than the author probably deserved.
Also, I’m growing tired of the (incorrect) trope that all abused children grow up to be adults who are irreparably broken, unfit for society, and possibly dangerous. There is a correlation to generational cycles of abuse, but it’s not an absolute truth as stated in this book. It is sad and wrong to pre-condemn mistreated children to that fate.
2 thoughts on “Their Lost Daughters”
Hi there! I stumbled onto your review after finishing this book. I was desperately in search of an answer to the question, “Am I crazy, or is this book really terrible?” I tried it because A) I love a nice mystery in a moody landscape, and B) Who doesn’t want the dulcet tones of Richard Armitage in one’s ear? Well, if it hadn’t been for Richard Armitage, I’d never have made it through, and for precisely the reasons you mention. There. is. no. character. development. Zero. None. By the end, I couldn’t have cared less whodunit or whytheydunit. Thank you for this review. I’ll be following your blog henceforth.
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Ughhhh yes. Thank goodness for Richard Armitage! I’d probably listen to him read grocery lists 😅 This book was very frustrating!