“The Au Pair,” by Emma Rous
2018 Publication , 3 star , novel / September 24, 2018

“The Au Pair,” by Emma Rous, follows Seraphine Mayes as she works to untangle the true story of her parentage and the reason her grandmother seems to prefer her twin brother, Danny, over her. Is there a mystery as to her true parentage? Is that what her father was hinting at when he said he needed to talk to all the kids just before he died unexpectedly in a home repair accident? Or is she just overwrought with grief and lashing out, looking for something to keep her occupied? Or is she… going crazy? I received this book for free as part of a promotion. My opinions are my own. “The Au Pair” is a fast read, I consumed it in about a day, and follows the lives of two linked women during important times of their lives: Laura, as she au pairs for a family living on the coast of Norfolk in a palatial manse; and Seraphine who is the daughter of the family Laura au paired for up until her birth. Laura is dealing with her own trauma and mysteries, while Seraphine tries to track down who her parents actually are… although she has no real reason to…

“Two Girls Down,” by Louisa Luna
4 star , mystery , novel / September 21, 2018

“Two Girls Down,” by Louisa Luna, is a quick and intense read about a bounty hunter searching for two missing girls. Alice Vega, the bounty hunter, has a good track record finding missing kids and charges appropriately. The girls’ mother is desperate and with her wealthy mother’s help engages her. Despite her reputation, Vega gets no help from the local police, who are already understaffed and underfunded. They’re more invested in mundane local matters like the ongoing meth and opioid epidemic. They don’t have the manpower for a hunt for two kids. Vega manages to connect with private investigator Max Caplan, a former cop who took the fall for someone and who has lived in disgrace since then. He leans on his former fellow cop who owes him and is able to get leads. Both Vega and Caplan are very aware that there’s a time limit on finding missing children. If they’re gone too long they invariably wind up dead. They have to push themselves and everyone around them to track down every clue and follow it up, no matter how thin. This leads to some delicious red herrings and twists. I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting the…