Missing Daughter, Shattered Family
By Liz Strange
Book #1 in the David Lloyd Investigations series
Mystery, Romantic Mystery
When a brutal homophobic attack ended David Lloyd's career as a police officer, his life was changed forever. Five years later David is running his own private detective agency, where a missing person's case comes to his attention. Digging into the circumstances of her disappearance forces David to realize he has not dealt with what happened to him, and that he can no longer deal with his long-time partner's fear of being honest about their relationship. Solving the case might not only bring peace to a shattered family, but could finally put David's own demons to rest.
David Lloyd was a Toronto police detective until a brutal homophobic assault ended his career and changed his life. It's been five years and he now owns a private detective agency. Marjory Barrowman enlists his help to find her troubled daughter, Stella, who has been missing and not heard from for over two months.
On the surface, discovering what has happened to Stella shouldn't be that difficult given her circumstances. She has a serious drug habit and had a pretty small circle of acquaintances, including her drug buddies. However, David soon finds out that not everyone wants her found and has to struggle through lies, deception and cover ups from just about everyone connected. Meanwhile, he's also in a relationship with Jamie Brennen, a successful prosecuting attorney who hasn't yet come out about his sexuality and that's creating tension.
This is very much an investigation procedural but unencumbered by process and police protocol. David is pretty skilled and takes a lot of risks. The case was interesting and had me shifting emotionally throughout as what began as a belief of the truth kept being dismantled as David continued to explore the case. The search uncovered some real nasty characters and circumstances and unexpected turns of events. Some I saw coming and others took me by surprise. I also liked how his relationship with Jamie was woven throughout the story and not as a disconnected, separate storyline. Both are really well designed characters and I loved their relationship. Their romance was sensitively portrayed and you couldn't help but root for them as they faced obstacles from family and other relationships.
There were occasions where there seemed to be extraneous dialogue that could be implied to have occurred by the reader. It didn't bog down the story or my reading enjoyment but was something I noticed.
I enjoyed the mystery and the journey to solve this case but even more, I loved David and Jamie's developing relationship. This is the first book in the series and I plan to continue it as soon as the author writes the next one.
(I was provided an ARC from the author)