Book Review: ‘Little Deaths’

The first novel by Emma Fling Little Deaths (Hachette Books; in stores Tuesday, January 17) is a mix bag. It starts off strong and then ends on a flat note for me.

It’s 1965 in Queens, New York. Ruth Malone is a married woman with two young kids Cindy and Frankie. She’s currently in the middle of a custody battel with Frank, the father of the kids. Ruth leads an active live. She works in a bar and likes the company of men (and 1965 that’s considered scandalous). When she wakes up one morning she finds her kids missing. She calls the police and an investigation starts.

Soon the body of her daughter is found. Ten days later her son’s body is found. Ruth has become the prime suspect, she swears she’s innocent. The lead detective Devlin is convinced she is guilty and doesn’t really look for any other suspects.

Pete Wonicke is a rookie reporter assigned to the case. He interviews the police, Ruth, Frank, neighbors and anyone else he can find. He doesn’t think Ruth did it. He becomes infatuated with the case and Ruth herself. So much so he gets fired from the newspaper and continues to investigate the case.

Ruth is soon indicted by a grand jury and it leads to a trial and ultimately to who is guilty and why (no spoilers).

I am always down for a good mystery and this as I said before starts off strong, has some twists that make you think one thing and then another. Ultimately the reveal is a disappointment.

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