And Then There Was One
Review: Patricia Gussin explores what happens to a family's dynamics when two of their three children, identical triplets, disappear without a trace, in And Then There Was One, the author's fourth novel of suspense.
Detroit residents Katie and Scott Monroe, after trying for years to have a family, are blessed with triplet girls: Sammie, Alex, and Jackie. Scott is a former professional baseball player, now the manager of the New York Yankee's spring training operation in Tampa, but travels with the team. Katie, a forensic pediatric psychiatrist, who opted to stay at home with the girls when they were young, has returned to her practice now that the girls are 9 years old. One day, Danielle, their 19-year-old cousin, takes the girls to the movies at a large multi-screen theater. Unable to decide what to watch, two of the girls — Sammie and Alex — go into one theater, Jackie accompanying Danielle into another. When the films had ended, Danielle and Jackie go to meet Sammie and Alex, only to discover they cannot be found. The police are immediately notified, but a search of the building reveals nothing. Presuming the girls have been kidnapped and not simply run away, the authorities begin the probe the family's background, friends and associates, trying to come up with a lead. Initially focusing primarily on Katie's role as an expert witness in trials that resulted in families being broken up as a result of her testimony on domestic child abuse, there's also a potential racial motivation, as the Monroes are a prominent mixed-race family. With no demand for ransom and no clues as to the whereabouts of the girls, Katie and Scott begin to withdraw from each other … just when their combined strength is needed more than ever.
And Then There Was One grips the reader's interest from the first sentence and doesn't let go. This compelling novel of psychological suspense effectively captures the grief and horror parents feel when they've lost something so precious to them, but also takes into account other family members, notably Jackie, who feels guilty for being the sister not taken. Yet it is family — the extended family — that brings strength and ultimately hope to the situation. As heartbreaking as the disappearance of a child is, it is equally heartwarming when family members — and even the community — come together in a time of need to support a family shattered. Impossible to predict how it will all play out, this fine novel will keep readers on the edge of their seat as the plot unfolds.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of And Then There Was One.
Acknowledgment: Oceanview Publishing provided a copy of And Then There Was One for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Oceanview Publishing (Hardcover), October 2009
ISBN-13: 9781933515199; ISBN-10: 1933515198
Location(s) referenced in And Then There Was One: Detroit, Michigan
— ♦ —
And Then There Was One by Patricia Gussin
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 2010
List Price: $25.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites