Posted at Shelf Inflicted
Little Girl Lost begins with private investigator John Blake scanning the headlines and learning of the brutal death of his high-school sweetheart, Miranda Sugarman, who was most recently working as a stripper. When they were in high school 10 years ago, she had ambitions of attending college in Los Alamos and eventually working as an ophthalmologist.
John Blake is young and idealistic, a refreshing change from the traditional hard-boiled, world-weary, cynical older detectives so prevalent in this genre. His youthful and clean-cut looks are out of place in the violent, sordid and grimy urban environment he has to work in. John encounters a lot of unpleasant characters while he is investigating this case, but he also has help from some good people, his boss, Leo, who is a former cop, and Susan, a stripper who knew Miranda and demonstrates a strong aptitude for detective work.
This was a very well-written, suspenseful, and atmospheric crime thriller. Some of the clues were a little too heavy-handed, making it relatively easy for me to figure out who the murderer was, but I enjoyed revisiting the city I grew up in, the characters, the situations, and John’s strong sense of justice and deep feelings for the woman he once loved.
This is the first Hard Case Crime book I read, and I look forward to more.