Review: As a Chicago television producer of mystery reality shows, Kate Conway regularly deals with topics on crime in the city. But reality hits a little close to home when she's accused of murder herself in Missing Persons, the first mystery in this series by Clare O'Donohue.
Kate is starting a new assignment, producing an episode about a young woman, who has been missing for over a year. But real life intrudes when Kate's ex-husband Frank, a healthy 37-year-old, is rushed to the hospital barely able to breathe. She is notified about it from Vera, Frank's latest girlfriend, who she agrees to meet at the hospital. But soon after she arrives, Frank dies, the cause of death "uncertain". Standard procedure dictates that the police be notified, and at the top of the "persons of interest" list are Kate and Vera. But Kate has a job to do, 22 minutes of air time to fill, and starts by finding out what she can about the missing woman, Theresa Moretti. Theresa's mother, the owner of a bake shop, is hopeful and continues to believe her daughter is alive, somewhere. Theresa's brother, Tom, however, is angry and not as optimistic. Her ex-boyfriend Jason claims he still loves her and wants to do anything he can to help find her, even though she had dumped him for someone named Wyatt. But the more she digs, the more complex the picture that emerges for Theresa. Especially so when Kate discovers a link between her now dead ex-husband and the missing woman.
There's always a risk in mysteries that involve two apparently unrelated subplots that their inevitable connection will seem contrived. Not so here. The storylines in Missing Persons come together in a somewhat natural manner, made easier by Kate's profession as a producer of crime reality television. She needs to have a vast amount of material to choose from, and then to edit it down into a logical sequence of events. That eye for detail, for honing in on what's important and what isn't, is what makes Kate such an interesting character and compelling amateur sleuth, one readers will certainly want to get to know better.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Missing Persons.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Missing Persons for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Double Cross
Plume (Trade Paperback), September 2010
ISBN-13: 9780452296428; ISBN-10: 0452296420
Plume (Ebook), November 2012
ISBN-13: 9781101615843; ISBN-10: 1101615842
Location(s) referenced in Missing Persons: Chicago, Illinois
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Missing Persons by Clare O'Donohue — A Kate Conway Mystery
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2011
List Price: $15.00