Book Title: Two Girls Down
Author: Louisa Luna
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 01/09/18
When two young sisters disappear from a strip mall parking lot in a small Pennsylvania town, their devastated mother hires an enigmatic bounty hunter, Alice Vega, to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help to find the girls, and she will not be denied.
With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.
Louisa Luna’s Two Girls Down is a binge-worthy whodunnit crime fiction novel that realistically paints how rural America is affected by today’s drug epidemic. The story starts off with single mother Jamie Brandt taking her two daughters Kylie and Bailey to the mall so they can get a gift for Kylie’s friend’s birthday party. Jamie is a struggling single parent in a town where income inequality is rampant. Denville, Pennsylvania is a small town outside of Philadelphia—modest, poor, ignorant, and proud, ‘Murica. After Jamie returns from the mall to get her daughter’s friend a gift, she is startled to see that her daughters are missing. The kidnapping of Kylie and Bailey Brandt has received considerable attention in the news; throwing the town of Denville on a loop. The police force is struggling to find any leads, so the Brandt family hires private investigator Alice Vega to help with the case.
Alice Vega is a no-nonsense Californian who acts first and speaks later. She has an impeccable track record in finding missing children, arriving to Denville and ready to investigate. The town doesn’t take to Alice very well—they too proud to accept her services. Alice quickly starts figuring out that things in Denville aren’t exactly what they seem. Everyone has an alibi, everyone has a story, but who has something to gain from these two missing girls?
Two Girls Down was a very interesting read for me because when I first picked it up, I was initially thinking, “oh this will be just like every other crime fiction/detective novel”, but I was happily mistaken. Alice Vega might actually be my favorite heroine of all time. She is B-A to the Nth degree! She is witty, strong, funny, smart—ugh I can keep going. I really hope Louisa Luna continues writing stories including Alice Vega because she really is just amazing and nothing I can say here can perfectly describe how much I fangirl over her. Alice Vega easily gives me the ability to give this read a 4 star rating without even batting an eye.
I also really enjoyed the way the plot began to unfold before my eyes. I really thought this story was going to take a certain turn, but I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. It kept me on my toes and captured my attention. The story unfolds in an interesting, unique way; without the gimmicky plot twists that many novels are throwing out there to try to shock the reader. Ms. Luna also intelligently mentions the drug epidemic sprawling throughout America; showcasing it through the town of Denville and its inhabitants. I really haven’t picked up anything recently that portrays that aspect of American society and it was something that actually made me take a second to think about. It was a really robust story that pieced everything together seamlessly.
*Thank you Doubleday Books for my advanced copy for my honest review.